Categories
News

Where to Buy Refurbished MacBooks: The 4 Best Sites

When choosing a laptop, reliability is essential—especially if you plan to use it as your primary device. Apple is one of the world’s most successful hardware manufacturers thanks to its commitment to hardware design and user experience.

As a result, Apple’s computers are known to last. However, Mac laptops don’t come cheap. If you’re after the Apple experience without the Apple price tag, you could opt for a refurbished Mac instead.

Unlock the "Most Useful Mac Keyboard Shortcuts" cheat sheet now!

This will sign you up to our newsletter

Enter your Email

With that in mind, here are the best places to buy a refurbished MacBook.

1. Apple Certified Refurbished

Apple Certified Refurbished online store

As the manufacturer of Mac laptops, Apple is best-suited to refurbish them. The company recognized this and quietly launched its own Certified Refurbished online store. Many of the refurbished devices were returned through the company’s physical and online retail outlets. This could be as part of a trade-in program, after they were designated as faulty, or simply returned after purchase.

As a result, the range of refurbished devices available may vary. Regardless of the reason, the company inspects each product, tests them, and replaces any necessary components with genuine Apple parts. In effect, you can buy a like-new device at a discounted rate. This isn’t the only way you can score savings on Apple devices, though. There are other Apple hardware discounts you can take advantage of, too.

Despite their many benefits, Apple products are also infamous for their proprietary components. If you’ve ever damaged an iPhone screen and had it replaced by a third-party, you may have seen this in action. Your Apple devices can identify when it’s using unofficial parts, which can have an impact on performance, operability, and even your warranty.

Buying from Apple’s Certified Refurbished store gives you peace of mind that your MacBook will just work as if it was a brand-new device. To add to that experience, these refurbished devices also come with Apple’s standard one-year warranty and 90 days of technical support. You also have the option to further protect your purchase with AppleCare+.

2. Mac of All Trades

Mac Of All Trades screenshot

There are many benefits to purchasing through Apple’s Certified Refurbished store, but you won’t find significant savings there. A reliable and reputable alternative is Mac of All Trades. The company even pre-dates the internet era; it first set up shop in 1995 before switching to online operations in 2002.

While this information is interesting, you might think it’s unnecessary. However, we include the background here because reputation is crucial when purchasing refurbished devices. You need to be able to trust the organization you buy from. Not only is it crucial that they’ve done a thorough refurbishment, but you also want to know they’ll take care of you when something goes wrong.

Fortunately, Mac of All Trades has both cases covered. The company operates a four-part refurbishment process. This includes a visual inspection, two-stage cleaning process, hardware testing, device repair, and repackaging. Each refurbished Mac is given a quality rating; Excellent, Very Good, Good, or Fair.

The site is among the best places to buy a refurbished MacBook thanks to its one-year warranty. It also operates a 14-day return window, and you can extend the standard warranty with the company’s Platinum Warranty. This helps reassure that you’ll be protected in the case of any defects or hardware failures with your refurbished Mac laptop.

3. OWC

OWC Refurbished MacBook Pro store

Like Mac of All Trades, Other World Computing (known as OWC) has been in the computer retail sector for many years; the company’s origins stretch back to 1988. It primarily trades in components, allowing you to customize and upgrade your existing equipment. However, OWC also stocks a range of used and refurbished MacBooks.

The language of the second-hand market can be confusing, so be sure to check out our comparison between refurbished, used, and pre-owned devices. Of note here is that OWC mainly sells used MacBooks. These are second-hand devices that have undergone some level of inspection.

Unlike Certified Refurbished laptops, though, used devices aren’t subject to as thorough inspection and testing. In most cases, you should assume that used devices are sold “as-is.” That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with used devices. In fact, they’re often available at a significant discount.

However, shopping with OWC is a grade above buying any second-hand device. As the company specializes in computer upgrades, you can choose to customize your second-hand MacBook. After you’ve selected a model, there are options relating to disk size, memory, and the second-hand condition.

4. Amazon Renewed

Amazon Renewed storefront

Amazon is one of the world’s largest retailers, so it won’t come as a surprise that it also stocks a range of refurbished items on the Amazon Renewed storefront. The company first set up shop as an online bookseller in 1994, before quickly expanding into all areas of retail.

One of the main reasons Amazon is so successful is the variety of products on offer. However, it’s not always Amazon selling to you directly.

Third-party sellers are key to Amazon’s success. That’s also the case with the Amazon Renewed store. The majority of the items for sale here are not sold by Amazon, but are inspected and refurbished by third-party sellers. Amazon implements standards, though, so you can still be sure any second-hand item purchased through this store will be in good condition.

Using the Renewed store, you get access to a wide range of electronics and other household goods, including refurbished MacBooks. Not only does this make it a convenient place to shop, but you get to interact with Amazon’s customer service should something go wrong.

For example, the Amazon Renewed Guarantee gives you 90 days to return the product if you aren’t happy with it. If you have any technical problems, simply contact Amazon for help troubleshooting the issue. In this way, the Amazon Renewed store helps you score a good deal on a refurbished MacBook Pro or MacBook while offering the service of the most popular online retailer.

Keeping Track of Mac Deals

Finding the perfect deal on refurbished products is often a complicated process due to ever-changing inventories. Because of this, you should consider two other sites that take the guesswork out of finding great deals.

Refurb Tracker provides email alerts and RSS feeds listing refurbished products on Apple Store websites. To get started, create an alert on the website indicating the type of product you hope to find. In addition to Macs, Refurb Tracker offers alerts for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, and Mac accessories.

RefurbMe also offers an alert system on refurbished and certified pre-owned Apple products. Besides Apple Store websites, RefurbMe tracks items from Best Buy, GameStop, Gazelle, Target, and Walmart. In addition to Macs, RefurbMe offers alerts for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, and Apple Watch.

The Best Places to Buy Refurbished MacBooks

Refurbished MacBooks are a great way to save some money, so long as you choose a reputable seller with a professional restoring process. The sites we’ve listed here are among the best places to buy a refurbished MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro.

If it’s peace of mind you’re after, the Apple Certified Refurbished store should be your first choice. However, the other sites here all offer a unique take on the second-hand device that may better suit your needs.

That said, you must do your research before committing to a second-hand MacBook. Despite the many upsides, there are potential pitfalls you need to keep an eye on. Be sure to familiarize yourself with what you need to know when buying a refurbished Mac.

Read the full article: Where to Buy Refurbished MacBooks: The 4 Best Sites

Categories
News

The 12 Best Online Pet Shops for Pet Supplies and Food

We shop for ourselves online all the time now. From sporting goods to household needs to clothing and accessories, some shop for online deals daily. Browsing and buying pet supplies should be no different.

Whether you want to get Rover a new bone, buy Fluffy a new collar, or simply find the cheapest pet food delivery option, these 12 online pet stores can give you the selections and deals you need.

Big Name Pet Stores

1. Petsmart

Petsmart Main Page

This is a well-known favorite when it comes to shopping for your furry friend. The online deals and savings can be just as good, if not better, as the in-store ones. Check out the Savings Spotlight right on the main page for deals on items you know you will need.

