Do you want to know how to get electronics and appliances for free?
Yeah, me too. 😉
Unfortunately, you aren’t going to find that secret in this blog post. However, I will tell you how we’ve saved thousands of dollars on appliances and electronics. And it’s something everyone can do with just a *tiny* bit of extra work.
I’ll start with a story.
About a year and a half ago, I finally decided to make the switch from a PC laptop to a Mac. As someone who was a diehard PC fan for her entire life, it was a big deal. I had never spent more than $500 on a laptop, so when I started seeing the prices for Macs, I panicked a little bit.
After spending about two hours at Best Buy going back and forth between each laptop, I finally decided on the MacBook Pro. There was a sale going on, so I thought it was a pretty good deal.
Right as I was about to ask the clerk to get me a new one, I had the thought to ask about open box products.
Not going to lie – the employee seemed a little annoyed that I asked. However, he pulled up his computer and found that there was an open box version of the laptop available.
With the current sale and the discount given for open box, I ended up getting it for over $500 less than I would have if I had bought it a week earlier.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago.
We just purchased our first home, and it didn’t come with a refrigerator (pretty typical.) I was perusing through Best Buy’s website, and I decided to look at their open box refrigerators. It was also during their Memorial Day sale, so everything was marked down a lot.
As I was scrolling, I spotted an open box fridge that was originally $3500. The new fridge was on sale for $2200, and it said the open box was $1600.
Forrest and I drove to that store immediately and looked at the fridge. Beyond a few scratches and smudges on the side, it was brand new. They just couldn’t sell it as brand new because it came to the store.
We spent about 30 minutes documenting every scratch, ding, and dent so we would know if any additional damange occurred. That was time well-spent, because we ended up getting the fridge delivered with a HUGE dent in the front door…and long story short, we got a brand new fridge for the open box price (though that wasn’t without some tears and stress!)
Now, if you’ve gotten this far with me, I’ll give you the condensed version of how to save money on electronics and appliances:
1) Always Ask About Open Box
Most stores will not tell you if they have open box products. Sometimes they will have them sitting out, but often, they are in a different section of the store. If they are laptops, they are usually just on the shelf somewhere. If it’s a store like Best Buy, you can ask them to check other stores for them (or you can look online yourself). There are almost always open box products available.
If you get open box, make sure you check it for any issues before signing on the final dot. In the case of our refrigerator, being super picky about writing down every scratch and dent saved us in the end. When I got my laptop, it was Geek Squad Certified, so I knew it was in tip top condition. You should always know the reason why it’s open box, and if there are any exclusions on the warranty for purchasing it.
2) Shop During Sales
If you shop during a sale, you will more than likely save a lot more. For instance, with our fridge, the next week the sale price for the fridge went up almost $1000 for a new on. If we had bought the fridge when it wasn’t on sale, we wouldn’t have gotten nearly as good of a deal. Sale + open box is going to maximize your savings the most.
3) Verify the Price
Always, always double check the price. With our fridge, when we got there, it was listed at $1800. We told them online it said it was $1600. $200 may not seem like that big of a deal, but it was to us, and we wanted to make sure we got the advertised price!
The manager verified the price and not only was the $1800 wrong, it was actually less than it said online – it was around $1500. We were thrilled with this! So if you get to a store and the price is higher than what it said online, always ask before you walk away. Most places will at least match what is on their website.
I don’t usually recommend using a credit card willy nilly, but in the case of electronics, appliances, etc., I recommend you do (but only if you are able to pay it off right away!) Why? Most credit card companies will extend a warranty to your purchase if you purchased it with the credit card (for free!) You obviously need to verify this with credit card company, but most of the time, this is the case. It saves you from feeling like you need to get an additional warranty.
We love the Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa from Chase. We’ve used it for years, and I love the flight benefits we get. It almost paid for all of our plane tickets to and from Disneyland! If you sign up right now, you can get 50,000 points if you make $2000 worth of purchases in the first three months of opening your card. I think it’s worth it just to get those points!
Hopefully, this will help you get a better deal on your next big purchase!