Finding the Best Deals When Buying Electronics

by David Ning · 7 comments

The holiday season is just around the corner and the year has been difficult for electronic retailers. People are putting off buying electronics knowing that come Thanksgiving the prices are going to drop like a rock to entice us to part with our money. If, for some reason, you need to buy now, be relieved that there are some great ways to get your electronics for less even without the holiday season sales.

Go Online

Not only is the internet a great place to find reviews of specific items, it is the best way to comparison shop without leaving the house. Additionally, many stores offer larger discounts online than in the store. If you are shipping your item from out of state, you also avoid paying tax, which can be 10% of the total price of an item. With many companies offering free shipping to long distance customers, the appeal of not having to drag a huge box out to your car is clear.

Refurbished or Open

These two gems are not tapped often enough. Items that were originally purchased and had some minor manufacturing defect return to their parent companies for repair. Once repaired, the product goes back on sale for a significant discount. I admit I got all the MP3 players my family uses from the refurbished rack. I saved 40% over the price of the same toy when purchased new. No one has complained, and more than a year later they players are doing just fine.

Open box items are often returned to the store in perfect working order. Perhaps someone measured incorrectly or made a large purchase without consulting their spouse. Whatever the reason, the item is returned, often unused to the store and rather than return it to inventory the store now offers a significant discount to have you take it off their floor. The item will have the same guarantee and warranties that any other new product carries.

Avoid the Extras

Extended warranties and service plans will add costs with remarkable rapidity. If you do your research and check out reviews on consumer information sites you will know before you start your search which items ranked best. Picking for well regarded items, evaluated by unbiased sources will help you save money in the long run when it comes to repairs or replacement.

Heading to a Store

Be prepared to negotiate if you do decide to head to a real bricks and mortar store. Gone are the days when a price was quoted and you either took it or left. Today, if you are polite, you can at least ask for a discount. Remember, retailers need to get models off the shelves if they are going to have a happy holiday season and that gives you a bargaining chip. The worst that can happen is they say no and you move on.

There is simply no reason for anyone to pay the full retail price of any electronic item anymore. Between rebates, refurbs, coupons, and comparison shopping, you can find just about anything at a range that will match your budget. Patience is crucial to finding a good price on the item you want.

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  • Donald says:

    When searching online for prices, be sure and start at the manufacturers site first…ya never know what you might find and you also can get the lasted model information on thing…Amazon has a lot of customer reviews on stuff but as always – be wary as there are review shills around the web…and many articles and selling company reviews on things are just paid advertisements just like magazine and newspaper articles…

  • money_mom says:

    I’m not really planning to buy a new gadget although they really are tempting; but yes, online searching can really lead you to better deals. I learned my lesson the hard way when I was skeptical about online deals. I was really afraid of getting my prepaid card hacked that’s why I highly avoided it. But then my cousin told me to stick to good sites and there wouldn’t be a problem at all. I haven’t installed the google extension yet but I’ll do it later after posting this comment. Nice post, didn’t even know that refurbished things work well too. I’ll look into it again when I have enough fast money to buy me some more epic electronics.

  • Cd Phi says:

    I use tmobile as my cell phone provider and I ALWAYS buy refurbished phones from them. I can get a blackberry for $20, seriously. I’ve never had a problem either w/ a refurbished phone so use your resources wisely. I wish I had found out about them re-selling refurbished phones earlier.

  • Greg McFarlane says:

    There are American retail stores that let you haggle? Please tell us where these stores are.

    • MoneyNing says:

      Maybe not the national chains but there are tons that will negotiate (some of them are bigger than you think).

      It never hurts to try, especially when it’s something like a open boxed item or a TV that is on sale at their competitor.

  • Greg says:

    Buying online is the way to go. If you are using the Google Chrome browser, there is an extension you can install called priceblink. If you go to a site to buy something, it will compare the price to other sites and tell you who has the best deal. I highly recommend it.

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