If you're a bargain shopper looking to get the most bang for your buck, you'll find no shortage of deals on the Internet.
And that's particularly true in the fast-changing world of laptop computers, where you'll find three bargain sources right at your fingertips:
1. Clearance Sales
Just like many brick-and-mortar retail stores, many computer manufacturer websites have clearance sections. On these web pages, you can find great deals on last year's leftovers.
These are all new products (unless otherwise stated) and carry their original warranties. The only difference is that the price has been reduced.
Of course the manufacturers aren't the only ones with clearance merchandise.
Major electronics and office supply retailers also include clearance sections on their websites, where you may be able to find the laptop bargain of your dreams.
2. Refurbished Laptops
Factory refurbs represent another great bargain opportunity. It works something like this:
- Joe Blow buys a new laptop, but decides a week later he doesn't like the color.
- He takes it back to the store within the store's stated return period, so the store is stuck with it.
- Since they can't sell the laptop as new, the store sends it back to the manufacturer to be "refurbished."
- The factory inspects that laptop to make sure everything works right, and then ships it out to a retailer that deals in refurbs.
- The refurb retailer then sells it to you at a great discount off the original price.
Buying a refurb can literally save you hundreds.
3. Online Auctions
You can always logon to an auction website and find a great deal on a used laptop. However, beware!
Buying anything used carries with it some risk. Buying a used laptop carries more risk than most people should be willing to take.
When you buy a used laptop from a private party, you don't get any sort of warranty beyond DOA.
DOA stands for "dead on arrival", a common auction term that means the seller guarantees the item will work when it arrives at your house.
But what happens if your laptop dies two weeks after it arrives? You're out of luck, that's what.
There are enough bargains available on warrantied laptops that all but the most meager budgets should be able to avoid buying used.
Stick to clearance and refurb machines and you'll save yourself hundreds on your next laptop computer.
Copyright (c) 2004 HowToBuyALaptop.com.
The author, computer journalist John San Filippo, has created the definitive guide to help you navigate through the laptop jungle. Visit the site today and find out everything you need to know about laptops before you buy. Check out: http://HowToBuyALaptop.com/