At some point in our lives we are bound to buy an electronic product, whether it is a phone, a washing machine, a television or anything else. It can however a bit expensive. Don’t worry though, there ways you can use to save money, sometimes a lot of it. Here are 8 tips on how to get the best deals:
1. Shop around before you finally settle on an item.
Basically, look in different stores, visit different locations and do a little window shopping. Stop by that shop on your way to work that sells electronics, or that stall you that you spot as you go through your business in town. You’ll be surprised at the variation that can exist from one retailer to another in terms of quality and price.
Also, check out different brands and consider substitutes like buying a tablet instead if a notebook/laptop.
2. Ask a friend.
Do you know someone who has either owned or used similar machine or device to what you want to get? Be sure to find out what their experience was as nothing beats firsthand opinion. This can save you a lot in terms of time, money, repairs and frustration.
Also your friends will probably guide you to sellers who have proven to be trustworthy and who will probably offer you a fair price.
NOTE: ONLY ASK SOMEONE WHO HAS USED OR OWNED IT, OTHERWISE ALL YOU WILL GET IS AN OPINION BASED ON ASSUMPTIONS, STEREOTYPES AND FABLES THAT ARE OFTEN UNTRUE such as Tecno is not a good phone OR you can’t expect to find a big enough TV for sh.20, 000.
3. Check online.
There has been a steady rise in online retailers offering good quality products at a price that beats street value, a good example of which is http://www.jumia.com among many more.
An added advantage is that they tend to offer delivery, usually free within the CBD. It also saves you time as well as transport cost since all you need is your computer/smartphone/tablet + an internet connection and a few minutes to browse their online catalogue.
NOTE: YOU MAY HAVE TO PAY EXTRA FOR DELIVERY DEPENDING ON YOUR LOCATION OR PASS BY THE RETAILER’S PHYSICAL STORE TO GET THE ITEM.
*Make sure to find out the return policy of any online retailer you choose as well as warranty details such as the duration of coverage as well and servicing charges.
4. Keep an eye out for deals, offers and sales.
The best example of this is during peak seasons such as Easter, Christmas or even Valentine’s Day. Since consumers are likely to spend more money on more items during these periods, many sellers lower their prices and offer more value so as to attract more sales. Does “Up to 10% off” or “Buy a tablet and get a power bank and a cover absolutely free” sound familiar? Then you probably know what I’m talking about. If you can plan your expenditure to fall within these seasons you are guaranteed to save a lot or at least get free goodies that you would have considered buying in the near future. Or both!
Sometimes you will also see an advert or poster for a clearance sale. Make sure to check those out as well because you can save as much as 30% on an item.
Watch out for Black Friday, currently only on Jumia which gives the craziest deals ever but only once a year for about three days, as much as 50% off!
5. Consider buying a used item.
While most of us shy away from buying used items, this can actually be the greatest avenue for saving exponential amounts of money. Why? Because once an item leaves the shop, its value begins to drop and continues to depreciate despite it being the same product as the one in the store.
You’ll be shocked to see the difference in price between buying a phone fresh off the street and buying a used one from your friend. You may have to contend with a few scratches but they will be justified by the savings made.
Consider checking online sites selling in pre-owned products such as http://www.olx.com as well as many more.
You can also google local stores that sell used items. Such stores will buy used products and resell them to you. They will usually inspect the item as well as fix it up and service it. They also tend to provide a guarantee on the item which gives you some assurance.
NOTE: BE CAREFUL WHEN BUYING FROM INDIVIDUALS AS SOME PRODUCTS MAY BE COUNTERFEIT, BROKEN DOWN OR HAVE SERIOUS ISSUES. MAKE SURE YOU INSPECT THE PRODUCT AND TEST ALL ITS FUNCTIONS OR EVEN BRING ALONG A FRIEND WHO KNOWS HIS/HER STUFF.
ALSO, IF YOU ARE TO MEET UP TO TRANSACT, MAKE SURE TO DO IT IN AN OPEN AND SECURE ENVIRONMENT THAT YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH AND CONSIDER USING CHEQUE, M-PESA OR OTHER ELECTRONIC METHODS OF PAYMENT INSTEAD OF CARRYING THE MONEY AS YOU COULD BECOME TARGET ESPECIALLY IF THE AMOUNT INVOLVED ARE LARGE.
6. Buy in bulk.
When you buy in large quantities, retailers are often more willing to give larger discounts since it translates to more sales within a shorter period. Look for people who are interested in buying similar goods or those that can be bought from the same store.
Are you joining college and are looking for a laptop? Then your friends probably are too. Shop together and the more you are, the larger the discount you are able to get, if you buy from one place at the same time. For example, you can get up to Ksh.20, 000 cut off if you buy goods worth Ksh.250, 000 collectively but only about Ksh.2, 000 for goods worth about Ksh.50, 000.
NOTE: THIS USUALLY ONLY WORKS WITH RETAILERS WHO DO NOT HAVE FIXED PRICES, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask. You never know, it might be your lucky day!
As a result of the fast growth of technology, new devices are churned out every other moment by manufacturers. This means that the current product in the market loses value and continues to do so as more new technology is released.
If you are willing and able to postpone your desire and need for a few months or even a year, you can get a brand new product for a fraction of its original price. You may be a generation or two behind but, unless you’re a tech junkie, it will probably be enough to satisfy your needs.
Consider the Samsung Galaxy S4 which was released in 2013 at a market price of Ksh.74, 000. Shopping couple of years later (early 2015), you could get it brand new for Ksh.25, 000, a whopping Ksh.50, 000 (500$) difference!
NOTE: THIS WORKS BETTER FOR MORE EXPENSIVE ITEMS ADVISEDLY FROM ABOUT KSH.40, 000. IT ALSO WORKS BETTER WITH SOME PRODUCTS MORE THAN OTHERS, THOSE WITH MANY NEW RELEASES SUCH AS SMARTPHONES AND TVs.
8. Avoid counterfeit.
To be honest, the promise of counterfeit appears to be very appealing; a brand new device with all the features and the appearance that you see in high end devices (Luminax instead of Lumia or Sonny instead of Sony) but for half or even quarter the price. Very enticing. However in reality, such devices often use sub-standard parts that are prone to breaking down. They also don’t have spare parts in the market so fixing it will be a nightmare and you may not even find someone who is familiar with your device.
“There is a story about someone who bought an “Z3” by “Sonny” for Ksh.8, 000 instead of paying Ksh.40, 000 for Sony’s at the time. A year down the line, the buttons (volume up and down + power) were gone. This meant he was the only one who knew how to switch it on through some complex process since it had no power button (dark magic?). In addition to that, once you popped in earphones/headphones, the touchscreen stopped working as long as they were in and you’d have to wait at least 5 minutes after you unplugged them for the touchscreen to begin functioning again.”
The salesperson will try to convince you that either it is genuine device or that it works just as well, which is never the case. Although the device won’t come with a warranty, you’ll be convinced to take it because the deal is too good to leave behind and when it does fall apart (which it will, trust me), you will be forced to go out again and buy the original version. You will have lost your money with nothing but the painful experience to show for it. Take it from me:
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Whether you save Ksh.500, Ksh.5, 000 or even Ksh.50, 000, using these tips you are guaranteed to make the most out of the best deals available in the market!
Get out there and save money as you shop!