Petsmart also offers free shipping on select items when your cart totals at least $49 worth of merchandise. Just be sure to check products for the shipping discount message before adding them to your cart.

Petsmart also offers some great online conveniences for in-store pickups of items purchased on the website as well as bookings for their grooming salons.

2. Petco

Petco Main Page

With supplies for dogs and cats as well as birds and reptiles, Petco does have decent promotions on products. When you click to obtain more information on their free shipping for orders of $35 or more, you will get complete details.

Be sure to look through the Sale section before you begin adding items to your cart for great deals. The promotions change frequently, so check back often for discounts, gift cards, and promotional codes to use at checkout.

Petco also offers a Repeat Delivery service where you choose your items and schedule them to be delivered regularly. If you order the same items often, this can amount to terrific savings because you can get up to 35 percent off.

Smaller Online Pet Shops

3. Chewy

Chewy Main Page

Chewy.com is a good option for your dog or cat shopping needs. This store offers free 1- to 2-day shipping on orders over $49 along with AutoShip. This repeated shipping option provides five to 10 percent off on select brands and they often have discounts just for signing up.

The Today’s Deals area is full of products with wonderful savings on everything from toys to treats to grooming supplies. The shop also offers prescription medication, gift cards, and 24/7 customer support.

4. Allivet

Allivet Main Page

A site similar to Chewy.com is Allivet which also offers the AutoShip program giving 5 percent off scheduled products. They too have the free shipping on orders over $49. This store does provide products for more than just dogs or cats, however. You can shop for your fish, birds, livestock, and horse supplies as well.

Allivet does not have a large sales or clearance section like some of the other stores, but they offer some little extras. For example, they have a Refer-A-Friend program where you can win a prize, they provide live customer service Monday through Saturday, and a quick reorder feature.

5. BudgetPetCare

Budget Pet Care Main Page

This pet store is the one for some real savings when it comes to shipping. They offer free shipping on all orders within the United States. They have sections for Homeopathic, Supplements, and Hygiene products to make your search easier.

Their Special Deals section is a bit limited with the number of products offered, but they, like Allivet, also have a few bonuses on their site. BudgetPetCare has an online chat service to answer your questions and a newsletter signup for extra savings to your inbox.

6. Coupaw

Coupaw Main Page

Shop here if you enjoy giving back. Every order placed will provide six meals to rescue animals in need. This might be just enough reason for you to shop and feel good about yourself at the same time.

But if you would like a little more, the site offers free shipping on orders over $49, everyday values, and a Gift of the Month program which delivers a gift to your pet’s door for a low monthly fee and free shipping.

7. Only Natural Pet

Only Natural Pet Main Page

Only Natural Pet is a little different as they sell holistic, natural, and eco-friendly products in their line. They sell dog and cat supplies with quite a variety; from toys and gear to vitamins and supplements to grooming and cleaning supplies. All orders over $49 will be shipped for free and they have a nice weekly deals section.

Only Natural Pet also has a large area full of articles and videos called their Holistic Healthcare Library. So, if you are interested in going a healthier route for your pet, this is one site you should check out.

8. Dog.com

Dog.com Main Page

Do not be fooled by the name and skip this one if you have a cat because Dog.com caters to felines too. There is a nifty little section on the site just for cat supplies and they also link directly to their horse and ferret supply stores. Dog.com offers free shipping on orders over $69 and weighing up to 15 pounds.

Like a couple of others we have seen, this store has an “Auto Ship” program for your convenience where you can receive 20 percent off of select products. They also have a really good clearance section, sorted by category, and with options to filter your results.

Medicine-Specific Pet Stores

9. 1-800-PetMeds

1-800-PetMeds Main Page

For joint enhancers, flea and tick control, arthritis, and more, 1-800-PetMeds is a superb choice. They offer free shipping on orders over $49 and often have promotional banners at the top for extra savings.

1-800-PetMeds also provides some useful information with their Pet Education section and Vet Directory for finding a doctor for Fluffy if you are new in town. The site caters to dog, cat, and horse parents and is much easier to navigate than some of its medicine-specific competitors.

10. VetRXDirect

VetRXDirect Main Page

VetRXDirect is another good spot to shop for Spot’s medicine. Like many others, their free shipping applies to orders over $49 and their prices are competitive with 1-800-PetMeds, depending on the product.

So, it is worth a look to comparison shop and you can also sign up for their newsletter to get additional savings.

You can also check out the VetRXDirect Blog for product reviews, new product details, and other helpful posts.

11. PetCareRX

PetCareRX Main Page

PetCareRX is the third excellent option for medical products for your pet. This site offers free shipping on orders of just $48 or more. Also, PetCareRX offers a terrific savings program called PetPlus.

If you join this membership program, you can pay wholesale prices for your medications plus receive free shipping on those items with no minimum. The cost for PetPlus membership is $99 per year, so depending on the number of pets you have and the frequency with which you purchase their medications, you may save a lot of money.

Other features include discounts on other pet supplies, local pharmacy pick-up, and helpful wellness, medication, and breed guides.

One Final Online Retailer

12. Amazon

Amazon Pet Supplies Main Page

Although this is not a true “pet store” it is worth mentioning if you are a current shopper anyway. Amazon.com does have a large pet supply section and if you happen to be an Amazon Prime Member, that free 2-day shipping does apply to select pet products.

For dogs, cats, fish, birds, horses, and more, Amazon Pet Supplies has lots to offer. Their prices are comparable, and in some cases less expensive, depending on the product. The true savings do come on the Prime products and they have instant discounts per brand if you have a favorite.

Remember that you can buy all sorts of things on Amazon, aside from pet supplies. Wondering how to find the best things to buy on Amazon? We’ve got you covered with these tools:

Compare and Save With Online Pet Stores

With these great suggestions for pet supplies, it is always worth a few extra minutes to compare prices. Medicines for our pets can often cost a lot, so checking the three stores listed here for your specific medical product is your best bet.

For the rest of your pet supplies, the other stores offer good savings depending on what you are looking for. Whether you’re looking for pet food delivery or toys and treats, you can certainly save a few bucks with these online pet retailers.

Want to monitor and interact with your pet when you’re away from home? Take a look at our roundup of the best pet cameras available. If your pet is of the canine variety, you’ll also appreciate access to these free online dog training courses.

Image Credit: Ermolaev Alexander/Shutterstock

Read the full article: The 12 Best Online Pet Shops for Pet Supplies and Food

Categories
News

The Top 10 Sites for Video Game Deals and Bargains

Although video games provide some of the best value-per-dollar for entertainment, gaming can be an expensive hobby. Those purchases add up, and it’s easy to spend upwards of $1,000 in a year.

Fortunately, if your budget is tight, you have ways to cut back. First and foremost, stop pre-ordering games. You could even take it one step further and avoid buying new games altogether.

However, the best idea of all is to wait for deals! You’ll need some patience, and you won’t always get to play the games you want right away, but video game deals can save you lots of money.

