Technology, you either love it or hate it but whichever way you feel, I'm sure you'll agree that we need it more these days than ever before. I personally love technology because of all the amazing things it can do to save me time and, in many aspects, money too. With such an abundance of technology available in the market for purchase though, it’s often difficult to provide advice on how to save money on each individual item. Therefore, I've decided to instead note down all the common ways from my experience in which money can be saved when hunting around for a piece of technology from the relevant set of retailers.
Whether it’s a mobile phone, television or electric drill, the majority of tech comes with certain offerings or equivalent competitors. So, by applying the following hacks to your next technology purchase, you might be able to save yourself a tidy little sum that should deservedly be sitting in your pocket - not the retailer's.
#1 - Avoid Contracts where Possible
If you’ve just seen an awesome deal on a new phone that you want and it requires you signing up to a contract, seriously consider the implications of that decision. The discount for going on a contract may seem incredible, but you could be locked in for 12 to 24 months and nothing comes for free in this world. Before you decide, you need to compare the price of buying the phone unlocked and getting the best priced PAYG sim card for the same 24-month period that you would be obligated to maintain with the initial retailer. You might just save yourself a headache plus a load of cash.
#2 - Expensive does not = Quality
I have bought HDMI cables worth $45 and I have bought ones worth $2 online and have not noticed any significant differences. More often than not you are simply paying for the brand name. I could buy an HDMI cable every month for 2 years at $2 (or $48 in total), for a similar amount to what it would cost me to buy one from Belkin for $45, but I can admit when I've made a mistake. Don’t make the same mistake that I did. Online reviews are a great way to learn about other customers’ experiences so always use these as a buying guide.
#3 - Ignore Extended Warranties
The majority of the time when you buy in-store you will be offered an extended warranty that just isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. You can pay $70 to $140 extra to buy an extended warranty on a washing machine, for example. But if you are particularly clumsy and break things often even buying an extended warranty online for $10 - $20 will save you a huge sum should you decide you really need one. Do not let the sales assistant pressurise you into it either.
Fact: Australian consumer law does not specify exact dates after which a warranty will expire so the value of your extended warranty is outrageously questionable, even at the best of times.
#4 - Deal Hunting Saves $$$
Numerous sites across the web have deals on all types of products. A quick half hour on the Internet could save you tens if not hundreds of dollars. Buckscoop for example have tech deals on all the time - such as these recent discoveries:
- Chromecast for $14
- JBL Micro wireless speaker for $1
- Save $200 off a Mercedes-Benz ML 350 motorised car
- Chop 15% off this Acer Windows 8.1 laptop
- Get $50 off this Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4
#5 - Refurbished Works
Most people might be a little hesitant to buy a refurbished phone or laptop because it just sounds problematic. However, if you have ever returned your iPhone or had your laptop changed due to a fault then this is generally where it ends up, on the refurbished market. Most manufacturers fix the problem and then resell the product to offset costs. Buying a refurbished Macbook Pro is probably the best way to get your hands on the Apple product without spending the big bucks for a brand new one. Most manufacturers sell refurbished alternatives so check all options before committing to brand new; more often than not you wont even notice the difference, besides the big financial savings of course.
#6 - Can you get off the Upgrade Treadmill?
How many times have you caught yourself thinking, “ooohh that looks amazing, I cant wait to get that new....”. I know I have, and I'll even admit to paying that little bit extra on my last mobile contract just to be able to upgrade sooner. The only downfall is it cost me big in the long run and it kept me committed to their contract and uncompetitive pricing.
Think pragmatically, compare what you have to what you need and if the current device provides everything you need, get the most value out of it before outlaying more of your hard earned money for a newer, shinier version, which does all the same things.
#7 - Liquidate Assets Always
Looking after your current gadgets will only make your new gadgets cheaper. Preserving the condition of your current product will help you sell if for more and offset the cost of your new device. When it comes to selling, benchmark your product against others on the market, because one man's junk can be another man's riches.
#8 - Timing is Everything
Technology prices fluctuate sporadically across the year depending on what time of the year it is and what the expected level of demand is likely to be. If you want something immediately after launch, expect to pay big bucks; this also goes for Christmas and other times of the year. I personally have waited 4 months after launch for every Samsung Galaxy smartphone that I have bought and have saved myself roughly $400 over the past 4 years as a result.
A good time to pick up a slightly older device is around June because this is the end of the financial year and tech companies will want to sell stock to provide space for newer products. This is why we have numerous tech deals on Buckscoop right now.
#9 - Research Pays Dividends
Technology, technology, which one you choose is really the question? Apple or Samsung, Microsoft or LG, the options are endless and the prices even more so. Through research you can find out the best product that is suitable for you and your needs before you enter a store and have a sales assistant trying to tell you otherwise. Wasting money on tech that doesn’t do all that you need it to is, firstly, a waste of money and, secondly, such a hassle to go back with your receipt to customer services to request an exchange or refund. Think wisely before you buy and if you hate reading, check out YouTube video comparisons to speed things up.