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Why Wait 'til the Holidays to "Shop Victoriously" and Save Cash?

by Joe Leo, Columnist

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And that begs the question of why to buy new at all. It really pays to wait when buying technology like computers. Why buy new when tomorrow, it will be obsolete in an instant? Not to mention the price drops on the same specs and the higher specs for the same price!

Like the brand new iPhone you lined up for (speaking of long lines on Black Friday) back in June and shelled out $599 for, only to find it for $399 two months later. Or the MacBook you bought for your sister as a graduation gift, only to find it updated six months later with higher specs for the same price, and the "obsolete" version now selling for less than you paid for it?

(Oh wait, that was me on the MacBook example. Thankfully, not an iPhone early adopter).

Of course, if you were daring and so inclined, you could always unload your now old product on eBay and then buy the new one, but again, why the rush? Be patient and wait.

Before I got the 12-inch G4, my main laptop for five years was a PowerBook "Pismo" which I bought from a friend of an acquaintance. $500 was the asking price. Retail price when new? I believe it was $2999 just two years earlier. (The guy was going to Vegas and needed the money, plus he had other computers, so he decided to offload this one that I bought from him).

When that didn't cut it--I was using the Pismo for everything from graphic design to video editing, and small stuff like word processing and e-mail--I decided it was time for something more powerful and this time it would be new. I debated between a PowerMac G5 or an end of the line G4 which was still new.

Then I saw a deal at PowerMax.com which was a souped up dual processor model that was cheaper than a brand new single processor one. It was an Apple Certified Reconditioned Product which was as good as new. It was. I bought it. $2100. Had I bought it new (the exact same model), it would have been $2499.

Not the best example of saving money like the Pismo purchase.

Soon after using the PowerMac G4 Dual for two years, my Pismo was getting a little outdated (you think?) and I wanted something that matched my PowerMac in terms of processing power and, well, processing power.

12-inch PowerBook G4 or 15-inch were the choices. I didn't like the look of the 12-incher but did like its size. Plus, it didn't have the backlight feature, and that was the ultimate thing that sold me, so I decided on the 15-inch model. Only because I was approved for an Apple credit account with Juniper, so I figured, go large for a "few" hundred dollars more.

I was trying to save money by getting the low end 12-inch model. But with my new purchasing power, and the encouragement of the Apple Store employee, I went for the 15-inch one. 14 days later? I returned it. (I had buyer's remorse). I didn't really need it. My Pismo was fine and I figured, if I'm doing high-end work, sit down at the PowerMac. Everything else, Pismo.

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