Billeater: How I Shop Online for the Best Laptop Deals

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I must admit, I’m not willing to part with a buck until absolutely necessary. I spend $300 on my last laptop in June of ’08 and I’ve held out on looking at a new PC–even after I’ve seen the shiny new Windows 7 models my friends are coming up with.

But the “Blue Screen of Death” hit my PC three times last week, despite regular maintenance and optimization. But no maintenance in the world can stop a three-year-old’s wrath. So, rather than back up my PC every day, it may be time to start looking at a new laptop. Since deals are changing all the time, it never hurts to shop around.

I also thought it might be fun to bring you along to see how I find the best deals whenever I shop online. Where to Look for Savings

Savings.com has links to discounts at several computer retailers like TigerDirect, NewEgg, Amazon and Best Buy. These are already smart places to find savings–but with extra savings, even better!

Check out the Deals First

I know that Amazon.com always offers free shipping on purchases over $25 (outside retailers excluded). The Amazon outlet and deals page are other places to check. Best Buy has been the best place to buy for me on the last few PC purchase, but I’m open to seeing what’s out there. Never miss a deal because of a closed mind!

The Contenders

My first stop is Amazon to check out the top rated laptops and see if I can get lucky. “Today’s deals” and the outlet have some good, deals, but not the spectacular savings I’m hunting for. I narrow the search down to just computers, then laptops only, finally 4 stars and up. Asus, Acer, Apple, Toshiba, Dell and Sony came up with winner ratings repeatedly.

Shopping Around: Where to Buy

Where you decide to buy will depend on what type of PC you like best. I noticed a number of great deals on refurbished Dell laptops at Overstock. I’m partial to Toshiba myself, but would love to try out an Asus, Acer, Lenovo or (dare I dream?) Sony.

The only deal that really appealed to me at Overstock was an Asus Eee PC T91MT-PU17-BK Tablet PC for $415.61 plus shipping. The same one at Amazon was about $15 cheaper with free shipping, but I could sign up for some coupons through Savings.com to get a better deal at Overstock.

A breeze through NewEgg offers nothing that tickles my fancy, so I am on to TigerDirect. No open box specials thrilled me and the free shipping offer can’t compete with Amazon. The search feature was too weak to narrow my options down, so I’m back to my old standby, Best Buy.

And at first, I thought I really did see the best buy at Best Buy, but it turns out it’s only the best deal online. A new Toshiba Satellite C655-S5049 for $379.99 isn’t too bad, but a final just-in-case Google search turned up a Compaq Presario CQ62-214NR 15.6″ for $329.90 as an in-store special only. Wow!

Sales are Coming!

Still, I’m holding out. I bought the Toshiba I’m working on for $300 and I’d like to do the same on my next laptop. Given that it’s October, I’d be wise to just keep backing up my PC, using Google Docs more often, and crossing my fingers. Expect to see me shopping again on Black Friday and just after Christmas!

Have you found a highly rated laptop that beats the price I found? Tell us all about it!

Jessica Bosari writes for the money-saving site, Billeater.com. The site is devoted to helping people reduce expenses, save money and find great deals. Pay Billeater a visit for more money-saving tips!

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