How to Get the Best Deals on Back-to-School Electronics and More

Aug 18, 2017

Young girl using laptop
If you’re just now getting around to back-to-school shopping, you may be pleased to know that the best deals of the season are still in full swing. In fact, you’ll find the greatest number of back-to-school price cuts on everything from electronics to basic items like pens and paper from August through Labor Day weekend. Don’t have school-aged kids and no longer a student? This is still an opportune time to take advantage of rock-bottom prices on office supplies or to purchase a big-ticket item like a laptop or printer at an excellent value. To stretch your dollars further, take a look at these back-to-school savings tips:

Score a lap top for $200 or less: With many laptops more affordable than ever right now, you can easily find a basic 15-inch model for $200 or less. Big-box stores like Walmart and Target offer some of the best deals, as do online retailers such as Amazon, Newegg and Adorama. Through College Prepped Major Rollbacks from Walmart, we found an 11.6-inch Chromebook Laptop for sale at $129 (was $179.99) as well as a Lenovo Ideapad 320 15.6-inch Laptop for $239 (was $269).

Check for student discounts and consider a trade-in: Don’t forget that many brick-and-mortar stores as well as online merchants offer students access to special prices on software and computers. Just a few of these include Best Buy, Dell and Amazon. In many cases, all you will need is either a valid .edu email address or a student ID (or a scan of your ID card). Another excellent way to maximize your savings on back-to-school electronics is to trade in your old model for credit toward a new purchase. For tips on how to get the most value when trading in your laptop, visit

Shop strategically at the Apple Store or look elsewhere for their products: If you have a strong preference for electronics from Apple such as MacBooks or iPad devices, you may already know that you can receive a student discount for up to 15 percent off many of the company’s products.  However, you may still find better deals for these items through resellers like B & H Photo and Video or even Best Buy, according to DealNews. Another viable option to maximize your savings is to purchase a refurbished iPad or Mac.

On the other hand, if you’re a college student and want to buy your laptop directly from the Apple Store, you may well advised to make your purchase now. In addition to the Apple Store discount, college students, parents, teachers and faculty can get a set of Beats headphones, valued at up to $299, with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad Pro. For details, visit

Stock up on basic items at this time: During the back-to-school shopping season, office supply stores and discount retailers such as Walmart and Target dramatically slash prices on items such as pens and pencils, notepads, tissues, paper and other low-cost items. As DealNews indicates, the back-to-school shopping season is also a great time to purchase items such as backpacks and essential household goods (e.g. toilet paper, paper towels and hand sanitizer) from big-box stores like Target or Walmart.

Earn cash back or rewards on your back-to-school purchases: For more bang for your buck, leverage your back-to-school shopping into cash back or gift cards to favorite retailers using shopping apps and portals such as Ebates, Shopkicks and Swagbucks. All offer easy ways to earn cash back or collect points toward rewards. Before you head out to a store or confirm your purchase online, it can pay off to see what they have to offer. Often, they have entire sections dedicated to back-to-school shopping. Not familiar with how to use shopping apps? Take a look at our blog post on this topic at

For more ways to rack up rewards for the shopping you will do anyway, be sure to use your SF Platinum Visa* to earn CURewards points toward more cash back, brand-name merchandise, travel, electronics and more. And remember that from now until August 31, 2017, cardholders earn double rewards points on all gas and grocery purchases. Haven’t gotten your SFPCU Platinum Visa yet? For a limited time, new cardholders can get 0 % APR* on purchases and balance transfers for six months. Find details and restrictions at

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