Kids can be hard on electronics, so it makes sense to consider buying refurbished, pre-owned or open-box computers and tech devices. You can save hundreds of dollars on electronics that may have been returned and can’t be resold as new by law or have minor cosmetic defects but run like new. Caveat: Be sure products come with a warranty.
Here are a few safe bets:
Apple.com: Save hundreds of dollars on Apple Certified Refurbished products, from Macs to iPads to Watches. They are like new and come with a one-year warranty and Apple Care. Savings can be up to $300 or more on Macs.
Microsoft.com: The site sells certified Windows PCs, Surface tablets and Xbox gaming systems for hundreds less than new items. They come with a one-year warranty.
Amazon.com: Amazon qualified and performance-managed suppliers test and inspect products to make sure they work like new. Purchases come with a 90 day guarantee.
Blinq.com: This site is much cheaper than buying used Microsoft or Apple Certified products. I’ve made several purchased from this outfit and have been very happy. I bought a MacBook Air for $399, an iPad Mini for $179 and an Apple Watch for $188. A Samsung Galaxy S8 is $265. The goods come with a 30-day warranty. Sign up for emails to save an extra 10% off.
BestBuy.com: Shop the chain’s open-box clearance center. HP Stream laptops (a good option for younger kids) are $179, save $300 on an iPad Pro for $699 and bag an Amazon Fire tablet for $47.99.
eBay.com: Save 70% or more on an Apple iPad 4 for $105; Apple MacBook Air for $339; Samsung Chromebook for $150.
Shop for pricey smartphones at the sites above, and then pop a SIM card in from your carrier. Or, opt to take advantage of fall deals from prepaid wireless service providers, which also wrap in taxes and fees. Check coverage maps to make sure you’ll get good service before switching.
Metrobyt-mobile.com: Metro has a deal for free Amazon Prime (valued at $119 per year) with two lines with unlimited data for $80.
Cricketwireless.com: This AT&T prepaid carrier offers 4 lines of unlimited data for $100.
Ting.com: This is a great option for younger kids entering middle school or seniors who don’t use much data. Give them one of your old cellphones (check the site for compatibility) and hook it up with talk and text only starting at $6 a line. The company only bills for what is used. Kids can use Wi-Fi to surf the web. You can also set limits on services for no end-of-the-month surprises. Try it free for the first month with a $25 credit.