Laptops and other electronic gadgets such as our smart phones, powerbank etc are now becoming part of our daily existence. As a digital nomad, it would be quite difficult to earn a living online without having my own set of gadgets. Imagine if you don’t have your own laptop and you go to the computer shops ever day just to be able to edit pics, post articles, do some social media marketing etc. Imagine how many hours it’ll take and how much it’ll cost you on a daily basis. Luckily for us in this era, electronics are becoming cheaper and cheaper as years go by due to the fast advancement of technology and of course the increasing supply.
In the last couple of years of buying electronic gadgets as I travel, I have learned some ways on how to save money on buying laptops and other electronic gadgets. Here are some of my tips on how you could save on your next purchase:
Buy Previous Model
Buying the newly released model will definitely eat a huge chunk of your cash. Can you remember how much the Galaxy S2 or S3 cost when it was launch? Two years ago, a friend of mine bought one a couple of days after it was launched and it cost her approximately $700. Do you know how much a brand new Galaxy S2 or S3 cost now? Another friend recently bought a locally branded phone in Bangkok and it cost him $200 with a free case and a 4500MH bank. The phone alone cost approximately $300 when it was launch and he just waited around six months until the price dropped.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Samsung by mjtmail
Buying older model doesn’t always mean buying an obsolete gadget. Yeah it might be obsolete in terms of marketing perspective since you don’t see it now being advertised in various commercials and billboards but those gadgets are still definitely usable and still performs well.
Buy Refurbished (Direct from Manufacturers)
Buying manufacturer refurbished products can save you a lot of money. The manufacturers themselves refurbished some of their products and are technically considered in brand new condition. You still get the manufacturers warranty with your purchase. However, this is not available in most countries. An example is Apple.com, when you go to the US and Hong Kong website you’ll see an option to buy refurbished items. But this option is not available in other countries such as Thailand and The Philippines.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Keyboard by bigpresh
Buy Second Hand
I have bought numerous second hand electronics in the past but will advise you to be very careful in doing so if you haven’t tried it yet. Second hand items are considerably cheaper than brand new items. I highly advise hat you buy from reputable stores and ask for a store warranty. It will also be better if you’re going to buy from a trusted friend so you know that the gadget has been taken cared of and that if it has any minor defects, it will be disclosed to you.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Second Hand by kamikura
Buy Clearance Items and Demo Units
Some stores that I have visited are selling their old products and demo units with a considerable huge discount. These are previous models that are brand new and the demo units are items used in their stores. Some units might have cosmetic flaws such as scratches and minor dents but the performance is still superb. It will also come with warranty so you’re covered for a year’s time just like buying brand new items (case to case basis per store).
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Sale by jmv
Schedule Your Purchase
Sometimes your timing can give you a huge savings. Check out the website of the local electronic shops near you if they’re having a sale. Also check if there are gadgets and electronic trade fairs or exhibits happening to the places that you’ll go to. I chanced upon Commart Thailand on my last visit in Bangkok and bought a new ultrabook. I checked this laptop on the online stores in my home country and it cost approximately $700 back home and I just bought it for $545. This amount does not include the 7% VAT Refund yet so if I factor it in, it’ll be an additional savings.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Calendar by tanakawho
If you’re in the US, buying during the annual Black Friday sale could also generate you a savings on your tech purchases.
Protect Your Gadgets
To make sure that your gadget investment last for a long time, make sure to protect your gadget. You can do this by doing a variety of things. I wrote about a more detailed post about How to Protect Your Gadgets (click on the link for the article). If you can make your gadget last for a long time then you won’t be needing to spend money on it ever now and then and use your hard earned money for other stuff like travel.