Broke but Gadget-Hungry? Try These 13 Unconventional Tech Bargain Hacks

There are many ways to lose money when buying a tech product, especially if you are not tech-savvy. When it comes down to buying something that is absolutely necessary, you may need to shop around to get the best deal. One Reddit user offered some tips on how this can be done:

Do not buy the latest version

  • Wait for a sale
  • Get financing at 0% interest rate
  • Buy certified refurbished tech

He wanted to know other tips other Reddit members used when purchasing tech products. Here are some of the best responses from this conversation;

Buy What You Really Need

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One user urges others to gauge the tech they need to buy according to their specific needs, “Being frugal with tech is more about being honest with yourself about what you really need. If your computer isn’t earning you money or isn’t your main hobby, then an i5 laptop is fine. If your cell provider doesn’t have 5g service in your area, you’d be totally good with a $200 refurbished 4g phone.”

Go With the Bare Minimum

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If it suits all your needs, go with the bare minimum, “Simple, just go with the bare minimum. Buy the cheapest phone that suits your needs, and the same goes for computers and TVs. Skip any smart home stuff, buy regular light bulbs, and ditch the smartwatch. Don’t replace anything until it’s completely broken,” says another user

Do Not Finance

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Unless you need it for your job, avoid financing, advises one person, “The only justification for financing tech is if you need it for your job and you don’t have the money upfront. Otherwise, you’re unnecessarily spending money that you don’t have.”

Invest in Durable and High-quality Products

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To avoid buying tech occasionally, go for something durable and quality, “I would recommend investing in durable and reputable products, even if they come with a slightly higher price tag. In the past, I used to buy inexpensive gaming gear without any recognizable brand, thinking it would save me money. However, I soon realized that most of these items, such as headphones, keyboards, gaming mice, and monitors priced at only 20 to 50 bucks, ended up breaking or malfunctioning within just three months.”

Try Getting a Deal or Free Stuff

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If you scout around, you may get good deals, “As around. Last year, I wanted some old laptops to learn to tinker with. I asked on a local Buy Nothing FB group. People gave me a lot of them! Most of them still worked, and I installed Linux Mint on them and eventually gave them away to people in need. Some were junk, and I took them to Best Buy for waste recycling. I kept a couple of good ones for myself.”

Use Employee Discounts

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If your workplace offers employee discounts, do not hesitate to use them, “I’ve had great luck with employee discounts. I don’t work for a tech company, but I do get employee discounts on lots of things. I’ve got great deals on TVs, laptops, and monitors. I don’t get top-of-the-line, but I can get pretty nice stuff at a good price.”

Try Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM)

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If you go directly to the source, you will save money, “If software is a tech product: Try OEM software and save money (Verify the website before buying, though).”

Go All in if the Product Earns You Money 

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One person advises users not to be too frugal if the product will earn them an income, “IT person here if you are using your tech to earn money, don’t be too frugal. Being frugal on your business laptop could lose you money. For instance, a new $700 laptop will perform a task in 5 min that a Chrome Book or older used laptop will take 30 min to do. So you save 500 bucks but lose thousands in time wasted.”

Check Out Returns

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Some returns are in excellent condition and can save you quite a chunk, “As far as refurbished are concerned, over 90% were just returns. There is nothing wrong as they weren’t even used for the most part. The exception is laptops. Most of those are corporate computers that were used constantly for several years and then replaced across the entire company. They are usually still a bargain, though.”

Save Until You Can Afford To Buy Outright

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You will get the best deals if you buy in cash, “I feel like making payments on anything is not frugal. Save every penny until you can afford the best one for the absolute cheapest and pay it so you can get the definitive best deal.”

Assemble Tech Products if You Have Such Skills

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Assembling your own products will save you a ton of money, “If you have the technical ability, buying a desktop as parts and assembling it yourself is a good way to save on a PC’s upfront cost. And long term, you can just replace parts as they need it, so you save money there as well.”

Buy Products With Features You Need

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Buy gadgets to serve your purpose, “If you need a feature, don’t skimp. I have kids and a Golden; I need a GOOD camera on my phone. I take a crap load of pictures. Can a $200 Moto take pictures? Sure. But nearly every photo that comes out of my iPhone or prior Pixels is solid, even in the dark.”

Get Warranties

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This protects you in case the product fails, “Getting a long warranty for me. My last TV, I learned the hard way. Now I know I have 5 years on mine. Same with my tires.”

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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.