Shopping for a laptop? Deals abound year-round

If you're looking for deals on laptops, you can find them nearly year-round, but especially at certain times of the year: April, May, August and September. Many people use tax refunds to purchase technology; suddenly, great laptop deals pop up in April. Since college-bound high school graduates need laptops, deals are common in May. Back-to-school shopping season is in August and September.

Whether you're shopping for academic purposes or just upgrading your home CPU, don't pay top dollar for your laptop. Deal after deal can be found in advertising circulars in late summer and early autumn. If you follow a few tips, you can find a bargain any day of the year.

One way to save money when purchasing technology is to pay using a department store credit card. Many retailers offer special financing or discounts if you use their credit card. For example, you can sometimes purchase a laptop for 90 days same as cash. So that gives you three months to pay for it without having to pay interest. If you don't have a department store credit card, you can usually rack up even more savings, because retailers often offer gift certificates or other promotions to first-time applicants.

There is one huge caveat, however. This only becomes a deal if you pay the purchase off in the allotted time. Once you start having to pay fees on the card, your savings evaporate quickly.

Check weekly advertising circulars

Flip through retailers' weekly ads. Almost every week, you'll find a laptop. Computer deals are common. So think now about which laptop you want and then watch the circulars for it to go on sale. A little patience can garner a lot of savings.

Scan websites and social media sites

Look online for bargains. Sometimes retailers offer special deals to those who shop via the internet. And sometimes retailers will offer a "deal of the day." It's a great way to get a deep discount on a wide range of items, from something as big as an LED TV down to home goods. As more retailers engage customers through social media sites, such as Facebook, they post coupons, discount codes and contests to win products.

Wait for new versions to hit the market

Technology changes rapidly, but that doesn't instantly make a prior model obsolete. So if a computer manufacturer comes up with a new version of its popular laptop, look for retailers to offer discounts on any of the "older" models in stock. It's akin to buying this year's car model when the new model year rolls out onto showroom floors.

If you sign up to be on a retailer's email list, you likely will receive special offers. Sometimes retailers email discount codes for customers to use to shop online or coupons to use at checkout. And retailers often share with subscribers the circulars a day or two before they're released to the public. That means you can plan a shopping trip and be there when the doors open. With deep discounts, that's a big help, especially if supplies are limited. When you're ready to buy a laptop, you can find a discount any day of the year.

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