Top 10 Ways to Save Money When Buying a Computer
When purchasing a new computer, there are many aspects potential buyers will want to take into consideration before laying down money on any particular model. The specs of computers can be confusing for many, so understanding when a particular model is a good deal and when it is not is important. For consumers who are looking to purchase a new computer in the near future, these ten guidelines are a great way to save money on any computer system.
1. Purchase a refurbished computer system.
One of the best ways to save money on a new computer system is by purchasing a refurbished computer. Refurbished computers are those that initially failed the quality control check and had to be rebuilt to meet the manufacturer’s specifications. Because of this initial failure, these computers are usually anywhere from 5% to 25% cheaper. Before purchasing a refurbished computer, make sure it was certified to pass the manufacturer’s quality control checks and that some sort of warranty is provided, even if it is not as long as the standard computer warranty.
2. Take purchasing time into consideration.
For consumers who are not in a hurry to get a new computer, purchasing around the holidays can net significant discounts when compared to purchasing in other parts of the year. Manufacturers and retail outlets often discount their products severely starting around Black Friday, so a consumer who waits until then to purchase a new computer will likely get a better deal than the consumer who purchases in July.
3. Buy a less powerful computer and upgrade it.
Some computer components such as RAM are at record low prices. Manufacturers and retail outlets always have mark up on the computers they sell, especially those with better specs. By purchasing a computer with 2GBs of RAM instead of 4GBs and upgrading to 4GBs yourself, consumers can often save quite a bit of cash. A decent RAM upgrade in today’s market usually doesn’t cost more than $30.
4. Look for manufacturer rebates.
Many online computer retailers often have computers available that come with a manufacturer’s rebate. These deals are made with retailers when a manufacturer wants to move a specific model in order to get it out of circulation. By offering rebates, consumers are more likely to buy and receive cash back, which moves the computers more quickly than selling them at full price. Rebates are tax-deductible for the company which is why many offer them, especially around the holidays.
5. Build your own computer system.
For consumers who are comfortable putting their own PC together, purchasing the parts individually and assembling them at home is often a better option than paying the high prices that manufacturers and retail outlets tack on their products. Building a custom computer can be a very rewarding experience, as the consumer gets exactly what he or she wants from their system. Each part is typically covered under a manufacturer warranty as well, so there is no worry should a component fail.
6. Purchase second-hand using the Internet.
When a person upgrades their laptop or desktop computer, if it is not given to a family member, it is often put up on auction sites like eBay in order to help recoup some of the cost of the upgrade. Because these systems are typically a few years old, they are discounted depending on several factors, including condition, operational functionality, and the seller’s own discretion. Consumers who don’t mind owning second-hand products can often get great deals this way.
7. Shop around before purchasing.
Consumers who have their heart set on a specific computer model can often benefit greatly by doing some comparison shopping to find the outlet that offers the best deal on the computer. Google Shopping Trends can be a great way to check the price fluctuation of a computer to determine if it is currently at a high or a low. Browser addons like PriceBlink can tell you if a product is available cheaper somewhere else on the web.
8. Keep personal needs in mind for computing.
One of the biggest mistakes a consumer can make is purchasing a computer that will never be fully utilized. If a consumer only checks email and reads various websites throughout the day with some light word-processing thrown in, then a computer that is capable of playing games is not needed. Save money by purchasing exactly the right amount of hardware to get the job done. Upgrading is cheap.
9. Do not purchase extras such as extended warranties.
When purchasing a computer from a retail outlet, many times an extended warranty is offered to the consumer. These are usually an additional year of repairs, but with as quickly as the technology world moves, it’s likely that the consumer will want an entirely new computer within a year’s time, instead of fixing any problems that may occur. Most computer problems either happen at the beginning of the computer’s life cycle, or at the end when a warranty is already out of date. Therefore, extended warranties are a waste of money.
10. Frequent discount websites that offer daily deals.
Finally, if a new computer is an offhand thought and a consumer can wait, then daily deals websites like Woot.com can be a great way to save on a new computer. These websites offer a single product for a day at severely discounted prices. Many times the product is a new computer or tablet. Consumers who browse these websites can get great deals on these items by simply waiting to find them, if time is a luxury.
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