Thursday, August 5, 2010

6 Ways Students Can Save on Tech [Guest Post]

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This is the second guest post by Ashli Norton! I absolutely love this article—so true!  Some of these things can apply to anyone, too, so be sure to read it all!

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I truly believe the best opportunity to save money is when you are a student in school. I believe this so much, I’ve told adults to go back and take a class or two at their local school to keep student status simply because of the huge savings you can get while being a student. Well, this also includes tech. I will show you six EASY ways to save big on tech as a student.


1. Tout your Student Status.

There is nowhere you should go outside of your home, apartment, or dorm without that beautiful student ID of yours. Why? Because LOADS of discounts are at your fingertips when you use it, including discounts on tech.


For instance, Apple gives $100 off on particular notebooks and desktop computers and software companies small and large give HUGE discounts on software. For instance, Microsoft offers a student version of Microsoft Office Professional Academic for only $80 this is from the original price of $499 for the equivalent Professional version. Now that beats the heck out of your two-for-one meal coupons. 


2. Go Open Source.

If you aren’t particularly fond of paying for software no matter how cheap, consider using Open Source software. Open Source software is most times as quality as their paid counterparts, as with any other thing it just varies from app to app.


So instead of purchasing even the discounted version of Microsoft Office you can get Open Office, instead of Adobe Photoshop you can use Gimp, instead of Norton Antivirus you can get AVG Free Anti-virus, and the list goes on. Wikipedia has a great updated list of Open Source apps organized by the genre and platform, so just reference this before purchasing any app you don’t really want to pay for.

3. Review Tech Gadgets and Apps.

If you ever wanted a particular app or a gadget, literally just ask the company for it free in exchange for a review. You may be thinking, who is going to do that? But not only does my small software company do it all the time, people in the entire tech field do it EVEN MORE.

It’s nothing a great YouTube review of the product in action or a good write up that you share with your friends on Facebook (not just a mention a write-up posted and linked to your friends) won’t get you. You would be amazed at which gadgets and apps you could get for free with just a review!


4. Become a Campus Rep.

You may be asking what is a Campus Rep, well a Campus Rep is a student hired by a company to introduce particular brands and products on campus to the other students. The Campus Rep can do this in many ways approved by the company and the most notable tech companies are almost ALWAYS hiring Campus Reps like Apple, Dell, and Microsoft to just name a few. Campus Reps usually get the company’s product(s) for FREE, yes I said it FREE.

For instance, I have heard that besides the Apple Campus Rep’s wages, they also get to use a notebook the entire time they are a Campus Rep - SCORE! Now how to become a Campus Rep you ask, either go to CampusHero or perform a good search in your favorite search engine - it’s fairly easy to find. Not only does becoming a Campus Rep for a company save you money on the tech you would usually have to buy, but it gives you shot at a job that flexes with your student schedule - what’s better than that.


5. Get it used.

You don’t always need the newest technology, which is great because there are ways to save on some CURRENT used technology - CURRENT being the key. I mean who wants a used Apple II for their main computing needs? You can purchase refurb computers from places like Apple and Dell for computers, printers, and monitor to not only save money, but in some cases get a longer warranty.

You can also save by buying others’ used current devices, especially on popular current devices like the Google Android, Apple iPhone, or Apple iPod from places like providers that sell the particular device or gadget like AT&T. SaveMoneyCelluar.com, Buy.com and the usual eBay. Just be very careful purchasing from eBay, we’ve all heard our share of horror stories.


6. Always use coupons.

I’m not even a student and I don’t dare make a purchase without first searching for coupons, especially when making purchases online. You have all the time in world to find a coupon before your purchase online, it’s totally different than shopping in-store so take advantage of this. I don’t know of many tech gadgets or apps that don’t have posted coupons online so look for them and use them. Some of your favorite sites should be Retail Me Not and Coupon Cabin .

If you can’t find them at coupon sites, ask the company if they have any available. I’m sure they would be happy to provide a coupon code instead of losing a customer.  As a bonus, SOMETIMES (honestly, very rarely) these coupon codes can be used in conjunction with your student discount. Again, just try or just ask!

Now that you have some super student saving advice to use - go and save!

Author Info:
Ashli Norton is the Co-Founder of SimpleLeap Software, a small software firm that makes apps for the Mac, iPhone, and iPod. Ashli is also the Editor of TheiPhoneWebsite.com

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