The end of summer is almost here, which means not only is it time to go back to school, but your student probably needs a computer and retailers want your money! So the goal here is to give your student the best computer while giving the retailer as little as possible to accomplish this. Thankfully, there are a few ways to save money on your next computer.
Upgrade your current computer
The best way to provide a computer for your student is to upgrade your current computer. There are many ways to improve your computer’s performance without spending a lot of money. Some of the ways to do this are to remove unused programs and files, defrag the hard drive, scan for viruses or malware, and upgrade your RAM. All of these with the exception of a RAM upgrade are free. However, you can find great deals on RAM and other accessories at places such as TigerDirect.com and Ebay. I recently bought some RAM at TigerDirect and saved over 70% off retail stores such as Best Buy.
Save money with refurbished computers and electronics
You can save money by purchasing refurbished electronics. Refurbished electronic items aren’t always used; in fact, most items sold as refurbished are new items. Sometimes they are marked as refurbished because they are floor models, customer returns, open box items, discontinued models, factory seconds, overstocked items, or other minor reasons. Refurbished electronics almost always come with a full warranty, but be sure to read the fine print and buy from a reputable dealer. You can find great deals on refurbished items at places such as brick and mortar retailers and online outlets such as TigerDirect.com, Ebay, Amazon, the Apple Store, Best Buy, and more.
Shop at discount computer retailers
One of my favorite places to shop for electronics is TigerDirect.com, a discount retailer that regularly features amazing deals on various electronic items. The have a wide variety of accessories and replacement parts, but the best deals are often on refurbished computers and other electronics. The refurbished items they sell all come with a standard warranty, and you can save hundreds of regular retail prices. You can also try online retailers such as Ebay, NewEgg, and Amazon to save money.
Check for school or employer discounts
Many schools and companies off discounts if you purchase a computer through their program. They are often able to negotiate these deals because they make bulk purchases through these companies. Other times, the companies simply extend the offer to large schools and companies in the hope more business will come their way. You can usually find a savings of 10-20% on computers and accessories.
Search for deals from specific companies
If you know the brand of computer you want, try finding a deal with their company. Here are a few ways you can save money with specific companies:
Buy a Dell Business Computer (you don’t need to own a business to do this). When I bought my computer a few months ago, I researched several options including various PCs and several Macs. I liked the MacBook, but didn’t like the price and having to learn a new system. In the end I discovered I could buy a comparable PC from Dell for about half the price as a Mac.
The best deal I could find was from Dell’s business unit, where their computers are actually cheaper than their home computers. Using Dell’s “build a PC” feature on their website, I built two computers with identical specs – one each from their Home Computers section (Inspiron), and one from their small business computers section (Vostro). In the end, the small business computer (Vostro model) was about $200 cheaper, and didn’t come with any trial software or annoying popups that Dell is notorious for.
I asked a friend of mine about this (he works for Dell) and he said they offer better deals on business computers for several reasons. Most businesses buy more than one computer and they want to buy everything in one place – software, support, peripherals, etc. So they charge less on the hardware and make up for it elsewhere. If you are looking for a Dell, take advantage of this! Here are more tips on how to get the best deal on a new dell computer.
Deals on Macs and other Apple products (including a FREE iPod touch and Printer with Apple Education Discount). I used the following tips to save money on a MacBook Pro when I changed from Windows to the Mac OS. Apple just announced their back to school promotion for students and teachers. Now through September 15, 2008, qualified individuals can get a free iPod touch and $100 printer rebate with the purchase of an Apple Computer. To take advantage of this deal, you need to buy a new Mac (eligible computers include the MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iMac), an iPod (Touch or nano), and a printer (optional). The free iPod comes in the form of a rebate, as does the $100 savings on the printer. To take advantage of this deal, visit this link: Buy a Mac for college and get a free iPod touch, or your local Apple Store.
You can also get great deals on Apple computers and products:
- Save up to $100 on a New Mac and Printer!.
- Save big on a Refurbished iPod. (Currently $179, down from $249).
- Shop Apple Store for Clearance items.
- Guaranteed Refurbished Macs at a great discount: Apple certified. Good as new. Save on a certified refurbished Mac. Free Shipping.
The most important thing to do is shop around. There are plenty of ways to save money.