Man, this past week has not been a good week for my electronics. My iPad decided to go for a swim in beer on New Years. 😱 I thought it was doomed but I was able to revive it following a few quick and painless steps. Stay tuned on a tip about that...
Getting deals for the items that matter the most is super important. For an overlander or world traveler, every dollar counts. This is your money that will pay for your next meal or your flight home!
This is my current technique in finding deals on anything.
The first step: Get a baseline retail price for the item you're looking for. For instance, if I'm interested in buying an iPad I log onto Google Shopping to find the lowest prices for it. Make a mental note of this number. Obviously we want to be below this number!
The second step: market research. Go on eBay and find the exact model configuration you want. Start watching every single auction that matches your criteria. Make sure you "follow" your search. This will enable email alerts and allow you to go back to your search later on. I generally filter the price to what a reasonable asking price could potentially be.
Ex. An iPad Air 2 on eBay can go anywhere from $320 to $440. I would filter the price from $100 to $400 (my absolute max budget price)
Every day, use your saved search to find any new items. Take note of the auctions that ended. This will help you determine the minimum market price for the item. If you have multiple items selling for the same price that is likely the most reasonable market price.
After a couple days you should have an idea of what you should be paying for vs. the retail price. Generally it will be a significant discount!! At this point the watch the items you're following carefully. If they stay within your price range as they get close to ending go to the next step! This is also a great opportunity to go on craigslist to see if anyone is offering anything in the "deal" range. I'll provide more details on Craigslist in an upcoming tip.
If there is currently an item below your target purchase range and below what you would consider a "deal" go ahead and start watching that item much more closely. You wan to focus on bitting toward the end of the auction if not within the last 30 seconds. This prevents others from boosting the price of the item and enables you to get a good deal!