We’re already halfway through the year, and that means we’re going to see a bunch of new or bumped up Apple devices one after the other. If you’re lucky, and you always have the disposable income to buy every single new gadget Apple comes out with, good for you. For the rest of us who do not have that luxury, well, we have to be creative.
Since we’re looking at some interesting new Apple products (okay, that image may have a couple of inaccuracies, especially after what we’ve learned at WWDC), it’s never too early to start making plans so you can afford to buy at least one of those shiny things when they come out. Here are a few ideas.
Sell your current device
This is the best strategy in my experience. It works especially well if you have the last updated device. You can then sell it online – or to whoever will buy it from you – at a discounted price. Sure, you’ll have to take a cut, but the proceeds from the sale will still make up the bulk of the price of the new model.
This is what I have done for my last three MacBook Airs, and it has worked out just fine. Another thing to consider, especially with MacBooks, is whether or not you have Apple Care. You can buy Apple Care within a year of purchase, so at the end of the year, when the new models come out, you have the option of buying Apple Care. If you opt not to do that and sell your device instead, then you will pretty much come out even when you purchase the new model.
Alternatively, there are web sites that specialize in buying old iPhones and other electronic gadgets. These web sites will even give you an estimate of how much you can get for your old device with an online questionnaire. Emphasis on estimate. Another good thing about these sites is that some of them buy devices even if they are not working. Depending on the extent or nature of the damage, you can still get a reasonable amount of money in exchange.
Check your carrier’s promos
If we’re talking iPads and iPhones here, then one of the most affordable ways to get the news models are via telecom carriers. Of course, you have to take on a couple years’ contract, but in many cases, this takes away the burden of having to pay a lot of money outright. Again, in my experience, this has worked out best for me.
This is especially practical if you have been with the same carrier for years, due to the fact that some of them offer special promos for retention programs.
Have a garage sale
Seriously, how much unused stuff do you have sitting around collecting dust? I am pretty sure you have a nice collection in your house. If you’re the kind to NOT dispose of old electronics, then you will have even better chances of earning more money. You may look down on that 3-year-old iPhone or whatever gadget, but there will always be someone who will take it off your hands for a reasonable price.
There’s always your credit card
At the end of the day, your credit card can take the burden. That is, if you have been using it wisely. Right now, if your current card is at dangerously high levels of credit, then I suggest that you check out comparison sites so you can start anew somehow. Jeffrey Weber of SmartBalanceTransfers.com advises, “Transferring your current card balance to a new one with lower interest will not only help you with your credit score, but will also ease the burden of payment while keeping interest in control.” By the time the new iPhones/MacBooks come out, you might be able to squeeze in a purchase or two with your new credit card.
Don’t forget buying from the “Refurbished” section of the Apple Store web site.
And speaking of buying used…
In an online discussion, one poster discussed his strategy which was to sell his Apple products almost brand new, within 3-6 months of purchasing them. He gets top dollar from his old gears, and he says it averages out the same as if he sold and purchased new Apple products every 3 years.
Of course, that post was some years ago; I may have remembered it incorrectly.
Yes, you’re right. Buying refurbished is a great option. That’s how I got my first MacBook (white), actually.
That 3-6 months cycle is an interesting one, as it’s around half of mine. Thanks for sharing!