Is it time for an upgrade on your TV, cell phone, or tablet? Figuring out how to save money on your electronics purchase can get you the upgrade you want without draining your bank account.
Timing your purchase right and doing your research can help you find what you want at a price you can afford. The best deals come when you have the time to do your homework before making a purchase.
Keep reading to learn seven tips to save on electronics.
1. Time Your Purchase Right
Certain times of year are better than others for buying electronics. January is a popular month for TVs and other electronics to go on sale as the Super Bowl approaches. You might still catch some TV sales in February.
Another prime time for major sales on electronics is November with Black Friday sales, which sometimes continue into December. Finding the best Black Friday deals can save you significantly on TVs and other electronics. Some retailers offer special Black Friday deals in July to boost sales, which could be another good time to save money on electronics.
2. Buy Older Versions
Sure, it’s tempting to buy the latest model, especially for electronics such as cell phones that get updated frequently. But you’ll pay more for the latest models, which sometimes have minor or necessary upgrades. Compare the specs of the two models to see if the newest version is necessary.
Buying the older version of the same product can save you a lot of money. The price often drops when the new version is announced or is released.
A similar option is to buy refurbished electronics or floor models. When buying refurbished electronics, purchase from the manufacturer, either directly through the company’s site or through sites such as Amazon. Some retailers sell returned electronics at a discount.
3. Shop Around
The best option is to start researching your device purchase before you need it. If you wait until your old device breaks, you’ll feel rushed to buy a replacement without looking around or waiting for a deal.
It’s always a good idea to shop around with multiple retailers before buying electronics. Look at both brick and mortar retailers and online retailers to get a good comparison. You’ll quickly get an idea of the average cost when you start looking so you can recognize a good deal when it’s available.
Check back with the retailers to track the price changes on the items you want. Stores might put the items on sale, or an online retailer might send you a special discount code that can drop the price significantly. If you can be patient, you can wait until the electronics you want reach the lowest price possible.
4. Consider What You Really Need
It’s easy to get sucked into all of the bells and whistles on the most expensive electronic options, but the extra features often aren’t necessary. You might find the features that sound amazing are things you don’t actually use that often. Sometimes the more features a device has, the more potential it has for things to go wrong, which can make it more expensive with repairs or replacements.
Consider what features you actually need or will use on a regular basis. If you find yourself drooling over fancy features, think about how practical or necessary those features are to have a good experience with the device. You might realize you can enjoy the new device just as much without those extra features.
Another thing to consider is the extended warranty, which is almost always offered on electronics. It might sound like a good deal, but it’s often a waste of money. With normal use, most electronics outlast the warranty period.
5. Trade In or Sell Old Electronics
If you’re upgrading electronics that you already own, get rid of the old version and get a little money back to offset the cost. Many cell providers offer a trade-in program that gives you an account credit when you upgrade to a newer phone. Depending on the condition and age of your old phone, it could make a good dent in the purchase price.
Another option for phones and other electronics is to sell your old device if you don’t plan on using it anymore. You might get more out of the item if you sell it yourself compared to the trade-in value.
6. Go Middle of the Road
Low-end electronics save you the most money when you purchase them, but they could cost you more money over the life of the item. A cheaply made item won’t likely last as long, which means you’ll have to buy a replacement sooner than planned. If you keep the item, you’ll have to pay for repairs with no guarantee of how much longer the item will last.
High-end products aren’t always worth the extra money. You can often find a comparable model in a different brand. This can be especially helpful for electronics accessories, such as batteries, charging cords, and memory cards, where mid-range versions are just as reliable as more expensive ones.
7. Ask for Price Matching or Discounts
Many stores will price match competitors on the same item. This can come in handy if you have a preferred retailer, especially if you have a financial incentive to shop there.
Say you’re a member of a loyalty program or have a store credit card that offers discounts or rewards. If that retailer matches a competitor’s price, you can get the electronics cheaper and get the rewards at that store.
Even if you can’t find the same item for cheaper somewhere else, it never hurts to ask for a discount. Major chain stores might not have as much wiggle room in pricing, but locally owned stores or regional chains might be more willing to negotiate with you on an electronics purchase.
Some electronics brands offer discounts based on professional or educational associations. Major employers might have deals with big brands to get you a better price. Apple, Microsoft, and other companies offer student discounts that can save money if you qualify.
Learn to Save Money on Electronics
To save money on electronics, you need to know when and how to purchase the items you want. Being patient can help you find the best deals for the largest savings.
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