7/27/2022 | By Emma Patch

Emma Patch of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance offers tech purchase tips for back-to-school sales – including tablets, TVs, laptops, smartphones and smart watches – to get the best deals for your money.

Laptops, cellphones, smart watches and other gadgets have become necessities for many consumers. But they can also be pricey.

You can save money on technology by timing your purchases. Louis Ramirez, deals editor at Tom’s Guide, says you should be able to get a great deal on certain tech items this summer as back-to-school sales crank up.

Tech purchase tips for back-to-school sales


Many retailers offer discounts on laptops as part of their back-to-school promotions. You typically need to be a student for Apple’s deals, but if you buy Apple products from other retailers, they often offer discounts to everyone, says Ramirez. For example, expect to save $100 to $250 on MacBook Pros from Amazon and Best Buy. And Best Buy will often offer the most competitive pricing on ChromeBooks, says Ramirez.


You can typically get the base model iPad for $30 to $50 off in the summer from Amazon and Best Buy, while supplies last. is likely to offer its Fire tablet for as low at $34. Tablets are a favorite tech purchase for many older adults.


It’s a great time to trade in an old smartphone and upgrade to a new model, says Ramirez. Phones will be on sale, and the trade-in values may be higher, which means you might be able to get more value out of an older model or a phone with scratches or cracks in the screen. Apple releases its new iPhone every fall, so it pays to wait until then to get a discount on an older-model iPhone.

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Smart watches

TVs in electronics store. Photo by Pavel Sytsko, Dreamstime. Tech purchase tips for back-to-school sales on tablets, TVs, laptops, smartphones and smart watches help get the best deals for your money.

The Apple Watch is almost always available at some kind of discount, but this summer, you may see that discount bundled with, say, a free subscription to Apple Music. FitBit and Amazon will likely take 25% to 50% off FitBits.


Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart will be your best bets for deals on TVs, offering discounts on smaller-size 4K TVs and smart TVs.

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The hidden cost factor of any tech purchase

As you shop for electronic devices, don’t forget to factor in the cost of maintenance. Because if your device has a problem, repairs can be expensive.

According to U.S. PIRG, a consumer advocacy organization, each year Americans spend thousands of dollars replacing electronics that are designed to break – and we could save a combined $40 billion a year, or an average of $330 per family, if we were able to repair products instead of replacing them.

U.S. PIRG compiled repairability rankings for popular tech products. Among laptops, Dell and Asus offer the most “repairable” models, while repairs for Microsoft and Apple products are the costliest. For cell phones, Motorola was the highest-ranked company, followed by Samsung, while Apple was, once again, the lowest.

© 2022 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Emma Patch

Emma Patch is a staff writer at Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. For more on this and similar money topics, visit