Big ticket item breakdowns on top of a tight budget is financially straining for any consumer. Perhaps a refrigerator stopped working outside of warranty or your insurance won’t cover your totaled car. Maybe some unexpected change in prices have a domino effect on your overall budget. Whatever the reason, don’t fret. You have several options to move beyond this crisis and replace your essentials without digging too deep into your wallet.
Factory Refurbished Electronics
When someone with a computer problem turns the device in for a warranty replacement, the entire product usually doesn’t need to be replaced. Some component just needs a replacement that technicians cannot complete on the premises. To better serve the customer, stores transfer their data to an identical computer. They send the old one back to the shop. The faulty part gets replaced, and the computer works again. Then the store can resell it almost as good as new. Whether smart phones, MP3 players, laptops, tablets, or PCs, factory refurbished products generally work as good as new with substantial savings. Cnet recommends never buying factory refurbished televisions, printers or hard drives because simply swapping out faulty components does not usually fix their problems.
Closeouts, Remainders & Floor Models
Electronics, appliances and motor vehicles can all be bought at a fraction of the price if you’re a penny-wise consumer. When buying closeout computers at electronics stores, you can still get extended warranties. Should you need a warranty replacement, your closeout model gets replaced with a newer model. Similarly, vehicle prices are slashed during the end of the year. Cars last for hundreds of thousands of miles, but when test drives have already added a few thousand miles to the odometer and next year’s models roll out, dealers offer big discounts on the sticker prices. The same concept applies for display models of washers, dryers and stoves — except they’re completely unused.
Businesses understand that many people are facing financial troubles paying for some of life’s basic needs. Dealerships emerged from the financial crisis to help people with debt and little money available for a down payment. Those in need of a vehicle can get a used car at Drivetime.com, a dealership that approves people with poor or no credit.
A sudden appliance emergency may find you lacking funds for even display models. Do not despair because plenty of other people in your community sell new appliances even as yours break down. They post classified ads in daily newspapers, or in free pick-up flyers. Sometimes they just sell them at yard sales. Since appliances can last a decade or more, this makes a good option to quickly replace a broken appliance that is outside of warranty. Second hand stores are also chock full of inexpensive, lightly used appliances.
Photo of a Variety of used appliances by Wimox via Wikimedia Commons
Believe it or not, people get rid of perfectly good tires, but more often than not, they get rid of tires with worn treads. For liability reasons, companies with fleet vehicles swap out tires regularly, regardless of their tread conditions. In locations where fleet vehicles switch between winter and summer tires, this happens more often — which is good news for you. Many local garages and tire stores resell the old tires at discounted prices. Larger tire stores retread those with only worn tread but otherwise in good repair. A spokesperson for the Tire Retread Information Bureau has stated, “Retreaded tires are as safe as comparable new tires,” according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. For safety, examine any secondhand tires carefully, and only buy secondhand tires when you’re in a serious financial bind. Concerning tires and any other items, remember that local laws and business practices affect your options, so make sure to learn the rules in your location.
This post was written by Andrea Taylor. Andrea is a Michigan State grad who loves the freedom of freelance writing.