Finding the best deals

In an earlier blog entry, I mentioned how I was easily able to find a 1 GB USB flash memory drive for under $20.  That was a few months ago, and I’ve seen even better deals lately.  Especially when buying technology, it really does pay to shop around, know your options and take advantage of every special offer you can.

Take, for example, the USB flash drive.  I buy a lot of these for my colleagues as a convenient way to carry documents to and from school.  But I don’t think I’ve every paid full retail price. These things are always on sale, and it only takes a bit of effort to find the best deals. 

If you search online at any of the major electronics retailers you can find 2 GB USB flash drives in a wide range of prices.  The regular prices of most of these drives are typically $50 to $60, with a few as high as $75.  But you can often find them for half the regular price, or even less.  This week at Office Depot, for example, the Ativa 2GB USB flash drive is only $19.99.  I’ve used this particular model, and I highly recommend it for its design (the cap swivels around so you never lose it).  It comes pre-installed with the “U3 Smart” software, which can be useful if you use Windows.

But to really get a great deal, add a coupon to get even more savings.  Many of the same retailers will mail you coupons to get an extra 10% off, or a specific amount off of a minimum purchase (like $10 off a purchase of $50).  You can also find many coupons and coupon codes online.   Just make sure you read the fine print.  Some retailers, like Office Depot, don’t typically allow you to use coupons on technology items.  But Staples’ coupons usually can be applied to technology, and they have one of the best return policies if you’re unhappy with a purchase.

Perhaps the best part of finding a great deal isn’t the money saved, but the “bragging rights” you earn by hunting down the best bargains.  A Vista Premium laptop for under $500? No problem. But try to get a new GPS for less than $140. It can be done! I got mine at Staples. That was easy!

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