MINNEAPOLIS — The new school year may be underway, but many families are still waiting for good deals to complete their back-to-school shopping list, especially when it comes to electronics.
Now could be a good time to check out the secondhand market for savings.
Trusted sites like BackMarket sell refurbished products from around the world for up to 70% of new product prices.
The site Decluttr works similarly but there could be opportunities to stack deals when using cashback apps like Rakuten and Ibotta.
Both sites also offer one-year warranties and trade-in-for-cash opportunities if you've got electronics at home that you don't use anymore.
Swappa allows buyers and sellers to work directly with each other when it comes to electronics, which provides opportunities to negotiate. The site operates on a strict policy of no cracks or broken products. Sellers are responsible for getting rid of all sensitive data and there is no warranty on products, although protection plans are available for purchase.
Textbooks for college students can also eat up a large portion of the back-to-school budget. Sites like BookScouter allow people to buy, sell or rent textbooks which could mean a savings of up to 70% on textbooks.
There are also plenty of sites to help families with subsidized electronics and internet connection.
EveryoneOn.org is a national nonprofit that helps connect people to affordable internet services, free or deeply discounted electronics like computers and laptops and digital training based on income and federal programs families may qualify for including free and reduced school meals.
PCs for People, a nonprofit based in St. Paul, offers internet connection for as low as $15 a month if families qualify. Families can also qualify for free computers and laptops based on income. Proof of income is needed, but proof of citizenship not required.
Free Geek Twin Cities is another local nonprofit in Minneapolis committed to getting people connected with affordable technology. Sales also go back into the community. Depending on income, families can qualify for computers as low as $30. All sales are final and they may include small defects like battery life and small chips, which are clearly defined in the listing.
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