Picture this: You badly wanted to get the latest iPhone or MacBook as a gift for yourself, but your budget is limited. So, you browsed for online computer stores and found a decent website selling the latest MacBook at a massive discount. However, you are not certain if this is truly the best deal at the moment.
Online shopping can be tricky, especially for items that are not purchased frequently. Checkout these 8 shopping tips to help you score the best deal and options when buying online or in-store.
1. Check-out multiple stores for model variety
Savvy shoppers check-out several stores before pulling the trigger on a purchase. They know that large chain stores or big online outfits may have deals on base models, but often lag configurations for more RAM, larger drives and other key options when shopping for a computer. Explore and visit more than one website to compare prices, models, payment options, etc. Only choose stores with a good reputation for product, repair, return, and refund policies.
2. Compare prices
It is one thing to look for the best price, but be sure to keep an eye on bundle deals that might include extra accessories, services and warranty options that can save $$.
It is relatively easy to compare prices online, but keep in mind that:
- It is not uncommon that items/SKU are not always matching your search, but are yet displayed in your search results. This can happen when a mistake is made by the advertiser of entering the incorrect item number.
- Price comparison websites can be a helpful tool to identify different merchants, but do keep in mind that those websites often work on a commission bases - so they might not display the most reasonable offer.
3. Keep an eye out for discounts and deals
As with all items, tech prices surge and fluctuate throughout the year. Discounts and deals vary, depending on what product you buy. Take advantage of price guarantees offered by merchants during the holidays.
4. Purchase products with free upgrades and updates
Reduce the operation cost of your computer by selecting a brand like Apple. You get constant software updates like Pages, Numbers and Keynote as well as the Operating System for free, making your device feel new every time when you install the newest versions.
5. Transact with a store that offers a long-term warranty
Shop warranties ensure that vendors take care of any mechanical failure with the gadget within the designated period. A good warranty usually lasts one year, although stores often offer extended warranties for several years.
6. Read authentic reviews
Wise customers know to check product reviews and comments before buying an item. Be sure to look for verified reviews as some merchants post fake reviews to level the playing field.
The good thing is that apps can already detect a likely fake review on a product. For instance, Trustpilot has a filter for possible fake reviews, leaving you with only authentic testimonials.
Another thing to consider is that not all reviews are helpful, so read them thoroughly and check if the feedback is really about the product or something else.
7. Consider getting used or refurbished computers
Refurbished MacBook Pros have been returned, repaired, cleaned up, and tested to be in great working condition and come in a variety of cosmetics grades. They function as well as a new one and come at a much lower price. If you’re looking for quality devices but are not interested in brand-new, super expensive ones, then buying refurbished ones could be for you.
8. Choose a reliable, knowledgeable tech vendor
Ensure you are dealing with stores or providers that understand what they are talking about, like how their product works. They should know tech like the back of their hand.
Sure, price is one part of the equation, but what about support and service post-sale? If things go wrong with your purchase or a repair becomes necessary, the vendor should have your back. Time is money, and clients expect timely and convenient service. Here, your ideal vendor should offer in-house tech and support when resolving customer queries and concerns. Reputable vendors have certified and knowledgeable technicians who won’t waste your time.
Most computer manufacturers certify a network of authorized repair/refurbisher providers. Those providers will have all the training and access to factory parts - so be sure to check if your tech vendor is part of an authorized network.