With that in mind, here are the best sites to buy video games.

1. Is There Any Deal

Is There Any Deal

Is There Any Deal is a deal comparison site for video games. It not only aggregates pretty much every video game deal currently available, but lists them all side-by-side and ranks them by how much you can save. Just search for the game you want, then view all of the deals on its page.

Other nifty features include:

  • Wait for a better price: Set a price point and get alerted when the price drops below it.
  • Price history: See if the game’s current price really is a deal or not.
  • Trends: See how quickly the game has sold.

If price is your only criterion, then this site is what you need. But Is There Any Deal also lists stores selling the game without deals. This allows you to use the site as a “where can I buy this game?” tool, regardless of deals.

2. CheapShark

CheapShark

CheapShark only aggregates video game prices from a dozen or so online retailers, but lets you search for any game and gives you a quick comparison of what it costs at each one.

Two features you’ll find useful: “Cheapest ever” shows a game’s lowest price ever and when that price occurred. “Price notifications” lets you set a price point and receive an alert when the game drops below it at any of the tracked retailers.

CheapShark’s deals listing page has an interesting sorting measure called “Deal Rating.” It considers various factors (e.g. absolute price, percent off, Metascore, release date) to determine how good the deal is. Very nifty at a glance!

3. Humble Bundle

Humble Bundle

The Humble Bundle started in 2010 as a discounted collection of video games with some proceeds donated to charity. Its first few bundles consisted of mainly indie games, but it has since evolved to include AAA titles and other more desirable games.

Humble Bundles are known for the “pay what you want” approach, which means you can grab lots of games for very cheap. However, in every Bundle, some of the most desirable titles are only available if you spend a minimum amount.

You can also browse the Humble Store for regular sales. Either way, these two options comprise some of the best ways to save money when gaming.

4. Fanatical

Fanatical

Fanatical is an online games store that always has deep discounts on the latest and greatest games. It not only sells PC games for Steam, but also Switch and 3DS games—which is rather unique, since Nintendo games are rarely discounted.

While the prices on Fanatical are usually great anyway, the site often holds sales or flash deals where you can get even cheaper prices than usual. You should also check out its bundles, where similar games are packaged together for a discount rate.

5. Slickdeals

Slickdeals

Slickdeals is one of the best sites for daily deals, period. Users post deals whenever they spot them around the web, receive them in emails, etc. And since deals are available across many other departments (e.g. home, tech, travel), Slickdeals is a great choice if you want an all-in-one deals site.

After using Slickdeals for a while, you’ll see why it’s one of the best bargain sites cheaper than eBay. Lots of people use it, which means any deal is likely to pop up there.

6. Daily Game Deals

Daily Game Deals

Daily Game Deals may not have the easy browsability other deal sites, but it functions perfectly as a “check once per day” kind of site. It’s a blog that publishes once per day, with each post covering a massive roundup of new gaming-related deals around the web.

Most of the deals come from the same retailers, including Amazon, Newegg, Gamefly, Gamestop, Walmart, etc. For truly effortless notifications, just sign up for the daily newsletter and get the deals sent straight to your inbox.

7. Reddit’s /r/GameDeals and /r/ConsoleDeals

Reddit game deals

These two communities on Reddit are fantastic for catching deals fast and early. While /r/GameDeals is technically for all game deals, it does have a heavy slant towards PC gamers. That’s why /r/ConsoleDeals was born.

While PC games are usually cheaper than console games, the beauty is that you can play whichever you want and still benefit from the deals subreddit that applies to you. These deals aggregators are two of the best you’ll find.

And while you’re on Reddit, you may as well check out /r/patientgamers. It’s a community of gamers who wait at least six months after a game is released before buying it, which often results in super savings thanks to things like Black Friday sales.

8. Cheap Ass Gamer

Cheap Ass Gamer

Cheap Ass Gamer is run by a small team who constantly post the latest game deals they find on the internet. The site covers all platforms and you can filter to specific ones you want to see.

It also has a handy price tracker, so you can see the historical price of a game and know whether the current deal really is that great. If you don’t want to check the site, you can also subscribe to its Twitter feed instead.

9. Gocdkeys

Gocdkeys

Gocdkeys compares the cost of keys for games on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. It not only scans the usual retailers like Amazon and GoG, but also lots of lesser-known sites too—across many regions too.

The site also displays reviews for all of its retailers, so you can compare price and trustworthiness side by side. As such, you can be confident knowing that you’re getting a great deal on the game you want to buy.

Be careful to only buy from legit and safe key sites. To help you stay safe, here’s what to know before buying discounted game keys.

10. DLCompare

DLCompare

You might be willing to play a game on multiple platforms, especially if you own a gaming PC and a console. If so, DLCompare is the site for you, because it compares a game’s price across all the platforms.

This means that you can easily see whether it would be cheaper to buy the game on PS4 rather than Xbox One, for example. Of course, you can also filter if needs be, either by platform, store, or type of game (like “standard edition” or “season pass”).

How to Decide What Game to Buy

These sites are sure to net you a great bargain on the next game that you want to play. Many of them let you sign up for email alerts and newsletters, so be sure to do that so you don’t miss out on a bargain.

If you can’t decide what titles you want to play, check out our advice listing ways to decide what game to buy next.

Image Credit: SergPoznanskiy/Depositphotos

Read the full article: The Top 10 Sites for Video Game Deals and Bargains

Categories
News

When Is the Best Time to Buy a Computer? 5 Things to Keep in Mind

It can be expensive to buy a new computer or laptop, so it makes sense to time your purchase for when you can secure a bargain.

While prices are always subject to change without warning, annual sales or new hardware launches can be the perfect time to get a computer or laptop at a discounted rate. However, you could be waiting for a price drop that never comes. If you need the computer or laptop sooner rather than later, it’s better to buy it while you can.

Here are the best times to buy a computer or laptop.

1. Seasonal Sales

Santa Claus using a laptop
Image Credit: GeneGlavitsky/Depositphotos

The Christmas season is one of the biggest periods for every retailer. While computers and laptops are usually too expensive to be a common holiday gift, retailers will be looking to take advantage of the flowing holiday money. They will apply discounts to systems in order to attract shoppers and sell off stock before the year-end.

These discounts can also come in various forms, like traditional discounts, cashback offers, and voucher codes. Retailers will often engage in one-day-only deals near the holiday season, especially around key dates like New Year’s Day, so be sure to constantly check their websites near this time and keep your eyes peeled for any sudden discounting.

2. Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Woman shopping online
Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are sales days that originated in America, but they’ve become a worldwide phenomenon. With prices often slashed across the board, usually only for a limited amount of time or on a set quantity of stock, real bargains can be snapped up on these two days providing you’re quick off the mark.

A word of caution, however: retailers will often use the fever around these days to flog outdated systems at not-so-great prices. Make sure you always do your research before buying and don’t get drawn in by a seemingly appealing price tag—you might end up overpaying for something you would have got cheaper outside the sale.

