9 Ways You’re Losing Money on Electronics

Electronic items are one of those big ticket purchases that you’re just going to have to make sometimes. Unless you want to live under a rock, you’re going to need a replacement computer or phone or TV sooner or later. Having to purchase electronics makes any good money-saver cringe because they’re just so expensive. But don’t despair: saving money is possible. The next time you’re up for a big purchase, don’t make these common mistakes.

Failing to Read Reviews


Money on Electronics
With the availability of the internet, you have access to thousands of people’s opinions on everything from phones to GPS devices to game systems. I’m not saying you shouldn’t form your own opinion of a brand or model based on personal experience. But don’t ignore the masses when they say, “Ours all broke within six months,” or “The image quality is terrible.”

Not Buying “In Season”

Like most products, various electronics have a time of year when they are cheaper or more likely to be on sale. For example, computers are cheaper in December because new models have just been released so the old are marked down. January is a good month as well because retailers are trying to unload what didn’t sell at Christmas. Different electronics have different “seasons” though, so do your research.

Not Price Comparing

Don’t just walk into your local electronics supplier and buy something that sounds like a good deal. If you don’t take the time to compare prices from one store to another, including online sources, you won’t know a good price when you see one.

Forgetting the Rebate Offer

Let’s just say it: manufacturers love when you forget to mail in that money-back voucher. In fact, that’s part of the whole mail-in rebate business model. They’re counting on some of us to forget so they can put money in their pockets. I think I’d rather the money be in my pocket, so I clip things like this to my calendar at home.

Skipping Maintenance

Most of us don’t think of electronics as needing maintenance, and that can be a big mistake. Getting software updates may drastically improve performance for phones and GPS systems. Failing to clean vents on a computer can lead to serious problems. Whatever an item needs, do it so you can get the best life out of those pricey devices.

Not Haggling

Many of us don’t feel comfortable with the idea of haggling, but experts say that it works with many electronics, such as TVs. And don’t be afraid to walk away during negotiations if you’re not getting the deal you want. You don’t have to be rude, but you should be determined.

Picking Up an Extra Warranty

When you have finally chosen your device and are about to pay for it, you may be offered an extended warranty. Declining the warranty may feel irresponsible, a bit like not having any insurance. But don’t be fooled: the reality is that you can’t compare, for example, car insurance with an extended warranty. Experts tend to agree that many extended warranties are not worth the cost.

Buying Traditional Batteries

If your electronic item requires batteries, like a digital camera or game system controller, you should get your hands on some rechargeable batteries. They’ll save you a lot of money in the long run and they’re better for the environment too.

Insisting on New

This tip is two-fold. First, insisting on having the absolute, up-to-the-minute new technology is a serious drain on any budget. But the other side of the coin is the new versus refurbished debate. Consider purchasing a refurbished model when you can; they are cheaper than new and often still come with a warranty.

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