If you are ready to equip your home office, consider the following ways you can save money in your purchase of computers, printers, camera or other equipment:
1. Find the right equipment for you.
The best way to save money is to make sure that the equipment you are buying is right for you. Only by making an informed buying decision can you avoid paying more for an equipment with features that are beyond your needs, or buying one that lacks the features that you need. Research the product that you want to buy, make a list of the features that you need, and find out what are available in the market. Check out various gadgets and equipment review sites such as PCWorld, CNET.com, ZDNet.com, ComputerWorld.com, and similar websites for buying advice and product comparisons.
2. Buy Refurbished or Clearance Equipment.
Buying refurbished or clearance equipment such as computers, notebooks, PDAs, and mobile phones is one way to save on start-up costs. A cursory look at Overstock.com shows that a Dell refurbished notebook computer can be purchased for as low as $499.
Refurbished equipments are devices that have been returned to the manufacturer, who in turn resells the equipment at a discount after retesting or reconfiguration to ensure they work. They may not have all the bells and whistles (generally, they can t be customized) but you can get the features you need without the big price tag.
However, like used cars, it is best to know the history of the equipment. Read the fine print carefully and find out restrictions on returns and whether fees (e.g. restocking fees) are assessed if the item is returned. Check to see if you can find out when the product was originally manufactured, and whether the item is still being manufactured. Also verify if the seller is offering warranties and money-back guarantees.
Refurbished equipment can be purchased straight from the manufacturer themselves (check their clearance or outlet sections), hardware vendors, online discount stores, even online auction sites. You can also use services such as PriceGrabber.com to get a comparison of prices and products from various vendors.
3. Use Rebates and Bargains.
There are a number of websites that you can go to find rebates, coupons and information on price decreases on equipment such as notebooks, printers, even home theater systems. Examples of these sites include Techbargains.com, SlickDeals.net, Newegg.com and FatWallet.com.
4. Maximize Tax Write-offs.
If you have old equipment such as computers or camera that you are thinking of replacing, consider donating them to a charitable organization (after you cleaned off all your personal files!). Computer donation can entitle you to tax deductions or tax credit. Check your local charitable or non-profit organizations if they accept computer donations. Some organizations that accept computer donations include Computer Recycling Centers in California and Technology for Social Change in Massachusetts.
For more information on how to save money for your start-up, read the following articles:
- How to Save Money: Tips for the Home Business Owner
- How Small Business Owners Can Go Green and Save Green!
- How to Reduce Office Related Costs
- 10 Money-Saving Tips for Home Businesses
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Category: Home Office