3. Back to School

People looking at computer screens
Image Credit: NESA by Makers/Unsplash

Typically, the back-to-school period runs during the summer in August to September (although it can begin earlier.) It’s a perfect time for retailers to target parents and students who are in the market for a new system to deal with their educational needs. This might actually be the best time to buy a new laptop, rather than a desktop computer.

Deals on laptops are especially prevalent during this period as they make for great college and university purchases. Stay prepared for such deals by researching the best Windows laptops beforehand.

Many retailers, like Microsoft, Apple, and Sony, will also give exclusive discounts to actual students. These deals are usually available on presentation of a student ID or a valid academic email address. Apple even extends their educational pricing to teachers and parents buying for their children.

4. New Hardware Releases

Laptop half-opened
Image Credit: Junior Teixeira/Pexels

If retailers are expecting to get fresh hardware then you’ll usually find that they begin discounting their current stock in order to make way for the new.

Different manufacturers will operate on different cycles. However, generally new products release in the spring, mid-year for the back-to-school period, and in September as the holiday season approaches.

Manufacturers like Dell, HP, and Acer often release their new products on these timelines. However, it’s best to keep your eyes on their sites and tech news so you remain in the know.

New MacBooks typically release in the spring and winter. Apple usually host media events in March, June, and September, so you should check these out to get the latest information on their upcoming releases. The best time to buy an Apple laptop is usually just before new hardware is announced.

Microsoft holds an event in October where they announce their latest Surface products. Google also hold an event at a similar time when you can expect to hear the latest on the Pixelbook.

Keep your eye on the upcoming big hardware releases and you’ll likely find retailers discounting old stock accordingly.

If you’re not after the latest flashy piece of kit then this will be a perfect time for you to jump in. While the system may be classed as old, simply because technology moves so quickly and there’s always new things being pushed to market, it might be great for you if you only need a computer or laptop for general tasks rather than high fidelity gaming.

Of course, perhaps you do want the latest compute or laptop. If so, wait a couple of months after release when the hype has died down and prices will reduce slightly.

5. Flash Sales and Price Tracking

Price graph on camelcamelcamel

Nowadays, you can probably get a good deal at any time of the year thanks to the popularity of flash sales and daily deals. Online retailers like Amazon and Newegg have new discounts all the time, and the tech that you want might be included in that. Manufacturers also do similar things—in the past, Dell have hosted a ‘Black Friday in July’ event, for example.

Of course, it’s cumbersome to check these deals every day, which is why price tracking websites can help you choose the best time to buy your new PC or laptop. These let you track specific product price history, and receive notifications when something drops to your desired price point.

You Could Buy a Used Computer or Laptop Instead

Hopefully these tips are useful for you to know the best time to buy a new computer or laptop. If you’re in the market for a purchase, the best thing you can do is always keep your eye out for deals because you never know when a retailer might begin discounting.

Just remember not to wait too long. If you see a good deal and wait in hope of a better one turning up, then you may end up disappointed and losing out on the original offer.

Still haven’t found the deal you want? You might be better off reading our advice on why buying a used computer can be better than a new one.

Read the full article: When Is the Best Time to Buy a Computer? 5 Things to Keep in Mind

Categories
News

The 8 Best Cheap Computer Parts Stores for Saving Money

Looking for new computer parts is terrific fun. Well, at least it used to be until computer hardware became more expensive, and prices stopped dropping. Luckily, there are several decent options if you’re looking for cheaper hardware, both brand new and second-hand.

In no particular order, here are some of the best online stores for finding cheap(ish) computer parts when repairing your machine or looking to build a new one from scratch.

Is It Safe to Buy Cheap Computer Parts?

You can only expect so much regarding cheap computer components. If they’re too cheap, you must ask yourself, “Why?” Why can one store afford to sell it at a significantly lower price than its competitors?

The answer is usually, “It’s a scam.”

There are other issues, too. Cheap CPUs don’t exist unless you buy second-hand. Even then, some CPUs are surprisingly expensive.

Case in point: I thought about making a minor CPU upgrade for my main system. It has a decent i5 3570K that has never let me down, but I wanted to bump to the i7 3770K for the extra capacity. Intel 3xxx CPUs hit the market in 2012. And the price of a new i7 3770K? Precisely the same as six years ago; I should have just splashed a little bit extra back then.

Thankfully, the price of RAM has come down through the past 18 months. New manufacturing facilities coming online saw a massive increase in global production capacity. The boost to manufacturing capacity finally pushed the prices of RAM modules lower after two or three years of steady increases.

Hardware Production Issues Keep Prices High

A few years back, during the cryptocurrency boom, the prices of popular GPUs went haywire. As cryptocurrency miners rushed to buy up stock, the price of a top-tier GPU rose steadily.

The price of Ethereum and other GPU-mined cryptocurrencies is now much lower, and the demand for GPU mining hardware doesn’t cause as many issues. Furthermore, GPU manufacturers like Nvidia and AMD began marketing cryptocurrency mining-specific GPU models to remove the strain on the market.

Consider the status of the RAM market, too. Although the price of RAM has fallen, prices will not drop much further as manufacturers constrain capacity to stabilize the price, perhaps even to increase the price once more. Check out the following chart from PC Part Picker, illustrating the price of 2x4GB DDR4-2133 RAM:

pc part picker ram price chart

You see the drop, the stabilization—and the slight increases creeping in at the end.

So, if you want cheap computer parts, you have to shop around. You can find discount PC parts on several sites, be that second-hand, refurbished, or an unbranded Chinese import.

1. Best for Refurbished Computer Parts: eBay

ebay cheap pc hardware price comparisons

Let’s start with eBay, an excellent site for tracking down cheaper computer hardware.

The trick to finding a great eBay deal is patience and persistence. Set yourself a realistic price point for the hardware you want, stick to it, and wait it out. At some point, your product will appear at the price you want, within reason. (You’re not picking up a GTX 1080 Ti for $100 unless there’s something wrong with it or it’s a scam.)

Like AliExpress, you can find unknown manufacturers among the other listings, as well as brand new, second hand, and refurbished parts.

eBay is best for:

  • Brand new hardware
  • Refurbished hardware
  • Second-hand PC parts
  • Cheap computer part stores
  • Broken or not working hardware—scavenge other hardware for cheap parts

As mentioned above, you should always avoid any eBay deal that seems too good to be true—because it probably is!

2. Best for Cheap End-of-Season Clearance Sales: Newegg

newegg discount pc hardware

Newegg is a name synonymous with great computer hardware deals. You can find a range of new and refurbished computer parts, as well as the traditional Newegg deals. Deals vary daily, so if you have some specific hardware in mind, it is worth checking back periodically. To help you out, you can add those components to your wish list, and Newegg will ping you an email if it goes on sale.

Newegg has a few other good points, too. For instance, their forums are very active. Other users will direct you toward the right hardware for your PC build or otherwise. Also, hardware manufacturers are known to browse and actively respond to users with issues to ensure everything is running smoothly. At the same time, their YouTube channels make decent videos comparing various bits of hardware you might want to pick up.

