How to Get Hard-to-Find Electronics
PC Magazine|October 2020
How to Get Hard-to-Find Electronics
It’s getting difficult, if not impossible, to find certain electronics items. And high on the list of in-demand items are laptops; even schools can’t get them. Low-range PCs of any size and shape are selling out, as are low-cost Chromebooks. Printers are also hard to come by, as are flight stick controllers for your after-school Microsoft Flight Simulator needs.
ERIC GRIFFITH

But are these items really impossible to find? It depends on where you look. You’ve probably heard friends lament their lack of availability, but when pressed on where they searched, they probably say one word: Amazon. We get it. Prime shipping means we tend to look there first, too. But there are a few other ways to find the electronics, gadgets, and PCs you need right now.

PREPARE TO PAY HIGHER PRICES

This is perhaps the only solution when it comes to the lack-of-laptops conundrum facing workers and students today. On an individual basis, it’s easy to find a computer—as long as you’re willing to pay more for mid-range or high-end devices.

The upside to this approach is that by paying more, you probably bought a higher-end device that will last years.

GO REFURBISHED

Laptops and other devices break and get fixed, but sometimes people open a box, decide they don’t want it, and return it after minimal or no use. Those products, known as “refurbished” devices, are then resold by the manufacturer at a cheaper price.

INSTALL SHOPPING BARGAIN TOOLS

It’s possible that Amazon has the best customer service, and (at least until COVID hit) the best shipping, but the best prices? Not always. There’s an entire ecosystem of software you can install, typically as a browser extension, that will tell you about better deals as you shop for products on Amazon or other sites. These tools may also help you find products Amazon and others no longer have in stock.

PREPARE TO PAY HIGHER PRICES

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October 2020