Cheap electronics 2 – Hunting for the bargain

Cheap electronics – How to shop and get the best price

As I mentioned in the previous post, I like electronics, especially cheap electronics. So, if you want to get cheap electronics, how do you do that?

Start with the manufacturer. Many manufacturers will refurbish and resell their own products. They definitely know their products, know where to get the parts to repair them, and know how to make sure they work correctly. After all, they built the unit in the first place!

Apple is one of the best known examples of manufacturers offering quality refurbished products. I looked at purchasing a refurbished MacBook Pro, and that was exactly where I went. With OEM parts, and Apple staff installing, you know it will be done right. I have been very happy with my HD Sony TV, and have been told that Sony is another company who offers refurbished products. So, start at the manufacturer’s website and look for “discounts”, “specials”, or “refurbished” items when looking for cheap electronics.

Wait for special pricing. Certain times of the year are best for buying cheap electronics. Black Friday is probably the best known single day, but retailers and manufacturers often run specials at other times of the year. They may be planning to clear out inventory, or perhaps a new product is about to be released. Look on their website for a place to sign up for “email specials”.

Warranty Coverage. A benefit of buying new is the warranty. When you buy new, the manufacturer and sometimes, the retailer, provides a warranty on the product, covering the parts and labor to repair. The warranty may simply provide a replacement unit. Either way, it is good coverage for your new cheap electronics.

Refurbished items may also come with a warranty. It may not be as long as the original warranty, say six months to a year, instead of two or three years. However, it does provide some reassurance that if the repair was done poorly, you will not be stuck if it dies next week. Usually, buying from the manufacturer will provide the best warranty on the refurbished item.

Research your options. Don’t impulse buy if you really want to get cheap electronics. Search Google, Amazon, or cnet are places to look for reviews. eBay is a great place to find pricing information, especially if you are considering buying refurbished or used. You may find a different product or manufacturer which could suit your needs even better.

Know when to buy new. There are some items to avoid buying refurbished. Printers, TV’s, and external hard drives come to mind. Printers will be difficult to get completely clean, TV’s are bulky and hard to ship safely, and external hard drives are so easy to drop or damage in shipping. Even if the manufacturer refurbishes these, I would strongly consider buying new.

Buy a bundle. Sometimes, a manufacturer or retailer will put together a bundle or a package deal, such as a desktop computer, a monitor, and a printer. These bundles can be a good deal, but if possible, try to get the exact specs and model numbers to be sure they have the specs you need.

How do you get the best deal on cheap electronics? Tell us about your experience!

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