Here are ways to save on a computer purchase: 1- Buy for longevity, 2- Bundle related items for a discount on the consolidated purchase, 3- Skip the extended maintenance contract, and 4 – Compare all-in prices.
A recent article covered 1- Buy for longevity.
2 – Bundle related items for a discount on the consolidated purchase.
There are discounts to be had by bundling multiple items into a single large purchase. You’ll need software including security software, Office suite, accounting products, games, photo software, music products. Services such as Internet service and repair service. Hardware such as wireless router, printer/copier/fax machine, toner or ink, bigger better monitor, extension cords and power strips. Anyone planning to use the Internet needs to ensure they have appropriate security protection.
You may receive a discount by purchasing everything at once (you can always ask), and if you have the shop install everything for you, doing it all done at once saves money.
It’s not necessary to replace everything when you buy a new computer. Monitors, printers, cords and power strips typically last longer than computers; if yours are still meeting your needs, don’t replace them.
3 – Skip the extended maintenance contract.
You will most likely have the opportunity to buy extended repair services at time of purchase. These service contracts are lucrative for computer stores and dealers; it’s usually less expensive for you to bring it back to the shop and pay as problems occur than to buy the service contract up front. That’s not to say that all maintenance contracts are bad. They can be the right answer if you know that you are in a situation where extra help is likely to be needed. Ask what the rate is for repairs and compare that rate to your history of needing repairs. Keep in mind that the person selling you the contract has an extra incentive to sell you this service.
4 – Compare all-in prices.
It makes sense to think through the expected total cost and compare 2 or 3 options from different sources — online, different stores, different manufacturers. It’s easy to go online to Apple.com or HP.com or a good reseller’s site; it’s easy to go to a big box store such as Best Buy or a local shop like DC Parts in Lakewood, and compare prices including all the software, the carrying case, prepaid maintenance. Estimate the “total cost of ownership” for the technology you’re buying, and compare the totals for different products you’d consider.
More on that in this article which looks print-copy devices.
Home systems can be great fun — enjoy yours!
Copyright © 2010 Susan J. Walker