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iPhone 7 Release: How to Save Money on Smartphones

September 6, 2016 1 comment

Guest Post by Andrea Woroch

For gadget heads and Apple fans, the wait is over. The much-anticipated press event held by Apple every year is scheduled forSeptember 7, at which the company is expected to unveil new iPhones and possibly new MacBook Pros and the Apple Watch 2.

While early adopters are likely making plans to line up at the nearest Apple store, the average consumer would rather not pay full price for the latest-and-greatest gadget. To help reduce the cost of your next smartphone upgrade or replacement, follow these seven tips.

Check competitor offers.
Whenever Apple releases their newest iPhone and other devices, competitors often feel the burn with a drop in sales and offer discounts in an attempt to grab attention away from Apple products. In the past, we’ve seen retailers like Walmart and Best Buy as well as wireless carriers such as Verizon and AT&T slash prices on Samsung, LG, Motorola and other Android devices. Keep your eyes peeled for similar deals this year!

Save big on previous models.
With the arrival of the iPhone 7, prices of previous-generation iPhones typically drop by as much as $150. Since the design and functional differences between the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 are reportedly minimal, buying a previous-generation iPhone at a reduced rate is hardly a compromise. Same goes for Android devices: the Samsung Galaxy S6 was offered for just $1 with a two-year contract in April of this year, ahead of the S7 release.

Search for refurbished.
One of the best ways to save on any smartphone is to search for deals on previously-owned and certified options across brands and carriers including Apple, Samsung, AT&T or Verizon to save 20% to 40%. Even sites like Overstock offer certified-refurbished phones. For example, a refurbished iPhone 5s Unlocked GSM starts at $381.99, compared to $450 for a new iPhone 5s from Apple.

Wait it out.
Jumping on the latest release of any new gadgets means you’re going to pay a premium. Wait for deals to come out later in the year and mark your calendar for Cyber Monday, the one day every year that Apple releases deals on their popular gadgets. Last year, for example, Best Buy offered the iPhone 6s for $99.99 with a two-year activation with Verizon during Cyber Week, a $100 price drop from when the phone was released in September.

Repair first.
If you’re considering upgrading or buying a new phone because of a faulty mechanism or cracked screen, consider repairing it first before shelling out big bucks for a new one. Common issues such as cracked screens, broken charging docks and diminished battery life can be fixed for low fees at sites like RapidRepair.com, saving you hundreds of dollars.

Unload your old device.
Once you buy your upgrade or new device, think about what to do with the old one. Sites like Gazelle.com pay surprisingly well for a number of phone models. For instance, a quick search revealed that they offer $168 for an unlocked iPhone 6S 64GB in good condition and $45 of a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 tablet. Otherwise, Apple offers their own trade-in program, while retailers like Walmart and Best Buy are also getting in on the action.

Buy extras online.
Spending on a new smartphone doesn’t end with the device. You’ll likely buy a case, screen protector, additional chargers or even upgraded headphones (especially if the iPhone 7 doesn’t have a headphone jack, as rumored). Before loading up with these extras from a traditional retailer or your wireless carrier, know that most stores mark up mobile accessories by up to 60%. Instead, save big by shopping for these accessories online at sites like Amazon or AccessoryGeeks, and search for coupons before checkout. For example, deals’ site CouponSherpa.com recently featured several Amazon promo codes for $4 to $7.50 off popular iPhone accessories.

Keep an emergency smartphone stash.
30% of smartphone users admit to breaking their device by dropping it, while others cite irreparable water damage. Though Apple’s new upgrade program includes coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage, the best insurance comes in the form of an emergency fund. Set aside a few hundred dollars in a separate account to cover the full cost of replacing your device.

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Andrea Woroch is a money-saving expert who transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers by sharing smart spending tips and personal finance advice. As a sought-after media source, she has been featured among such top news outlets as Good Morning America, Today, CNN, Dr. OZ, New York Times, MONEY Magazine, Consumer Reports, Forbesand many more. In addition, Andrea’s stories have been published among leading publications and sites such as Yahoo!, AOL Daily Finance, CNN Money, Huffington Post, LearnVest and New York Daily News. Check out Andrea’s demo reel or visit her website at AndreaWoroch.com for more information about booking an interview or requesting an original written article. You can also follow her on Twitter or Facebook for daily money tips.

Buyer Beware: The Hidden Costs of Free Software for Nonprofits

July 8, 2014 Comments off
Contributed Article bNon-Profit Easyy Gretchen Barry, of NonProfitEasy.com
The Appeal and Illusion of Free
When it comes to purchasing new software, many organizations do so to increase efficiency, save time, and reduce costs. This is particularly true of nonprofits, which often have limited staff and busy schedules.
 
Enter “free” software: on its surface, a simple, cost-effective solution. However, free software isn’t always free, and nonprofit executives often learn this the hard way: after incurring costs from implementation, consultants, ancillary features, support, and ongoing maintenance. These costs add up to more than a solution with an upfront cost but long-term savings.
 
Below are pitfalls to avoid and tips to help you select something that will be a better fit for you, your nonprofit, and your budget over the long haul.
 
The Misleading Sales Pitch
Low purchase prices and robust “communities” of users tempt nonprofit executives to invest in these free solutions. However, the “free” program is typically a bare-bones solution, containing only limited functionality. The sales staff exalts the limitations as a selling point, telling potential clients that their software is highly customizable. While this is true, it’s this customization that contributes to the overall cost.
 
If You Can’t Implement the Software, It Will Cost You in the Long Run
Consultant fees for implementing a system you can’t negate any initial cost savings. Why? Transforming the basic software into a usable solution for your organization typically requires consultants. Most nonprofits do not have IT personnel on staff, which means that they are completely dependent on these consultants to implement the software. More complex features increase implementation cost. Consultants work on an hourly basis, often charging up to $150 per hour. And once the system is up and running, the staff needs to learn how to use it. There is often limited documentation on these low-cost products, and the trainers to help also cost additional money. What does this say about a system that is so difficult to understand that it requires consultants to manage? In the end, the nonprofit could have paid a higher up-front fee for an all-inclusive software solution and greatly lowered their costs.
 
How to Find a Comprehensive and Cost-Effective Solution
Organizations should look for all-in-one software solutions which don’t require external consultants to set up or maintain. All-inclusive CRM solutions will provide many of the above costs in their total pricing. That means that nonprofit executives know exactly what their up-front and ongoing costs will be.
 
Ask providers the following:
• How many of their clients require consultants or trainers during implementation.
• The price per hour for any consultants.
• The average cost of total implementation for most of their clients. 
• A detailed price breakdown of:
 – purchase price for the software
 – installation and implementation costs
 – customization options
 – migration of your data from the old to new system
 – ongoing monthly fees
 – staff training
 – ongoing product support
 
Research Now, Save Later
While it can be tempting to “save now and pay later,” it is worth your time, now, to do your homework, test drive software, and calculate the full cost of “free” and paid software solutions. Free often comes at a higher cost in the long run.
 
About the Author:
Gretchen is Director of Marketing for NonProfitEasy, an all-in-one software solution provider whose mission it is to change the status quo for the greater good. Gretchen’s passion is to ensure that every nonprofit has the technology to deliver services to their communities as affordably and efficiently as possible.
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