Newegg is best for:

  • End-of-season clearance sales
  • Big budget and named brand discounts
  • Wide range of hardware
  • Customer service

If you’re shopping at Newegg, there are a couple of things to avoid, too:

  • Spending all of your money on the end-of-season clearance sales
  • Making forum posts before searching for similar questions

In all seriousness, make sure you double-check Newegg’s price with other retailers before purchasing.

3. Best for Huge CPU Discounts: Micro Center

micro center discount GPU prices

Micro Center is a special choice for this list. Why? Because it is the only option with actual bricks and mortar stores you can pick up your hardware from. (Forget FedEx Pickup Locations!) Also, if you’re struggling to figure out what equipment you need, their in-house teams are usually knowledgeable and not just looking for another sale.

Oh, and they’ll usually match prices between the online and real-world stores, too.

But it isn’t just bricks and mortar stores that make the difference. Micro Center has a long and well-regarded history for excellent hardware discounts, especially on CPUs.

So, Micro Center is best for:

  • CPU discounts
  • Major PC hardware discounts
  • In-house PC hardware knowledge
  • Bricks and mortar stores

4. Best for Cheap-ish RAM, General Discount PC Parts: Amazon

amazon ram discount prices

I’m keeping the Amazon section short and sweet. Amazon does have some fantastic deals on hardware; given its size, you wouldn’t expect anything else. Furthermore, you can switch between purchasing directly from Amazon, or using an Amazon verified third-party seller.

The latter can often give you extra discounts, along with some of the protections of using Amazon (return policy, customer services, and vendor communication).

However, keep an eye on the prices around the headline sales, such as Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day. Prices for certain hardware components have been known to creep upwards in the days before, to make the discounts appear even more significant during the sale event.

You can use one of these apps to track Amazon’s price changes and make sure you’re getting the best price!

Everyone knows what Amazon is about. Still, check out Amazon for:

  • Great return policy
  • Black-Friday and Cyber-Monday discounts
  • Ever-changing PC hardware discounts
  • Cheap-ish RAM
  • Warehouse deals (these are very hit and miss though)

As mentioned above, avoid purchasing straight away with Amazon. Use a price checker to figure out any recent price changes, then compare those prices to the other options on this discount PC hardware list.

5. Best for Cheap Wholesale Computer Parts: AliExpress

aliexpress cheap ssds pc hardware

China is one of the largest global manufacturers of computer hardware. AliExpress is an enormous online marketplace where you can find all manner of hardware, branded or otherwise. Branded hardware still costs roughly the same as a US or EU-based vendor, but hardware from manufacturers you’ve never heard of can cost significantly less.

RAM, HDDs, and SSDs are worth investigating, depending on your budget and desire for a deal. However, off-brand GPUs don’t exist, and the same goes for CPUs.

Now, does it cost less because the hardware isn’t as good? Or is it simply the weight of the brand that adds to the cost of other hardware? The answer is somewhere in the middle. AliExpress sellers are either companies or individuals, but it is different from Amazon in that it doesn’t directly sell any products itself.

AliExpress is best for:

  • Cheap unbranded hardware
  • Cheap wholesale components
  • Computer part stores
  • RAM, HDDs, SSDs, PSUs

You should avoid:

  • CPUs
  • GPUs
  • Some monitor manufacturers

Before purchasing anything on AliExpress, research the manufacturer, the “brand” (if there is one), and any other information you can find.

6. Best for Catching a Cheap PC Part Deal: SlickDeals

slickdeals discount pc hardware

In the UK, a popular deal site is HotUKDeals. Users post a steady stream of the discounts they find on anything and everything, including discount PC hardware. The closest US-equivalent is SlickDeals, offering a very similar format to the UK site.

You can use SlickDeals to find discounts on:

  • Computer parts, including cases, CPUs, GPUs, hard drives, SSDs
  • Peripherals, such as keyboards, mice, headsets, and lights
  • Routers
  • Printers
  • Monitors

Furthermore, you can streamline your search using the SlickDeals rating system, where other site users judge the discounts on offer. Alternatively, search using price, a specific store, or a specific brand.

7. Best for Cheap Local PC Hardware: Your Local PC Specialist

How could any cheap computer parts list leave out your friendly neighborhood PC specialist?

Your local PC hardware store will struggle to compete with the major corporations that dominate PC hardware sales. But they will still do their utmost to give you the best possible deal on hardware. There is always the chance they have some discount PC parts in stock, too.

Sometimes people sell their hardware to their local store for some quick cash, or they simply no longer need their hardware. Building a relationship with the local PC hardware store owner helps, too. What’s more, a dollar in the pocket of your local store is more likely to circulate in your local economy, keeping everything ticking over nicely.

8. Best for Comparing Cheap PC Part Prices: PC Part Picker

pc part picker amd ryzen

Okay, so PC Part Picker isn’t a store. But it is a fantastic tool for tracking down PC components as well as making sure they are compatible. PC Part Picker shows a range of online stores and their current price alongside the hardware you choose. You can make a genuinely informed decision about whether to shop around for individual parts, or simply buy every component at a single outlet.

The Best Cheap Computer Parts Stores

Finding genuinely cheap PC hardware is difficult. The amount of discount usually lies in the hardware you want to buy. Looking for a brand new Nvidia GeForce GTX 2080? You will struggle to find a huge discount on that.

Thinking about picking up a slightly older GTX 1070? There’s a strong chance one of the sites above will have it in stock with a discount.

Another way to save cash on components is to dig down into what you want to use your computer for. If you only need a machine for internet browsing, reading and sending email, and word processing, you can build a very cheap system, regardless of extra discounts or cheap hardware deals.

And for more help, be sure to check out our list of things every PC builder needs for a successful build.

Read the full article: The 8 Best Cheap Computer Parts Stores for Saving Money

Categories
News

The 8 Best Online Shopping Sites for Cheap Electronics

If you’re prepared to shop around, you can almost always save money on whatever you want to purchase. It’s no different with electronics.

If you want to find cheap electronics and tech, you should check out these eight websites and online electronic stores.

1. TechBargains

techbargins homepage

Sometimes, it’s hard to know whether you’re truly getting a good deal on something. There are just too many sites to check; you’ll never know if you missed a lower price.

If you’re looking for the best deals on electronics, TechBargains is the answer. It scours hundreds of stores, discount outlets, and third-party retailers to offer you some of the cheapest deals you’ll find.

The computing section is extensive. The site offers laptops, desktops, printers, routers, and more. You will also find wearables, smart home gear, gaming consoles, and audio devices.

Away from tech, the company does offer a few other smaller categories such as home and garden, but the deals aren’t as eye-catching. For even better deals, sign up to the TechBargains’ newsletter.

2. Slickdeals

slickdeals homepage

Slickdeals is a community-driven site. Although the site’s homepage looks like any other online shop, all the deals you see have been submitted by members. To ensure quality, the rest of the community votes on the deals. Slickdeals also employs editors who curate specific lists of deals.

