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Cutting Costs: Researching Electronics Purchases

Updated on January 27, 2010

Electronic purchases can eat up large chunks of cash, so it pays to shop around for savings. Finding the best deals on electronics takes knowing exactly what you want and what you can do without. Electronics are constantly changing, as are the prices. When shopping for electronics, compare prices online and at retail stores.

Find the Best Deals

To find what you want, start with a list of features you would really like to have. Likewise, make a list of what you can do without. Visit a variety of stores and get demonstrations of what their sales people think will best suit your needs. If a salesperson is working on commission, ask their name, and be sure to buy through them, if you decide to purchase the product at that particular store. Research what you are shown, by checking consumer reports and testimonies. Don’t set your heart on a particular brand, until you have done a good job of comparison shopping. There may be several electronic items that will suit your needs equally well. Choose the one with the best price for its usability.

When shopping at retail stores, talk to the store manager in order to get the best deals. Find out about upcoming sales, coupons, rebates and new models that will help to lower the cost of the item you are purchasing. Be willing to wait a few days, in order to take advantage of the sale. Many times you can even get a discount just by asking, especially on large purchases. Many stores have a 10 percent discount, if you sign up for their credit card or customer ID card.

When shopping online, look for coupon deals and rebates. Use a price comparison site, such as, to search for the best deal on the exact product you want. Price comparison sites will tell you about current sales, rebates, free shipping and other things that will affect the cost of the purchase, so that you can get the best deal.

A word of caution: When shopping online, beware of websites that put you in contact with retailers you have never heard of. Avoid retailers who seem shady or have prices that appear to be too good to be true. If you are in doubt, look them up on the Better Business Bureau. If they have many unresolved complaints against them, steer clear.

When purchasing through an independent seller, such as on eBay or Amazon, check the seller’s ranking. Be careful when dealing with a seller that has a low ranking.


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    • Christa Dovel profile image

      Christa Dovel 7 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      Good luck finding the machine you are looking for, LiftedUp. Just last week my husband found an older CD, dual cassette, radio that was being given away, to replace the unit in his shop.

    • LiftedUp profile image

      LiftedUp 7 years ago from Plains of Colorado

      I would not have thought of talking to the store manager, nor of being able to take advantage of rebates, coupons, etc. through him. I have thought, however, of finding an older machine for my CD and cassette recordings. Still looking!

    • amulets profile image

      amulets 8 years ago from Singapore

      Yes. Nowadays you can find discount coupons that you can use to get 10 - 20% discount. That's great for saving. Thanks for your tips!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      You can't look around enough these days. I shop in three different supermarkets because something are cheaper in one than in the other.