I once went 4 years without updating my phone. The reason why I finally gave up my iPhone 5 was that the screen was so cracked, it would make my fingers bleed. I’m one of those upgrade-only-if-absolutely-necessary kinds of people. It’s economical and it works for me.
However, if you happen to be one of those I-need-the-latest-version-of-everything kind of people, then fear not.
Here are our top money saving tips for your next tech purchase.
1. Trade in Your Old Phones
In the market for a new phone? A lot of phone companies have trade-in programs, where you can trade-in your old electronics for new ones.
Whilst your Samsung Galaxy S8 won’t magically become an S20, the retailer will take your old device and give you a couple hundred dollars to put towards a new phone.
It’s an easy way of turning your old phone into cash. Plus, you’ll help eliminate electronic waste, which is a huge win for the environment. Virgin Mobile, Telus, Best Buy, and Apple all have trade-in programs so do your research and see where you can get the best deal for your out-of-date devices.
2. Sell Your Old Tech
Parting with your old electronics can make you feel some type of way. However, if you’re willing to let go of the tech you don’t need, then you can save a few hundred on your new purchase.
There are a few different ways you can go about getting money for your old stuff:
- Use a buyback service (for phones): Buyback services will do just that – buy your phone from you and give you cash in exchange. These services are usually websites, like Gazelle which is a good choice if you’re looking for an easy way to get money quickly. Simply type in the make, model, and condition of your phone to get an offer. Then ship your device for free (they cover the cost) and get paid via gift card, Paypal or check. You won’t make as much as if you were to sell it yourself, but the process is a lot easier and less time-consuming.
- Sell it yourself: This is likely to be your riskiest, but a most lucrative option. Using a platform like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or Letgo, you can make a pretty penny on your used electronics. Do some research first and see how much similar products are going for, then price accordingly. And be sure to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and be mindful of the time you’re going to have to put in to make a sale.
Sell your old laptop, phone, or TV and put that money towards your new purchase. Just make sure you’ve wiped it clean and cleared all of your information off it before hand.
3. Go Generic
Whether you’re shopping for groceries or buying electronics, there’s always money to be saved with the generic brand. Is it always the same quality? Well…it depends.
With some products, like TVs, brand name electronics consistently outperform their generic counterparts. The same holds true for things like printer ink, phone charging cables, and most other big-ticket purchases.
For other products however, generic seems to be okay. This is especially true of accessories like electronic cables, or HDMI cables. That’s because they’re regulated with companies having to meet specific requirements before they’re allowed to sell them.
Generic laptop batteries also seem to stand up to their brand name competitors, and could be a good option if you’re trying to save money.
I like to rely on internet reviews and the wisdom of Reddit to tell me whether I should go generic or brand name. They haven’t been wrong yet.
4. Buy at the Right Time
If your purchase isn’t time-sensitive, holding out for deals and sales can save you a ton of money!
Big-ticket purchases like televisions, laptops, computers, and appliances can be marked down by hundreds of dollars at certain times of the year.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the best times to buy:
- After the newest model comes out: Maybe you’re not committed to having the newest version, just a better version than what you have now. In that case, wait until after the latest release and buy the (recently marked down) older model. This will usually mean buying products during the Spring, holiday season, or back to school time.
- Amazon Prime Day
- Black Friday (November): No surprises here. Brave the crowds and head out on Black Friday for some killer deals on electronics. Some stores will also have sales a few days before and after, so keep an eye out for those. If you’re lucky, you can score an iPhone for $45 from Walmart.
- Cyber Monday (November): Maybe you don’t want to be elbow to elbow with people in line at Walmart Friday morning. Wait a couple days for Cyber Monday and save money on electronics in the comfort of your own home.
- Boxing Day (December): Otherwise known as Canada’s Black Friday. Do Christmas a day later this year and save hundreds of dollars on that new TV. It’s a good back up in case you didn’t get that one thing you really wanted (airpods, mom…airpods).
- Back-to-school time (July-August): This is the time when companies are really trying to make it really easy for students to make the most of school. But, you don’t need to be a student to score great deals at Back to school time! Piggy-back on those deals and you could get a new laptop for a lot less.
Waiting until the right time to make those bigger purchases can make a world of difference in price.
5. Change The Way You Pay And Use Discounted Gift Cards
You’ve done your research, you’ve looked for the best deal, and you’re ready to make a purchase. There’s just one thing left to do – buy a gift card at a discount. Buying a gift card on Moola can get you deals and bonuses that stretch your dollar and make your money worth more.
Stack your gift cards with sales and you’re on your way to a whole lot of savings. Download the app and check out all the brands we’ve got in our marketplace to see where you can save some money.
6. Sign Up For Newsletters for Money Saving Discounts
It pays to sign up for newsletters.
Signing up for newsletters not only gets you access to exclusive deals and coupons; it also ensures you’re the first to hear about any sales.
The Best Buy newsletter boasts you’ll be the first to hear about the “hottest deals, coolest new products, and exclusive sales events”.
That sounds like saving money to me.
7. Buy Refurbished Devices
Nowadays, you can get almost anything used, including electronics. Just a quick Craigslist search for iPhones in my area gets me over 3,000 results.
Buying used electronics is a great way to keep up the circular economy and stick to your budget. And if you don’t need the latest and greatest model, it can be a solid money-saving option.
Here are some places to check out if you’re looking for used tech:
- Certified pre-owned and refurbished phones: This is going to be your safest option for ensuring high quality, used products. Certified pre-owned electronics are products that were used and then returned to the manufacturer for whatever reason. The products then undergo strict inspection to make sure they’re up to standards. Refurbished products are similar in that they’ve been inspected and are guaranteed to be in good condition. You can find certified pre-owned and refurbished electronics everywhere, like Best Buy, Apple, Walmart, and websites like Gazelle or Refurb.me. It may be a bit more expensive then buying it off someone directly, but you can be sure that the quality will be there.
- Facebook marketplace, Craigslist, Kijiji, ebay: Like selling products, buying products on these platforms is both your riskiest and cheapest option. Risky in that you can’t ensure the quality of the product you’re getting (or the people you’ll be meeting). Cheap in that you can score some insane deals. Your best bet for these three will probably be Facebook Marketplace because there’s a lot more accountability. You can see exactly who is selling the product, which can give you a little more security and peace of mind in your purchasing. Just…make sure the product works before you buy it.
- Local stores: Depending on where you are in the world, there are usually some local stores and shops you can check out for used phones. They often sell refurbished or pre-owned phones at a decent price, the benefit being that you can walk out with a new phone that day. Do your research and shop around to find the best price on the product you’re looking for.
Used electronics can be just as good as new products these days. Do your research before you buy so you end up getting a good product (and not something that’s going to break in a few months).
8. Use Cashback Websites
Using a cashback or ebates website can help you save a few bucks when you make big purchases.
They work by giving you a percentage cash back when you make a purchase, much like a credit card would. It can be anywhere from 1% to up to 8% cash back during certain promotions.
If you’re buying a television for $700, you could get $55 cash back just for buying it through a cashback platform. And they’re completely free to use.
You’ll most likely get your cash back via PayPal, check, or gift card! Keep in mind that your money will only get sent out every 3 months, so you’ll get it on a bit of a delay. Other than that, it’s an easy and free way to save some cash.
Keep an eye out for special 2X cash back promotions and time that with your electronics purchase for even more savings.
Try These Money-Saving Tips for Your Next Purchase
I don’t know where I would be without technology. It’s not leaving my life any time soon, and I’m almost positive its not leaving yours either.
Get creative before you make that big purchase this year and save money on your new favorite gadgets.