Money

8 Smart Ways to Save Cash on Electronics

From tablets to cellphones, buying tech gadgets can be expensive! So FIRST asked the experts for their secrets on how to score amazing deals on everything.

1. Bundle and save.

“If you’re buying more than one home appliance, you can save at least 20 percent by bundling, or purchasing three or more appliances from the same store. To get the savings, simply ask the salesperson, ‘What kind of discount can you offer me if I buy more than one?’ It’s worth it to the store to get your business, so they’re more than likely to offer you a deal.” — Dan DiClerico, home expert at HomeAdvisor

2. Cash in by trading in.

“Sites like Gazelle offer money or Amazon gift cards in exchange for your pre-owned devices. They also sell certified pre-owned smartphones, tablets, MacBooks and more for up to 50 percent less than other stores or websites. Each device has passed a 30-point inspection and comes with a 30-day risk-free return policy, so no worries about buying pre-owned.” — Trae Bodge, shopping expert 

3. Buy items in a “flash.”

“I’ve generally found that online flash sales are the best way to get the most up-to-the-minute deals on electronics. Check out the daily deals at Amazon, Woot, and Best Buy. These deals only last for a limited time—anywhere from a few hours up to 24 hours. Basically, as soon as the item sells out, the sale is over. So be ready to buy as soon as you see an item you want or you’ll miss out!” — Kyle James, founder of Rather-Be-Shopping.com

4. Find the best prices locally.

“With apps like ShopSavvy and RedLaser, you can find the best local pricing on any item that has a bar code. Just scan the product to get price listings at various stores. And at BrickSeek, you can enter a product name or type in the digits under the bar code to find prices at stores in your area or online. For example, while out shopping for a Keurig coffee maker, which retailed for $100, I found one at another store for $55.” — David Bakke, money saving expert at Money Crashers

5. Get a hassle-free price adjustment.

“There’s nothing worse than finding a better price after you pull the trigger and buy a tech gadget. That’s why it’s smart to sign up with Paribus. Simply give the site access to your email account and it will review your online order confirmations and track prices of items you’ve bought. Then if Paribus finds a lower price within the retailer’s allowed adjustment period, they’ll email the retailer and request a price adjustment, which is usually honored. The refund will be automatically returned to the credit card you used to purchase the item within three to seven business days.” —Kyle James

6. Shop on Mondays

“Timing it right can help get you a great deal on electronics. And it’s a great idea to shop on Mondays. The reason: Manufacturers often release rebates and discounts for tech gadgets like cellphones, laptops, video games and TVs on Mondays. The retailers, in turn, put items up for sale to sweeten the deal by passing savings on to the consumer. The only hitch: Manufacturers offer these deals because they want to move items, so if you wait until later in the week, the inventory might sell out.” —Joanie Demer, The Krazy Coupon Lady

7. Snag word-of-mouth savings on forums.

“You’ll find deals for just about everything on user-generated forums like Slickdeals, where users post sales they’ve seen around the web, but the best selection is on gadgets. And the deals featured on the home page have gotten high ratings from other users, which means these deals are legitimate — and they’re usually pretty substantial savings.” — Jeff Rizzo, deal expert

8. Tap into the best deals on cellphones

“If you’re in the market for a smartphone, check eBay. The selection is endless: You can find new, unlocked phones that will work with any carrier for 25 percent less than you’d pay if you bought it from a cellphone carrier. You can even look for manufacturer refurbished items from top sellers that don’t collect sales tax (check the ‘shipping and payments’ tab to see if the seller collects tax in your state — sellers that don’t own a commercial business don’t need to). And if there’s a problem with the phone, it’s easy to get your money back since eBay always takes the buyer’s side in disputes. In fact, eBay will issue a full refund if the phone purchased through the site isn’t exactly as the seller described.” — Jeff Rizzo

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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