senior computer tips
How to Save on Buying a Computer
can often be one of the largest purchases you make, aside
from home and auto, running well over $1,500 if you get a
top model. However, if your budget doesn't allow for a
purchase this large, don't fret . There are ways to
buy a computer for a bargain and keep your budget intact.
Friends and family. The first place to start
looking for a deal on a computer is from your friends and
family. Often, they've just made a new computer purchase
and are looking to get rid of their old one, for a small
price (or even free). The only way to find out is by
asking. Send out an email to everyone you know, and let
them know that you need a working computer. See what comes
back. Sure, it's not the latest model, but if all you need
to do is do some word processing, email, games,
spreadsheets and web browsing, you don't need a lot of
Other donated computers. Next, look for places
Freecycle.org) or offline that are getting rid of
computers people don't need. Often you can get a free one
that's perfectly workable. You just need to look around.
used. Again, if you're willing to forgo the
latest model (and you pay a high premium for the latest
models), you can get some great deals on used (or
"pre-owned") computers. Check your local classified ads,
Craigslist, and garage sales.
Refurbished. The best online computer sites will
take a used computer, fix it up with some new parts, and
sell it as "refurbished". These are often excellent deals,
and good quality if you go to a reputable buyer. See
this article for more info. Plus, companies like
Dell have a great refurb section with
factory-reconditioned models at a discount.
your research. If you want a good deal, you
should know what's out there, what models are good, what
should be included and what shouldn't. Spend some time
browsing some of the sites with the best deals:
other auction sites.
other online auction sites are great places to look for
new and used computers. You'll need to spend a little time
looking for a good deal, putting in bids, and seeing if
you win, but the time you spend can net you a great price
on a good computer.
Build it yourself. If you have a little technical
know-how, or are willing to put in the time to learn, you
can buy a "bare-bones" computer for $50, and then add in a
motherboard, CPU, RAM, and hard drive to get a computer
for under $300. Then you can look around for a free
monitor and peripherals, and you've got a bargain-basement
Read this for more.
Linux boxes. If you're willing to try something
other than Windows, you can get a good deal on cheap
computers sold with the
operating system. Or build one yourself (see above tip)
and then install the free Linux operating system (Ubuntu
is a popular version of Linux that's easy to use). The
great thing about Ubuntu and other Linux brands is that
they often come with lots of great software that's open
source and free, including office software suites,
browsers, games and much more.
Mini. For those who are into the Mac OS for its
aesthetics, simplicity, and lack of viruses, the
Mac Mini is a great deal. It comes in at a little over
$500, although you'll have to get peripherals such as
monitor and keyboard separately. Although this is a
bare-bones Mac system, it's perfectly usable for the
average user, and you can always upgrade with more RAM if
you'd like. Plus, it looks cool and it's so tiny that it
takes up very little space on your desk.
Don't take financing. However you buy your
computer, don't take the financing deals offered by
computer vendors. While it may seem like buying something
now and paying later is a good deal, and that it fits
perfectly into your budget (only $20 a month!), you end up
paying much more in the long run as these "deals" come
with a very high interest percentage. Save up for a few
hundred dollars and get a cheap computer on cash instead.
likes to shop intensively for computer and
computer-related deals online. Even if we end up
buying from a physical store location, we learn a lot
in the online process. It also gives us a good idea of
the price ranges for our products. One of our favorite
www.globalcomputer.com. We also go to
Dealtime allows us to compare prices at many stores.