May 22, 2019 | 06:03 AM

Savings Tips

22.08.2018How to get top tech - without the price tag

As anyone who has ever invested in an iPhone, a powerful laptop or a tablet computer will know, technology costs a lot of money.

As anyone who has ever invested in an iPhone, a powerful laptop or a tablet computer will know, technology costs a lot of money. From buying it upfront to maintaining it and investing in cases, cleaning materials and more, the list of expenses for technology just grows and grows. With one surprising study even finding that the average Australian spends over $2,000 on technology and related costs every year, something clearly needs to be done. Luckily, there are solutions to this problem. By doing everything from researching prices first to ensuring that the phone is swiftly put down during cold calls about upgrades, it’s possible to slash the costs of replacing and buying technology.

Buy second-hand

Buying used or barely used technology is a great way to save cash. Often, devices which are listed as second-hand on sites like eBay or Facebook Marketplace are in good enough condition to use for a long time, so they can be great value for money. Remember to use common sense when buying from these sites, however. Always ask the seller about warranty information, for example, and don’t part with cash until the goods have been seen and verified.

Compare prices

As is the case with most consumer goods, different providers present different prices. But in the case of technology, the waters are often muddied by the fact that contracts and repayment plans are involved. The same smartphone can be sold by one company at a basic price of $100 plus twelve monthly line rental fees of $50, while another can charge $800 upfront with no line rental service thrown in at all. The former would be cheaper in the short term, as it provides an all-in service for a year – but it’s often hard to work out these distinctions and differentials, especially at first glance. As a result, doing research and taking the time to incorporate all the information is very important. 

Never buy from marketing

One of the main ways that technology companies and communications providers make money is through upgrades. That’s why everyone receives seemingly endless marketing calls, texts and emails from their providers offering them the latest upgrades at what appears to be a cheap price.

But in practice, this isn’t always true. These cold calls don’t always represent the best deals, and they should be avoided. If the deal mentioned on the call does turn out to be the best deal, it’ll most likely be available on the provider’s website – so it’s worth checking first. Simply decline the marketing offer and do the research instead.

Take care

Prevention, as the saying goes, is the best cure – and that’s certainly true when it comes to looking after tech. The only time a person absolutely has to buy a replacement piece of kit is when it no longer works, so reducing the number of risks to its continued functioning is a smart move for a money saver to take.

Keeping liquids away from technology in case of spillages, for example, is a must-do, as is carrying the item properly to prevent it from dropping and smashing. And while hardware is essential, it’s important not to forget about software. Carrying out upgrades diligently and on time can contribute towards a healthy and functioning device, while for computers the latest anti-viral software should always be installed.

The technology we enjoy in the modern world makes everyone’s lives a little bit easier. But it can be very expensive to buy and maintain, so it’s always worth taking steps to prevent problems from arising. Whether that’s defending equipment against spills or drops so that it doesn’t need to be replaced as often or simply ensuring that due diligence is done first by comparing prices online, there are plenty of ways to cut the costs of essential tech.

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