There are several factors to take into account when shopping for a new laptop, and perhaps one of the most important things to consider is when you plan to make the purchase.

Discounts on laptops usually come around during major holidays, but warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club are also great places to check for deals on laptops year-round.

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Of course, the best time to buy a new laptop is when you really need one. Your reason for buying a laptop can greatly affect how you should shop for one. For example, if your current computer breaks down and you need a laptop right away, the way you shop may look a little different than it will if you can afford to wait for bigger markdowns.

When You Should Buy a New Laptop

Your timeline affects how to shop for a new laptop. Most of the best deals of the year will be available during holiday periods including Memorial Day and of course, Black Friday. And it’s always worth it to check before Amazon Prime Day.

That said, we know that life happens and you can’t always wait for holidays to shop for new electronics. Whether you’re thrown into the decision to buy a new laptop unexpectedly or you’ve just decided that it’s time to start looking, here are the most important things to keep in mind while shopping for the best price:

  • Identify why you need a new computer. Do you need to make your purchase in the next week, or do you have time to wait for the lowest markdowns? Price comparing with tools like Google Shopping can help you find the best daily deals, but watching the price on a specific model over time will prevent the regret of finding a better deal just after you’ve made your purchase.
  • Figure out what kind of laptop you want. Unless you’re looking for high-powered word processing, video editing or gaming, most people can get by with a 4GB Chromebook. Chromebooks initially were lame, but now they’re fantastic. They’re simple, fast, and cheap. $199 buys you a very good Chromebook. They have decent battery life, you can get on the internet quickly, and they’re easy to travel with.
  • Don’t overspend on special features. Fancy, high-end laptops are rarely necessary for how most people use computers on a daily basis. Finding external storage and accessories from places like Fry’s Electronics is a great way to expand your laptop while avoiding the high prices of already-souped-up models.

When You’ll See the Best Laptop Deals

So, when is the best time to take the plunge and make the purchase?

It’s no surprise that the most deals showed up during November around Black Friday. Companies like Best Buy, Dell and Lenovo also offer deals throughout the rest of the year. Check Fry’s Electronics’ daily email deals as well as Micro Center during non-holidays.

It’s pretty common to see a handful of laptop deals or specials randomly throughout each month, particularly in February, May and June. So if you have time before you have to buy, be sure to watch the prices for a while. This will give you the best idea for how much the laptop you want typically costs and what a good sale price is for the particular model.

If you do come across a deal that’s significantly lower than what you’ve seen in the past, don’t be afraid to grab it! Many of these deals are one-day-only offers.

How to Get the Best Price on a Laptop

Whether you’re shopping during holiday markdowns or trying to find the best price during other times of the year, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you’re saving the most money possible. Before making your purchase at any time, be sure to follow these steps:

  • Price compare! Use a tool like Google Shopping and search for the laptop you’re thinking about buying. Check the prices available at other stores just before you make your purchase to avoid missing out on a better deal.
  • Check out the item’s price history. Websites like Camelcamelcamel are great for comparing a laptop’s current price to prices that have been tracked in the past. Of course, nothing beats watching the price on a specific laptop yourself!
  • Weed out fake reviews. Tools like Fakespot can help you determine how good a laptop actually is at Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and others. If fake reviewers have contributed to ratings, websites like Fakespot can let you know if most of the reviews on a particular item are legitimate.

When you’re looking for the best deal, don’t be afraid to shop for refurbished laptops if you don’t need a particularly new model. Just be sure to familiarize yourself with the warranty, return information and seller information before making your purchase.

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