Save on Laptops: Discount Code vs Offers?

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Need a few tips on how to save some money on a new laptop? Try these ideas for size…

Contents:

Staff discounts

Sales

eBay

Computer fairs

Refurbished laptops

Haggle Like A Pro

Free Office Software

Do You Want Vouchers Or Simply Money Off?

When it comes to choosing between voucher codes and deals, we’re spoilt for choice. Statistics show that every day approximately 300 Billion emails are sent. It’s estimated that 20% of those emails contain some form of voucher or offer which equals about 1.8 billion per day! What kind of person are you? Do you prefer trawling the web looking for notebook deals? Or do you use a the fabled “exclusive discount code” designed to save you money on laptops and other gadgetry?

Discount codes abound but, by simply pasting that voucher in at the checkout, you could be missing out on some of the best deals.

It’s only fair to say that computer hardware and software pricing is an an all time low.A decent spec PC will set you back a few hundred pounds. You can add a little more if you want to add in a large monitor. Software updates tend to be fairly cheap (Microsoft Windows 7 costs about £90+. Apple charges a measly £30-ish to download their latest operating system. So, what’s the problem?

MONEY! Even if we weren’t living through probably the worst ever credit crunch we all still like bargains. Even if that funky new desktop only costs £300 we still want to get some money off. But prices are so low that it’s not possible to for the retailer to knock the price down any further, right? Wrong!

Hardware is cheap. It’s even cheaper when a shop buys in bulk. In fact, on a new laptop, a retailer will, on average, make a profit of 10% (gross). This gives some room for savings.

Easy Pickings On Your New Notebook

What’s the easiest way to save on laptops? Discount codes and vouchers are the first things that spring to mind. But is this the best way to get the bargain you’re after? Are there better ways of cutting the cost of your new computer? If you’re prepared to do a little work, yes. Time to chip away at hose profits the retailers are making and put some of it back in your pocket. Here’s a 7 point guide to saving money on your next laptop.

Alternatives to discount codes:

Staff discounts

If you work for any kind of retail store you’ll probably have some kind of staff discount available to you. If you have a friend or family member then it’s time see if they’ll use their discount to save you some money.

Tip: A little sweetener might help seal the deal so offer them a little extra cash for their efforts.

Sales:

Seasonal sales are a great place to find some cracking offers on your new laptop. In most cases, they won’t be the newest models available but is it really worth paying a premium for the very latest hardware? Unless you really do have a need some serious processing power or the best graphics card e.g. you’re a graphics designer or a serious gamer then steer clear. Laptops running Intel’s Core 2 Duo are going cheap and are more than capable of handling heavy workloads.

Best Buy:

Some of you may not have heard of Best Buy they’re an American company that specialises in bringing you gadgets, electronics, etc at bargain prices.I won’t go into the full ins and outs just head on over and check them out.

eBay:

Ever popular, eBay provides you with the ability to get goods from both the UK market and, if you’re inclined, to shop further afield. As most of you are probably aware of eBay I won’t go into the ins and outs here but do take a look at this advice: how to stay safe on eBay

Computer Fairs:

Saving money on a new laptop doesn’t mean you have to spend your days trawling the web for deals and discounts. Shopping at computer fairs can save you an awful lot of money.

A few years ago, you really had to be careful as there were some unscrupulous dealers at these events. Fortunately, most of the sharks have been forced out but you still need to protect yourself.

Refurbished Laptops

A reconditioned laptop doesn’t mean you’re buying junk! Refurbs are discounted for a huge number of reasons. Stock may have been returned to the manufacturer because it was faulty or something even more simple such as damaged packaging or scratches on the body. The manufacturer will then make good any issues found on the notebook and sell it but at a discounted price. Most refurbished products will also come with the same warranty period as that found on new products (make sure you check).

Haggle Like A Pro

To do this you’re going to need to pay a visit to your local computer store. Most retailers want to see a happy customer walk out the door with a new computer under their arm. This leaves them wide open to your terrier-like haggling skills. If you can’t beat them down, get the seller to bundle in some extras to make it worth your while.

Don’t take an extended warranty unless you’ve been offered something in return. Do you want that funky, wireless mouse and keyboard? Then get it thrown in as part of the deal. If the retailer won’t give it you for free at least try to get some money knocked (half price sounds like a good figure to me).

Take A Leaf Out Of Home Owners Books

I’m guessing that you’ve seen programmes such as DIY SOS where home owners invest heavily in their house. Well, you can do the same with your laptop. Buying from somewhere like eBay can, if done properly, save you a bundle of cash. Before you rush out and grab the cheapest model possible, take your time to assess how easy it will be to upgrade the hardware to give it a bit more ‘oomph’!

Here’s an example of a recent laptop I bought and upgraded:

Laptop make/model: Advent 9517 with a 17” screen
Processor: Intel Pentium Mobile 1.5 GHz CPU
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Hard drive: 80GB
Price: £69

Upgraded components:

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo – £30 from eBay
Memory: 4GB RAM – £69 from Maplin
Hard drive: 120 GB – £55 from Maplin

For the rather frugal sum of £223, I have a 17 inch laptop with a pretty decent spec. I know there are a lot of notebooks that sell for less but it’ll be pretty hard to get the hardware specifications shown above for the same price. In fact, if you can get something better for less then let me know in the comments at the end of this article.

If you’re not sure how, or if, you can upgrade then ask someone that has some technical experience.

I’m going to write up a guide on laptops upgrades soon where I’ll cover off the most suitable models. Keep your eyes peeled.

3 thoughts on “Save on Laptops: Discount Code vs Offers?

  1. Do you have anything against refurbished computers?? I have saved a lot from buying refurbished items and the products I get have always been good quality and last longer than some things I have bought new. I have a Dell Optiplex GX520 that I bought refurbished for about $119 once during a holiday deal about two years ago from ‘ElectroComputerWarehouse’. It still works great and it serves its purpose. It’s great for surfing the net, watching DVDs and other tasks..

  2. There are many advantages of buying a refurbished laptop for someone who requires more computing power or desires higher-end model for less money. Save not just money but your frustration by buying low-end cheap laptops that can easily handle emailing and web browsing … I was also looking for a Refurbished Laptop.. Bought HP NC6400 from “ElectroComputerWarehouse” and the product id is “hp_nc6400″.