Technology is expensive, especially if you’re trying to keep up with all the latest gadgets and upgrades. It may seem impossible to keep up with all the changes and stick to your budget, but there are a few tricks to help you save some money.
Look for Deals
One of the easiest (but sometimes time consuming) ways to save money on technology is to look for deals. Start by looking for deals with your cellphone provider. For example, T-Mobile has an entire page dedicated to iPhone deals.
From there, look for websites that provide coupons, discounts and other types of deals. RetailMeNot is a popular website for finding coupon codes for all types of products. If you’re a student, most universities offer technology discounts on phones, computers, software and hardware. If you belong to any organizations, such as AAA or AARP, you also may be able to find discounts and deals.
Buy Refurbished Products
If you’re not concerned about buying the absolute latest product, you can save a lot of money by purchasing refurbished tech. You can find refurbished computers, smartphones, TVs, tablets, stereos and just about any other tech items that are just as good as new, but for a much lower price. These items might be labeled as refurbished because the packaging was damaged, the box was opened, they were used as demos or because one part had a defect. Refurbished products go through rigorous testing and inspection to ensure they are fit to go back on the market, so don’t assume that you are buying rejected, faulty products, explains Lifehacker.
However, you do need to be aware of a few things before going the refurbished route. In most cases you should buy refurbished items straight from the manufacturers. They put their products through tests and inspections to make sure everything is working. You also are pretty safe buying refurbished from well-known distributors like Amazon and Newegg. Lifehacker also recommends only buying refurbished tech if it is factory certified, has a warranty, has a return policy and comes with all of the necessary accessories (chargers, cables, software).
Wait for Price Drops
If you are a tech junkie, you should learn the patterns of when items go on sale as well as the release schedule of major tech companies. Tech has seasons just like many other products; you need to learn when the slow season is so you can find the best prices.
PC Advisor provides information on the best times to buy different kinds of tech. For example, they suggest waiting until the fall to buy a new iPhone or until spring to buy a new Samsung Galaxy because that’s when the companies release their latest version. If you wait until demand dies down a little, you can save some money from cellphone providers, or you can buy the previous version at a steep discount. Consumer Reports also has information on the best time to buy specific items, such as TVs, laptops and cameras, in its month-by-month breakdown.
You don’t have to break your budget to keep up with the latest technology. Do a little research, be patient and look for the best deals online and from brick-and-mortar retailers. You’re sure to find all the items you want at an affordable price.
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