The Savvy Tech Buyer: How to Find Great Deals on Electronics


We live in a tech-centric world, and for those of us with limited resources at our disposal, it can be expensive to keep up with tech trends. Technology has become entrenched in our everyday experience, and our spending habits reflect this — the American Institute of CPAs reports that 4 in 10 American adults purchase digital media, and that the average American spends the equivalent of 17 percent of their rent or mortgage expenses on digital services. It can be hard to keep a balanced budget and keep up with your favorite tech items, but these tips can help you save big on gadgets and devices.

Pay Attention to Timing

While major holidays such as Christmas are often the best time to purchase electronics at a huge savings, it is often a feeding frenzy and you aren’t guaranteed to get the item you want. The other time of year that retailers offer big savings on tech items is the spring. Many major consumer electronics shows happen this time of the year, and retailers will often offer discounted prices on items they hope to replace with newer gadgets.

The other time it behooves you to buy is right before the new generation of a device comes out. For example, now would be an opportune time to purchase an iPad Mini 3 with the iPad Mini 4 on the way, as retailers both online and in-store will be offering discounts as the new generation of Mini heads to retail. For example, T-Mobile is currently offering the Mini 3 for zero down and then $22.08 a month for 24 months. That’s a steal.

Other developers, such as Samsung, seem to be on a nearly annual rotation of devices, so if you have your eye on a particular device, do a little research and see if an upgrade is on the way. If you can attend an electronics trade show or expo, you can not only see upcoming items but get an inside tip on when the next big item from your favorite companies will be released, and be able to better plan your tech purchases.

Use These Smart Online Strategies

There are many sites out there — RetailMeNot is a popular one — that offer discount codes for major stores. Consult these sites whenever you intend to shop online.

Coupons, however, are not the only way to extract deals from retailers. For example, if you put items you desire in your shopping cart but do not check out, many retailers will email you a discount code a few weeks later in an attempt to lure you back and complete your sale. It’s not the most reliable method, but if there’s an item you are interested in but are planning on waiting on anyway, you may snag a deal.

Following retailers on Twitter and Facebook is another excellent way to find discounts. Many retailers use social media as a way to offer unique promotions to their followers. Newsletters were once the way consumers heard about upcoming bargains, but they have, for the most part, been replaced by social media.

Finally, see if the online retailer you are shopping with offers refurbished or used versions of devices that interest you. Oftentimes, even big box stores offer refurbished electronics at a staggering discount. If you are worried about the quality of a used or refurbished item, see if the retailer offers a guarantee. Many do.


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