How To Save Money on Electronics
We live in an era of technological prosperity. Manufacturers are pumping out new gadgets seemingly every day, and we the consumers face numerous choices when buying new ones. Unfortunately, we don’t all have unlimited budgets so we have to pick and choose what items we really want. Here are a few ways to save money on electronics so you can buy more.
1. Used, Used, Used
Maybe buying a new gadget makes you feel good. Maybe you enjoy the feeling of peeling off the shrink wrap and unboxing the gadget for the first time. But those don’t really matter once they’ve happened. Soon enough only the gadget matters. After that first day, does it really matter if it’s new or used?
The video game retailer GameStop is famous for its used gear sales. They sell used everything, from video game consoles to the video games themselves, to iPods and iPads. Because they’re used they’re considerably cheaper than new models. And they’re refurbished with warranties, so you don’t have to worry about them being lemons.
Wherever you get them, though, going used is a financially smart decision. After all, any gadget is technically used once you, you know, use it.
2. Off-Brand Gadgets
Are you in the cult of Mac? That is, do you own an iPhone, an iPad, and use Mac computers? If so you’re not alone. Apple has done a great job convincing people that they need Apple products. They’re somehow superior to all competitors. There’s just one problem with that.
It’s not really true.
There are plenty of competitors on all fronts that provide gadgets as good as or better than Apple products. I recently picked up a Lenovo Tablet PC for cheap (because my wife uses my iPad constantly). It cost $200, and I can barely tell the difference. They have plenty more models, too, and they’re all cheaper than the new iPad.
If you think you need Apple products or any high-end brand, you’re just going to spend needless money. The alternatives are there — they just don’t have the marketing budget of Apple.
3. Last Year’s Model
Okay, maybe you’re offended about the above insinuation. Maybe you really do believe that Apple products are superior. OK. That’s good and fine. Maybe you want a new gadget, too. Normally that would limit you. But not in these days. Many manufacturers, but particularly Apple, offer last year’s model at a significant discount.
For example, if you want an iPad you might be better off buying an iPad 2. Apple itself prices the iPad 2 at $100 cheaper than the new iPad. And really, the new iPad didn’t add any crucial features. The screen might be more vibrant, but the iPad 2 screen is perfectly fine. You’re probably better off getting the iPad 2 and pocketing the $100.
The iPhone does this as well. When the new one comes out, the old ones get discounted. Last year I picked up an iPhone 4 for $99. I’m missing Siri, but that’s about it. At the same time, I got a device at almost the same level as the iPhone 4S for half the price.
We love our gadgets for sure, but that doesn’t mean we need to break the bank on them. There are ways to buy as many gadgets as we want without spending thousands. By taking advantage of used gear, exploring last year’s models, and going off-brand, we can afford more gadgets than if our pride made us buy brand new every time.
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