There are some products that you have to buy even though they are not on sale or not a good price. That’s when you have to be a little more creative with how you save money on those items.
When you purchase almost any electronic device, you will be asked if you are interested in purchasing an additional warranty. That decision is a tough one. But there are definite factors you should consider before dropping the additional money.
Manufacturer warranty included: Most items come with a standard one year manufacturer warranty that is included in the purchase. You will need to not only keep your receipt but usually the UPC code or product I.D. number that comes with the packaging. Whenever I make a purchase, I check the packaging for those magic words — one year warranty. Even products like light bulbs and water hoses often have warranties included. I have a file just for warranty information. I staple the receipt to the packaging and file it immediately in case the product fails.
Can you afford to replace it? Before you decide to purchase the additional warranty, consider whether you could afford to replace the item in one or two years. For some add-on items like a replacement hard drive or basic cell phone, it may be cheaper to just keep the cost of the warranty in your own account and pay out of pocket if they break or get lost in the next two years. But for large items like a car, large appliance or iPhone, you want to consider the replacement cost. If you would be financially unable to buy a new item within the two-year time, then you may want to pay for the warranty.
One person I know never pays the warranties for items under $1,000. Instead he takes all the warranty money that he would have spent and puts it in a special savings account. Then he has the money in the bank waiting if he needs to replace an item. If nothing breaks in that two-year period, then the money is his to do with whatever he pleases.
Rebates: Companies are constantly coming out with new products that they want you to buy. Many times when a new product is released, there will be rebates available for that product. Whether you are purchasing paint, car parts or food products, you may be able to get a rebate back in the mail. Brands will often advertise rebates on their websites or in the weekly ads. Anytime we make a purchase of a particular brand, we will do a quick Google search to see if the name of the product and the word rebate bring up anything current. We recently purchased some car parts from the local auto store. We ended up finding a $10 rebate on those items online.
Try me free: As you are walking through the store aisles, be on the lookout for products that have a sticker or hanging tag with the magic words “Try me Free!” These are products that you will buy at regular price today, but you can mail in the “Try Me Free” form on the product with your receipt and UPC code. Then you will get the full purchase price refunded to you in the mail! I’ve seen these tags on items in laundry, cleaning, cereals, air freshener, boxed foods and automotives. These are a great way to try new more expensive products for the price of a stamp!
Sharon Williams blogs about hobbies, life and saving money at Hobbies on a Budget (www.hobbiesonabudget.com).