Buying a Lost Cause

comples homemade computerThere are some things in life that are worth the amount they cost. We don’t usually recommend that anyone purchase something unless they can pay cash for it, but we’ve found that a computer is worth every penny, IF IT’S BEING USED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. So if you have decided to bite the bullet and get a computer for your children to learn with, or even for you so that you can work on your computer skills in the evenings, then we would like to help you to find one that fits your budget.

The Jalopy

Often, a computer repair shop will have lots of extra computer parts from past repairs on other computers. They will usually have enough spare parts to put together a complete system. We suggest that you go visit a computer repair shop and let them know that you have a tight budget, but are willing to purchase a computer that’s not the latest and greatest, and if they have enough parts to put together one for you. Many people who bring their computer in for repairs end up just leaving it there rather than repair it, because they’ve decided to just upgrade to another model instead of repair the old one.

The old one may be repairable with a couple of used spare parts, in which case, the computer repair shop may be willing to part with it for little or nothing.

The Trash Heap

To be honest, we’ve actually thrown away computers that actually worked. They were about 5 to 6 years old, which is nearly antique in computer age. We really didn’t think anyone would want them, but had we given it more though, we probably should have donated them to a local charity.

The point I’m making is that you may be able to get a computer for free if you look hard enough. Ask around at the local computer repair shop. You might be able to talk your way into a free computer. Maybe you could convince them that you’ll talk up their services amongst your neighbors as reimbursement. Hey, never discount the value of a referral!

Assistance from the Government or Charitable Organization

These days, the government is very much aware of the value of a computer-savvy electorate, so there are often programs to help citizens to obtain a computer, even current models. You might also find charities that help ‘budget-challenged’ individuals to get your hands on a computer.

If you really want a computer, then keep looking until you come across one that you can fit into your budget. You can often find one on Craigslist for next to nothing. When someone gets a new computer, there aren’t any good places to trade it in because it’s resale value is so low. So rather than just throwing away the old one, they will list it on Craigslist or Ebay just to recoup a few dollars.


Buying Cheap Computers New!

Clearance Computers CheapComputers have become extremely inexpensive. Because computing power has become so miniaturized, even low cost smartphones have capabilities once reserved for desktop computers. In order to maintain relevance, computers manufacturers must constantly add new features that aren’t available on smaller, more mobile devices. As the rapid growth of computer features continues, last year’s models are practically thrown away at pennies on the dollar.

Where Can You Find Clearance Computers?

A better question is “where can’t you find a clearance computer?” Computers are carried by vendors everywhere. Major vendors like Best Buy, Conns, Frye’s, Wal-mart, Office Depot, and many many more sell computers. The one drawback for vendors who sell computers is that they begin to depreciate before they can even get them on the shelf. Computer manufacturers are already working on the next two or three generations of computers, so everything they are selling now is in effect, becoming obsolete as they are being sold! This is a huge benefit for consumers. If you are willing to buy a computer that’s a few months old (but brand new), then you can take advantage of what we call ‘obsolescence discount’.

Cheap Brand Name Computers

There are a variety of ways to find a computer that fits your criteria and budget. If you have a budget that isn’t exactly a shoestring budget, then you might decide to shop for a brand name computer, like a Dell, HP or Toshiba. These computers are more expensive than the generic brands, but usually come with a load of free software, including software to manage and maintain your hardware. Sometimes they even come with a free version of Microsoft Office, which is an important suite of software if you intend to learn skills that can be used in the professional workplace.

Our office has purchased dozens of laptops and desktops from Office Depot. They sell last quarter’s models at a huge discounts, but still have loads of cool features. We’ve purchased HP and Dell computers there. They usually have an instant discount and an additional mail-in rebate. With the two discounts, the price of the computer is often half of what it was when it was first released.

Generic Brands / Discount Brands

If you want a less expensive computer, but still want to have current technology, then you may opt for a generic or discount brand. Some less familiar brands that still have the latest in features are Asus, Acer, GIGABYTE or Zotac. This tier of computer will usually boast current processor speeds, and may or may not have extra software along with it.

Refurbished PCs

Another route for getting an off-price computer is to opt for a refurbished computer. Refurbished computers are often computers that did not pass QA tests during manufacturing, and were put into a special queue, where they were exposed to a diagnostic test to determine why it failed. If the reason was found, then the faulty component was replaced, and then sold as refurbished. Consumers can pick these up for a fraction of the original price, and are usually the current model, so the features are top-notch. The full warranty applies, so if there’s a problem with the computer, you can have it fixed under the same warranty as a non-refurbished computer. We’ve bought refurbished computers before and have not found that they have any more problems than our other computers.

ChromeBook Laptop

What Is a ChromeBook?

Another inexpensive option for consumers is a laptop called a ChromeBook. A ChromeBook fits into a category between a tablet and a full-blown Windows OS laptop. ChromeBook uses Google Chrome OS which is reduces the cost to produce for computer manufacturers, who must pay a premium to Microsoft to install Windows on their regular laptops. ChromeBooks are offered by top manufacturers like HP, Acer and Samsung, just to name a few. Although these laptops don’t have the full power of a laptop, they often can be used all day on a single charge, include Google’s version of office software, have a web browser, and include plenty of Cloud storage space. In order for a ChromeBook to be effective, it needs to be Internet connected, so if you don’t expect to be connected to the Internet regularly, then a ChromeBook may not be for you.

Cheap computers are EVERYWHERE! Just use your imagination. If you really are serious about keeping you and your family up to date with technology, then find a computer to use.