From iPhones to tablets, from laptops to chargers, technology has become a ubiquitous component of our daily lives. Whether it’s your car’s GPS unit or your top-of-the-line headphones, our lives are becoming increasingly IT-dependent. However, our never-ending desire to be plugged in means we often tune out when it comes to saving on technology. Are you dreading your trusty laptop’s inevitable demise? Or eagerly awaiting the release of the next iPhone model? No matter what product you’re looking for, you’ll likely want to get the most performance for the least investment. Keep reading for a few tips to help you get the most out of every tech purchase.
Thanks to savvy marketing, it is all too easy to be sucked in to buying the latest model. In the meantime, yesterday’s purchases are becoming obsolete nearly overnight. This begs the question: what is so great about the newest model that you cannot live with the previous one? For quality assurance purposes, buy only from the original manufacturer or a well-known dealer. Whether it’s a cell phone, laptop or iPod, buying refurbished allows you to avoid the bugs of a newly-released model. Similarly, taking good care of your devices will save you money in the long run. They’ll hold their value for longer, allowing you to re-sell them when you’re ready to upgrade. Think of it as an investment, as you can then use that revenue to purchase a newer model.
The price isn’t always right
You have undoubtedly heard the expression “you get what you pay for.” This may certainly hold true for some aspects of technology. However, follow this adage too closely and you’ll pay a pretty penny just for the privilege of a high-end brand. “Run-of-the-mill” brands aren’t always as bad as popular belief may portray them to be. Therefore, for basic items like charging cables or other accessories, opt for generic brands. This will free up a few extra dollars for a tech purchase worth splurging on.
If you’re a student, you may be able to knock a few extra dollars off the retail price with a discount. Regardless, timing can affect how much you spend on technology. Did you know that there are particular times of the year when certain items are cheaper? For instance, late summer is an optimal time to upgrade your computer by taking advantage of back-to-school sales. Are you looking for a new digital camera? Try shopping in September. That said, Black Friday and Boxing Day are all-around ideal times to shop for any electronics.
Research is key
It pays to be an informed consumer – literally! Why waste your hard-earned dollars on numerous functions that you don’t need? Worse yet, who enjoys buying a device only to realize it doesn’t meet their expectations? Save yourself from disappointment by checking out reviews for the specific model you’re looking for. Watch out for things like short lifespan and poor assemblage. Generally, it’s worth buying a more powerful device that will last longer.
Know what you need
Keep your shopping on track by making a list of the crucial features for whatever device you’re looking to buy. This will help distinguish your “needs” (essential features) from your “wants” (nice-to-have features). You may also want to minimize your number of devices by choosing “all-in-one” models. For instance, some laptops have removable screens that double as tablets. Or maybe you can avoid the expense of an iPod by streaming or downloading music on your smartphone.
No matter your technology needs, a little research and careful consideration can save you big bucks in the end!