These days, it's hard to get by without a computer. From work to email and from booking travel to reading the news, computers have become a necessary tool of everyday life. Unfortunately, computers don't last forever. Eventually, they'll need to be updated or upgraded entirely.
Because of this inevitability, it's a good idea to research the best time to buy a computer now so when the time comes, you'll be able to save money or perhaps find a newer model you wouldn't have otherwise been able to afford during a computer sale.
Like almost every major purchase, one of the best times to buy a computer will be around the holidays as online retailers and big-box stores advertise special deals.
Computers can be up to 75% cheaper during these times, especially during Black Friday sales. Another popular time to shop for affordable computers is on Cyber Monday. Check your emails and ads ahead of time to get an idea of and compare advertised pricing among stores.
If you can't wait till Black Friday, don't worry – there are other holidays throughout the year when retailers tend to lower prices as well. In fact, just about any time there is a holiday, there probably will be a sale, especially if the holiday is around a three-day weekend. Good times to shop include:
Shopping during the holidays is a great time to get impressive deals, but if you miss these sales, another great time to buy a computer that won't break your budget is in January.
The average price for a computer drops in January because retailers are trying to get rid of inventory during a slow purchasing time.
A prime time to purchase a computer is right before schools start up in the fall, around August-September. Laptops, notebooks, netbooks, and other small, portable computers go on sale at this time as part of back-to-school specials. Since many students are shopping for a laptop at this time, stores will lower laptop prices to try to appeal to consumers.
Another great time to buy a laptop, and especially a MacBook laptop, is right after a new generation of laptop is released. Retailers will start to discount the older models to make way for new ones. Before you buy any computer, check to see if the company is releasing an upgraded version any time soon. Usually, upgraded versions only have slight performance peaks, so the savings on an older model can be worth it.
If you're planning on upgrading your current computer by adding or swapping out components such as graphics cards, monitors, or a CPU, the right time to buy these parts is generally the same as for purchasing entirely new computers – Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and around major holidays.
Also look for daily deals on sites like Amazon or Newegg. Or wait till a computer part company transitions to newer model hardware. You'll generally find that the older models' prices will be discounted. (This holds true for new computers as well as for parts.)
A perfect way to get an affordable computer is to purchase a used computer or laptop. While you might not get the latest features, a good used laptop purchased from a reputable source will allow you to browse the internet, make Zoom calls, and complete school or other work efficiently.