Furthermore, to safeguard your security when shopping, Slickdeals will only show offers from sellers who have received positive feedback from previous buyers.

The site’s electronics products cover everything from video games and TVs to cameras and smartphones. Like TechBargains, there are also small sections dedicated to non-tech items such as clothes and cars. You’ll see deals from several well-known retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Skyscanner, and Newegg.

3. Newegg

newegg homepage

Newegg has been in business for almost two decades. In that time, it has grown to become one of the web’s top online shopping sites for saving money. Its original focus was on computer hardware, but the site soon expanded into software and other electronics. Today, you can also buy power tools, sports equipment, and fashion items.

Despite Newegg’s expansion, it remains one of the best places to find cheap networking devices, computer components, and tech solutions for an office or workspace. Much like Amazon, Newegg sells products directly but also allows third-party sellers to distribute their wares via the marketplace.

Newegg also offers a healthy dose of refurbished, opened, and discontinued items. They are available at even more significant discounts.

4. Micro Center

micro center router example

Micro Center is the first cheap electronics website on the list stuck to its real purpose—it only offers electronic items, nothing else. Of course, it also has physical stores around the United States.

There are several broad categories on the site, including Laptops, Desktops, Processors, Networking, SSDs, and Computer Cases. Each is packed with deals.

Like Newegg, you can also use Micro Center to pick up great deals on refurbished devices and open-box products. Almost every item on the site has a discount.

Overnight shipping is available in the contiguous United States. Micro Center does not ship internationally.

5. Swappa

swappa homepage

Have you considered second-tech? If you’re working on a tight budget, you can find big-ticket items like TVs, gaming consoles, and high-end smartphones for a lot less money if you’re prepared to accept used devices.

Swappa is home to some of the best second-hand deals. Like Micro Center, the site is exclusively focused on tech.

You buy and sell directly with other users, cutting out the middleman. To ensure broken items aren’t sold, Swappa has a robust listing approval process in place.

Some of the deals on Swappa are unrivaled by the other sites on this list. You can pick up an iPhone 11 for around $450 and a Nintendo Switch for $220. Even used computer parts are very cheap.

6. Bang Good

bang good homepage

Bang Good is a Chinese site that ships to the United States. It offers wholesale prices for single-item purchases. Bang Good isn’t a place where you’re going to find branded products (though you will sometimes see deals on well-known Chinese brands like Xiaomi).

The site is, however, a place to buy cheap earphones, speakers, phone accessories, 3D printer parts, security systems, and smart robots where the brand is arguably less important.

Bang Good’s big drawback is the shipping time. You can expect it to take at least one month between hitting the order button and seeing a parcel on your doorstep.

Other popular Chinese sites for cheap electronics include AliExpress, GearBest, and NewFrog. AliExpress is a legit site, as long as you take standard precautions to avoid scams, as you would with any other online retailer.

7. Fry’s

frys homepage deals

Fry’s is a chain of electronics stores in the US. It does not have the nationwide presence of a chain such as Best Buy, however, the company is worth checking out. It offers one of the best electronics online shopping sites; you’re much more likely to find a bargain than at Best Buy or one of its many competitors.

Even though Fry’s does not have stores across the country, it still ships anywhere in the US. That means you can still take advantage of the cheap electronics, even if you live hours from the nearest outlet.

Many of the listings of the store include free shipping.

8. B&H

b and h deals

Although B&H does have a storefront in New York, these days it has morphed into a primarily online retailer.

B&H’s strong suit is audio and video gear. It’s what the physical store originally sold when it opened its doors back in 1973. Today, it also sells computers and other home tech equipment.

The site also has a “Used” section. You can find everything from second-hand camera lenses to darkroom apparatus.

Make Sure You Get the Best Deals Online

Knowing which online shopping sites offer cheap electronics is only one of the ways you can save money when buying things on the internet. And on sites like Wish, where electronic deals seem too good to be true—they probably are.

Also, keep in mind these international shopping sites that offer free shipping when you are looking for stuff not available in your own country and these awesome online shops with free two-day shipping.

Read the full article: The 8 Best Online Shopping Sites for Cheap Electronics

Categories
News

Monitor Buying Guide: 8 Tips for Choosing the Right Monitor

Computer monitors are an oft-underestimated part of the computing experience. People who don’t flinch at spending $1,500+ on a laptop computer will often buy a monitor based exclusively on price.

That’s a shame; the monitor influences everything you do on your PC. It can make games more impressive, movies sharper, and documents clearer.

The plethora of products on the market can make finding the right one hard; what do you even need to look for in a monitor? Keep reading our monitor buying guide to find out.

1. Monitor Sizes

You can find anything from sub-20-inch monitors all the way up to 70 inches and beyond. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You just need to make sure you pick the monitor size that’s most appropriate for your needs.

Most visual experts agree that if you’re sitting at a desk and are a typical distance away from your screen, 32 inches offers the ideal distance-to-size ratio for your eyes. It has become the standard monitor size for most desktops.

Some people will need to go smaller due to size constraints, whereas others may need to buy something much larger for the extra screen real estate. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll never regret buying a monitor that’s too large; you will regret buying one that’s too small.

2. Monitor Resolution

Display resolution is often used as a selling point for a monitor. The higher, the better. A high resolution will result in a sharper image, but you need to know about some potential downsides as well.

One problem is the perceived size of text and icons. If you increase the resolution of a display without increasing its physical size, everything on that display will appear smaller. For many people, this is not an issue, but users with poor eyesight may have problems with a display that features a high resolution and a small display size.

There are options to increase the text size. Windows has built-in accessibility tools, and you can always use the zoom features of browsers and text editors. However, zooming can also cause formatting issues. If you are concerned about your eyesight, picking a monitor with a low native resolution is the easier solution.

Gaming also can conflict with a high display resolution. Modern monitors work best when displaying content at their native resolution, but if your graphics card isn’t powerful enough, you may have to turn a game’s resolution below the monitor’s native resolution. Doing so will usually result in a slightly blurred image—still playable, but far from ideal.

3. Monitor Purpose

Building on the first two points, you need to ensure you have a clear idea of what you will primarily use your monitor for before you hit the shops. It will affect which monitor specs you should prioritize while browsing.

For example, if you’re buying a new screen for gaming, you should aim to buy a model with speedy refresh rates and lower response times. Or if you’re someone who does a lot of work with Photoshop or video editing suites you’ll need to make sure the new monitor has high levels of color accuracy. General users might be happy with a regular high-contrast screen.

4. Monitor Specs

When you’re shopping for a new monitor, you’ll end up coming across a slew of terminology and specs that might not make a whole lot of sense.

