Smartphones, tablets, streaming boxes, cameras, laptops... the gadgets of today are consistently amazing, it's just a shame that they cost so much money. Don't despair just yet though, because we've got some tips on picking up the best tech bargains around.
We've focused mainly on eBay and Amazon, though you are of course free to shop whenever you like: some general advice you can use on any site is included further down. Happy shopping, and may you find the dream deal you're looking for.
Finding tech bargains on eBay
The very act of shopping on eBay is a tip in itself: here you're likely to find a ton of great prices on second-hand, nearly-new or barely-used kit. Use the search box to look for items and the Follow this search link to get email alerts whenever a new listing matching your criteria is uploaded to the site.
Did you know you can use search operators on eBay just as you can on Google? Use the minus symbol to exclude words (e.g. "iPod touch -8GB") or brackets and commas to look for a selection of hits: "phone case (blue,black,red)" will return all the phone cases that also have those colours in the listing title.
Use the search tools down the left of the results page to look for local auctions listing "collect in person" as an option and you can save yourself some postage and packing fees. It's also worth checking out the Daily Deals section (see the link at the top of the eBay site) for special offers on a range of gadgets.
Finding tech bargains on Amazon
Amazon is a dauntingly sprawling place to shop but there are ways you can make the job of finding a bargain that little bit easier. As on eBay there's a Today's Deals link on the navigation bar that's worth investigating and third-party services such as CamelCamelCamel let you track prices as they change.
Once you've run a search for something you're particularly interested in, you can use the links down the left to filter the results: try looking for items listed within the last 30 days or use the price tick boxes to find the cheapest options. It's also possible to sort by price using the drop-down list at the top.
Most items are available at a range of prices from a range of retailers (click through on the individual listings to check) - you can often pick up almost-new gadgets in very good condition by going through an alternative retailer, and the delivery options are usually just as comprehensive as they are with Amazon too.
Finding tech bargains everywhere else
If you don't mind the congestion in your inbox, sign up for an email newsletter or two from your favourite retailers to get news of special offers before the masses (you might even get a discount code you can't use anywhere else). If a particular newsletter proves not to be useful then you can always unsubscribe.
Retailers love getting new followers on social media, and therefore often put special deals on Twitter and Facebook: follow and like as many sites as you can stand to get updates on discounts and offers as they appear. Again, if you find yourself overloaded it's not too difficult to cut back down again.
Then there are all of the handy price comparison sites out there on the web, from the Shopping tab on Google to the likes of PriceRunner and Idealo. Don't part with any cash (online or offline) before you've compared the prices offered by a range of retailers. You can quite often save favourite searches too.
General online shopping tips
Even when you're out and about on the high street you can quickly compare prices online: the likes of Amazon and Idealo (and many others) have mobile apps you can use to scan barcodes in a store. You can check up on how much you can expect to pay online and then decide whether it's worth the convenience of buying immediately.
In general it's just a question of doing your research and shopping around: as you spend more time looking for gadgets and hardware you'll start to get a feeling for the sites and categories where you can make the biggest savings. Most retail sites, from Ebuyer to Dabs, have dedicated clearance sections you can browse through.
Of course it would be remiss of us not to mention the special deals listings that we regularly publish on T3 too - whenever we spot a limited discount offer worth chasing up we like to pass it on so you can take advantage of it. Knowing the tech calendar helps as well, as you can pick up gadgets on the cheap right before the new versions launch.
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