Cheap computer equipment is easier to find than you’d think. Here’s my list of tips for buying cheap computer equipment.
- Ask for a discount. Even when something isn’t on sale, many retailers — even big ones — will drop the price. If you’re dealing with an online retailer, try phoning. (Asking for a discount helps — even for things like lower home equity loan rates!)
- Pick up a copy of your local computer newspaper or office journal. These publications often list discount computer suppliers.
- Ask your local computer retailers when they’ll be putting their computers on sale. (In some areas, they have to tell you if a sale will take place soon.)
- Look up the websites for your favourite brands and see if they have rebates listed.
- Register for the newsletters and "tell me about promotions" on electronics dealers’ sites, so you get coupons and sales info.
- If you already own a previous version of the hardware or software, check with the manufacturer to see if they will give you an upgrade discount.
- If you’re handy, buy parts and build your own computer.
- Buy computer equipment that’s a year old, so someone else has taken the depreciation hit.
- Read your local flyers for current promotions.
- Look into "best price guaranteed" policies at retailers. Some will even honor online deals, if you print out the page. I saved $100 on my DV camera this way.
- Check the product info section when you’re shopping online — sometimes the rebate info is hidden.
- Fill out warranty cards so that computer equipment suppliers keep you up to date.
- Find out if your professional association, trade group, SOHO network, alumni association or school has a discount with a computer dealer.
- Use a credit card that offers you cash back. I get 2% off all purchases when I use my card.
- Read Consumer Reports and reviews so that you don’t get stuck buying a dud, like my discount multifunction printer.
- Look to friends and family for tips on computer equipment that’s great value for money. (If you’re looking for accounting software, I recently blogged about it.)
- Consider becoming a consultant so you can write off the computer equipment you use in your business.
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"Cheap computer equipment – how to buy it" from Become a Consultant at ConsultantJournal.com.