Here are some of the important monitor specs that you need to consider:

  • Refresh rates: Refers to the number of times a monitor updates its screen every second. Don’t consider less than 75Hz. Gamers need at least 140Hz.
  • Response time: The amount of time it takes for a monitor to change a single pixel from black to white. Top-end monitors can have rates of as little as 0.5Hz.
  • Aspect Ratio: The most commonly seen ratio in the shops is 16:9. Laptops are seeing more 3:2 displays, while 16:10 is also popular among desktop users.
  • Curvature: A monitor with 1500R has a radius of 150cm and a suggested viewing distance of 1.5 meters. The lower the number, the greater the curvature.
  • Brightness: We’re not going to get into the details of how brightness is measured. Suffice to say, you should not buy a monitor with less than 250 cd/m2.
  • Viewing Angle: Measured in degrees, it tells you how far from the center of the screen you can move before the image becomes unviewable. Aim for a minimum of 170 degrees.

5. TN vs. IPS vs. VA Panels

You also need to consider the various panel technologies; manufacturers use the different techniques used to build distinct types of computer monitors.

Initially, the most common type of panel was TN (Twisted Nematic). In recent times, TN panels have been superseded by IPS (In-Plane Switching) screens.

IPS monitors are popular because of their ability to display accurate colors and their wide viewing angles, both of which are lacking in TN screens. The tradeoff is that IPS panels typically have slower response times and lower refresh rates. Indeed, some of the best TN panels are better than the worst IPS panels.

VA panels offer a compromise between the TN and IPS screens. They have better color and viewing angles than TN screens, but worse refresh rates than IPS panels.

Of the three types, IPS panels are the most expensive variant.

5. Ports

No self-respecting monitor will ship without an HDMI port. But you need to consider what other tech you own and what ports it needs.

VGA and DVI connections are still knocking around on some legacy devices, while other standards like DisplayPort and USB-C are also becoming more common.

6. Don’t Buy Online

It’s a basic lesson that applies to not only monitors but also TVs, laptops, tablets, and virtually any other device with a display. Glossy images and fancy online marketing are not sufficient to truly gauge a monitor’s picture quality. You need to get down to the nearest Best Buy and see it with your own eyes.

Even then, it’s not always easy. Stores are unusual places, with lighting that is much brighter than a standard home environment and plenty of distractions. For a more definitive word, check out trusted review sites, and even user reviews.

7. More Money, More Quality

There is more to a display than the panel. For example, cheap monitors often come with inexpensive plastic stands that wobble and don’t offer ergonomic adjustments. Expensive monitors usually come with tilt, pivot, and high adjustments as standard.

Warranty is important, too. Many cheap monitors come with a one-year warranty, while more expensive models often offer a three-year or five-year warranty. Any added protection beyond the standard one-year warranty adds value to a monitor that you’re considering.

(Note: To learn more about using your monitor in an ergonomic way, have a look at our list of the best computer chairs.)

8. Buy for the Long-Term

A good monitor built five years ago is still a decent monitor today. And monitors are typically fairly reliable pieces of tech.

Ergo, you should buy a monitor under the assumption that you will be keeping it for some time. Cheap monitors are appealing, but they also lack input options and have so-so image quality. When spending your money, consider the value that you are receiving for your dollar. Do you really want to be staring at a sub-par display for a decade?

Learn More About How to Pick a Monitor

Picking the right monitor for your needs is not an exact science. You need to weigh up the pros and cons of the various specs, technologies, and price points before you make your choice.

If you would like to learn more about how to pick a monitor, check out our lists of the best curved monitors and the best cheap gaming monitors.

Read the full article: Monitor Buying Guide: 8 Tips for Choosing the Right Monitor

Categories
News

The Ultimate Online Shopping Guide: 50+ Essential Tips, Tricks, and Secrets

We have all the tips, tricks, tutorials, and guides you’ll need to become a master of shopping online. Find better deals, avoid tricky scams, and save money!

Online shopping has exploded so much in the past decade that brick-and-mortar stores are closing in response. And in America, over half of all online shopping is done through Amazon. With free two-day shipping via Amazon Prime, it’s no wonder that people are coming to rely on the e-commerce giant for nearly everything.

But online shopping can be a huge money sink if you aren’t careful. On the one hand, it’s incredibly easy to overspend if you’re careless; on the other hand, you can save a LOT of money if you’re patient and know how to snag deals and bargains as they come.

Here’s what you need to know about being a better, smarter, and faster online shopper.

The Best Sites for Online Shopping

Amazon is the king of all online retailers, and that won’t be changing anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean you always have to shop at Amazon. Indeed, you might want to shop elsewhere for any number of reasons:

Where to Shop Online for Specific Items

At the end of the day, there are dozens of excellent online retailers out there. Many of them are niche and specialized in a certain category of items, so don’t expect to find a full-blown replacement for Amazon. Rather, when you’re in the market for something specific, consider these sites instead:

Tips When Shopping on Amazon

amazon-prime-benefits

It’s hard not to shop on Amazon these days. The next time you find yourself browsing the available wares, make sure you employ these tips and tricks to make sure you’re always getting the best deals and making the most of what Amazon offers:

Every so often, you’ll run into issues when shopping on Amazon. Don’t get too hung up on it as that’s to be expected with an operation as monolithic as Amazon. Just take the necessary steps to avoid scams and rectify issues:

If you find yourself ordering from Amazon often, you may want to consider upgrading to Amazon Prime. It’s not too expensive and comes with all kinds of benefits beyond free two-day shipping:

Tips When Shopping on eBay

ebay-black-friday

Want to buy something used or unusual? You’ll probably find it on eBay. As one of the world’s largest online marketplaces, you’ll find all kinds of stuff that you won’t elsewhere. Just be careful and always triple-check listings before committing to a purchase:

Tips When Shopping on AliExpress

aliexpress-safety

AliExpress offers some of the cheapest prices you’ll find anywhere on the internet, but it comes at a price: slow shipping speeds and higher risk of fraudulent goods. Here’s what you need to know before ordering anything on AliExpress:

How to Effortlessly Find Bargains, Deals, and Coupons

Hunting deals and coupons can be mentally exhausting. Fortunately, there are all kinds of websites, apps, and tools out there that will handle it for you. For very little effort, you can save tons of money with every purchase:

When Online Shopping Goes Wrong

Have you been scammed by an online retailer? Is a company refusing to honor their refund policy? Want to put an online shop on blast for terrible customer service? Check out these handy sites that let you do just that:

More Online Shopping Tips

Read the full article: The Ultimate Online Shopping Guide: 50+ Essential Tips, Tricks, and Secrets

Categories
News

How to Remove or Retract a Bid on eBay

Finding incredible bargains on auction sites can be an addictive habit. You start out by looking for a new lightbulb on eBay, and before you know it you’ve put in bids worth a couple of hundred dollars on everything from sports memorabilia to dog toys.

Sure, it feels great at the time. But after a few hours, when the reality sets in, you realize a signed baseball cap really isn’t worth $180 of your hard-earned cash.

But don’t panic, you don’t need to cancel your eBay account. In some circumstances, you can remove and retract a bid on eBay. Interested? Let’s look at how to cancel a bid on eBay.

Note: If the auction has finished, you’re too late. Unless the item is defective or not as described, your ability to return the item and get a refund on eBay lies solely in the hands of the seller.

