Just because we're heading into summer and will be spending less time in doors doesn't mean electronics are out of style. There are so many devices and related accessories out there, you're almost guaranteed to feel confused these days when trying to make a purchase. If you can cut prices here and there through sneaky means, the end result could be a much better experience, not to mention more guilt-free time with your new gadget.
Are you ready to start searching for your next phone, tablet or computer? Slow down, take a deep breath and try the following tricks to get the most while spending the least:
Don't rush in
We get it: Everyone wants to have the latest gaming system, headphones or phone when it comes out. In almost every case, though, you'll do better if you keep a clear head. Ask yourself which features are really going to matter the most to you and whether or not you can afford to wait a little bit for the prices to come down.
Acting too quickly can leave you vulnerable to changes in the market, not to mention price gouges or unnecessary extra fees. But that isn't to say you can't get a brand spanking new device – just that you should know clearly what you want and why before making your move.
"You should know clearly what you want and why before making your move."
Find legit sellers online
There's a clear benefit to being able to buy something in a store directly, but there are also often perks of being able to order from the internet, either through a retailer or a site like eBay. In all of these cases, you'll want to know that the seller is reputable and will deliver the goods you're asking for.
The Balance wrote about this for eBay specifically, saying that you should verify the seller if you can and be skeptical if any suspicious signs arise. Prefer the sellers that will accept electronic payment of some kind and don't assume that every post is real, the source said.
Here's one way to help save money: Look for energy-efficient devices! Going green is popular and many products are shifting to meet the trend, usually with the Energy Star label. As Forbes listed, you can find everything from power strips to lighting with a green bent these days, and it could all add up to lower bills and more manageable costs in the long run.
When you're doing your search, see if there's some form of low-energy alternative for your electronics of choice, or at least work on a plan to charge them around your house without sending your electricity bills skyrocketing. There are also some major smart systems, such as home modulation, that can take the same principles of green energy to your whole home for bigger savings.
"It could all add up to lower bills and more manageable costs in the long run."
Save your data, don't waste it
Obtaining your new device and using it isn't the whole battle. A phone or tablet also comes with data issues, as this can rack up money over long-term use.
Want to save some more money in day-to-day use? Look through your new phone to find any app that might automatically run or sync up and weigh down your overall usage.
Some of the best ways to maximize your data plan will take new habits as well as an app-savvy approach. CNet mentioned some of the things you can do, such as downloading music instead of streaming and using the free, secure WiFi at your home instead of roaming or even a public network.
Your phone isn't the only thing that can be smart. You can also learn a thing or two by doing the research before the purchase.