How to Remove or Retract a Bid on eBay

eBay Bid Retraction Form

So, can you cancel a bid on eBay? Well, yes, but it depends on the circumstances.

If you want to retract your bid on eBay, you need to act quickly. If there are more than 12 hours left in the auction, you can retract all your bids without providing a reason.

If the 12-hour deadline has passed and you still want to remove your bid, you need to fall into one of three criteria.

  • You accidentally bid an incorrect amount. For example, you entered $700 rather than $70 when bidding for an item.
  • The seller changes the product description or photographs.
  • You cannot reach the seller during the auction, such as if you get an email bounce back or the telephone number is wrong.

Even if you don’t fall into one of the three categories, you can still retract your most recent bid. To withdraw older bids, contact the seller.

To retract a bid on an eBay item: Go to My eBay > Settings > Bids/Offers. Select the bid you want to cancel and choose the reason for your retraction from the dropdown menu. The same form is used regardless of the timeframe or reason.

If you are not within the 12-hour cutoff and you do not fall into one of the three other categories, you can contact the seller directly and ask them to withdraw your bid manually. Be aware that the seller is under no obligation to do so.

You can contact the seller by going to Purchase History > Contact Seller.

To learn more about buying on eBay, check out our guide on how to use automatic bidding to increase your chances of winning an auction.

Read the full article: How to Remove or Retract a Bid on eBay

Categories
News

The 10 Best Chinese Shopping Sites That Ship to the US

Most internet users will be familiar with AliExpress, but it’s far from being the only Chinese website that ships to the US. While you might not be able to find luxury items from the world’s top brands, Chinese shopping sites are great for cheap electronics, basic clothing, and items for around the home.

Here are the best Chinese shopping sites that ship to the United States.

1. AliExpress

aliexpress homepage

AliExpress is arguably the most well-known Chinese online store. With revenues of $55 billion, it’s also the largest; it earns more than five times more money than eBay.

Unlike Amazon, AliExpress doesn’t sell any products itself. Instead, it’s an e-commerce platform; it connects you with third-party sellers. The sellers are predominantly based in China, but there are also vendors in other South-East Asian countries.

Many vendors offer free shipping, but deliveries will take longer to arrive. You can also use DHL, UPS, FedEx, and other international couriers, depending on the seller.

If you’re thinking about making a purchase on AliExpress, make sure you check out our guide to avoiding scams on the service before you hit the “Buy” button.

2. Banggood

banggood homepage

We spoke about Banggood when we reviewed the best sites for buying cheap electronics. Although electronics are the site’s main focus, you will also find sports equipment, fashion accessories, jewelry, and health products.

The business itself has been around since 2004, making it one of the older Chinese sites that ships to the United States.

Some orders qualify for free shipping. Again, however, be warned that free deliveries can take a long time to arrive. We’re talking months, not weeks.

Banggood supports several payment methods. Credit cards, wire transfers, and PayPal are all supported, as are a host of third-party options like iDEAL and Dotpay.

3. GearBest

gearbest homepage

GearBest is a newer Chinese online store than the first two sites we looked at. It has only existed since 2014.

The site has close ties with Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi and offers much better deals on the company’s products than you would be able to find in a domestic store. Other categories that the site covers include Baby and Kids, Home and Garden, Appliances, and Electrical and Tools.

GearBest is also great for non-US residents. The only two countries that it will not ship to are Palestine and South Sudan.

The site offers four shipping methods: Unregistered, Registered, Priority, and Expedited Shipping. American residents can use all four plans. Unregistered shipping is free and takes up to 40 days. The price of the fastest option—expedited—is calculated by weight. It takes three to seven days.

GearBest has some US-based warehouses which can significantly reduce the time and improve the security of non-registered deliveries.

4. DHgate

dhgate homepage

Headquartered in Beijing, DHgate is primarily a fashion site (though it does have some electronic and home items available). If you’re looking for cheap shoes, wedding outfits, watches, hair and grooming products, or bags, DHgate should be your first port of call.

The site ships worldwide. If you live in the United States, you can use DHL or one of DHgate’s many local couriers. DHL should get your order to you within a week. Some of the lesser-known carriers such as China Post Air and Singapore Post can take more than a month.

5. YesStyle

yesstyle homepage

Sticking with the fashion theme, YesStyle sells menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, and lifestyle products. You’ll find everything from maternity clothes to cosplay outfits.

Unlike some of the other sites in this list, YesStyle sells mainstream brands. However, they are predominantly Japanese and Korean labels, so they may not be instantly familiar to western audiences. People who have a particular fondness for fashion in Japan and Korea will like the site; it has sections dedicated to the latest looks in each country.

6. LightInTheBox

lightinthebox homepage

LightInTheBox, along with sister site MiniInTheBox, ships to more than 200 countries around the world. It sells products across three core categories: clothing, small gadgets, and home and garden. The company was founded in 2007 and has gone from strength to strength. In 2013, it even listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

You can choose from several shipping options, all of which charge by weight. There is no free shipping. If you want to use a courier, LightInTheBox offers DHL, UPS, FedEx, and TNT.

7. Shein

shein homepage

Shein is another leading Chinese website for online shopping. It specializes in women’s fashion, though there are also some menswear and children’s products available.

Shein only offers standard shipping and express shipping to the United States. Standard shipping costs $3.99 per order. If your order exceeds $49, shipping is free. Express shipping costs $12.90 but is free on orders above $99.

Residents of Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska cannot use the express option.

8. GeekBuying

geekbuying homepage

GeekBuying is an electronics store. You’ll find Android phones, streaming boxes, wearables, smart security systems, tablets, and more. Like GearBest, it offers exclusive rates on Xiaomi smartphones. The site also has some “fun” electronics. For example, there’s a section dedicated to remote control cars and another dedicated to electric scooters.

Shipping is free if you use standard delivery. DHL and TNT are also available.

9. RCMoment

rcmoment homepage

RCMoment has a very specific focus—remote-controlled devices. You’ll find gadgets like drones, cars, boats, planes, and robots.

The site has great deals on the DJI Mavic Air drone, which we loved when we reviewed the product on YouTube back in February 2018.

Some products qualify for free shipping. If you want the fastest shipping, head to the US Warehouse section of the sites to see which products are already held on American soil.

10. DealExtreme

dealextreme homepage

The last Chinese online shopping website on our list isDealExtreme. The site is up there with AliExpress in terms of popularity. It’s been in operation since 2006 and ships its products straight from its Hong Kong warehouse.

Almost all the products are electronic. The breadth of products is impressive; you’ll find everything from glucose monitors to tattoo guns. The site also sells a lot of branded products. There are devices from SanDisk, Lenovo, Sony, Asus and more.

DealExtreme offers free worldwide shipping on all its items. You can ship express with couriers for an added fee.

Where Else Can You Find Great Deals Online?

To find more companies that sell quality products for a bargain price, check out our other articles.

We have written about the best sites for deals on video games, a guide to shopping safely on Wish, and a list of sites that offer better deals than eBay.

Read the full article: The 10 Best Chinese Shopping Sites That Ship to the US