The Technology Buying ‘Hack’ That Will Save You Thousands


Technological products have become entirely essential to the everyday workflow and lifestyle of practically every one of us. From the iPhones we carry in our pockets to the headphones we jam into our eardrums – technology is everywhere.

While general consumer prices continue to reduce over time – ntably in large-screen TVs and wireless headphones – many items are still extremely expensive. Apple’s iPhones can reach over $2000 Australian Dollars for their latest 12 Pro Max, and MacBooks can cost thousands depending on the variant. AirPods can be up to $400 for the pro model and even simple charge cables can cost $60+.

Well, I love my technology – but I was obviously discouraged by the high prices of many of these products. As such, over the past few years I have been investigating and locating the best methods to save the most money on all the latest technological goods I wanted – mainly Apple products. Through my methods, I have saved hundreds of dollars on phones, laptops and other devices.

And this isn’t the typical ‘buy refurbished’ advice. These are simple things you can do to save money without compromise.

Here are my money-saving ‘hacks’ for buying new technology.

1. Apple’s Educational Store (And How To Maximise It)

Apple, being one of the largest tech companies is extremely popular – but extremely pricy. Their official Apple store is often the first point of contact for consumers when purchasing a new Apple device – but Apple has a lesser-known way to buy their products at a lower price. I’m referring to Apple’s Online Educational Store. This online store is available to any Uni students and teachers and offers a 10% discount across most of their products. When you are buying a $2000 laptop, 10% makes quite the difference. It is well worth it to purchase via the Educational Store if you have access to it.

That is a pretty great saving already, but you can improve it by a further % (to an 11% discount) if you access the Apple Educational Store via the UNIDAYS platform. UNIDAYS is a special online platform that gives school and Uni students access to exclusive deals. You can register here and once you navigate to the Apple offer you will be greeted with a special version of the Apple Online Educational Store that is 11% off most items, rather than 10%. This, once again, is just a simple and easy step to increase savings. It is definitely worthwhile to purchase online with educational discounts in order to save a lot of money.

2. Officeworks And The Magic Of Price-Beat

Many brick-and-mortar retailers offer price-match policies – meaning they will match another retailer’s price if it is lower than theirs. In some stores, like JB Hi-Fi, this includes some online retailers. I have been successful with price-matching Amazon AU at JB Hi-Fi before and saved a fair amount of money on a new video game. This, in of itself, is a good way to save some cash. Before you go buy something, make sure to scour the internet for a cheaper price anywhere and request a price-match at retailers such as JB and Harvey Norman. JB and similar stores often will not match unknown online stores, limiting you to other brick-and-mortar Aussie retailers. You can save a bit of money, however, the true savings come at Officeworks.

Officeworks is unique in that it doesn’t just price match – they price BEAT. This means that if there is a retailer selling an identically stocked item to them for less, they will not only match the cheaper price, but take a further 5% off too. Remarkably, their policy also explicitly allows any and all online retailers too as long as they are based in Australia. This means they will price BEAT places such as Kogan, mWave, Amazon and other online retailers.

Officeworks is also great in that they stock a large range of technology products, such as all the latest iPhones, AirPods, MacBooks and other devices.

So… surely they lose loads of money on people price-beating?

That was my first thought too. But Officeworks have a very clever business strategy that prevents them from having to pay out these price-beats constantly. They are ALWAYS priced roughly $2–3 less than the typical price of tech products. They will practically always be a tad cheaper than JB, Harvey, Domayne and most other technology retailers. For the average consumer, their search for a cheaper price will be contained to just these few Aussie brick-and-mortar retailers that they are familiar with. This prevents Officeworks having to pay out these price beats constantly.

Additionally, Officeworks (presumably) has a team that is constantly scouring other retailers for price drops and then reducing their price to a mere dollar less. This also prevents Officeworks getting caught by sales from JB and other retailers. They will always be a little less than these big-name brands.

BUT – it is very possible to catch them out (and save a lot of money!). Usually, there is a solid 3–5 hour time-slot between Harvey Norman or JB going on sale and Officeworks changing their prices too. This means that if JB has Macs on sale by 10% (as they often do), you have a small window to price-beat with officeworks to get a further 5% – totalling a (roughly) 15% discount on a brand new device. This requires a bit of vigilance in semi-constantly (I recommend daily in the morning) checking JB or Harvey’s online websites for the product you are looking to buy. If it is on sale, you then need to check Officeworks too see if they have updated their price yet. If they haven’t – BINGO. Price-beat is a-go!

Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of being able to drive to their local Officeworks whenever they see a chance to price-beat. So how can you still price-beat during this small 3–5 hour window before Officeworks updates to match your other retailer? Well, Officeworks actually offers over-the-phone quotes for price-beats which can be ‘redeemed’ within 30 days of issue. This means that once you spot the price-beat opportunity, you can call Officeworks and request a price-beat. Kindly ask the team member on the phone if you could have this price emailed to you as quote. The crew member should send you an email with the quoted price-beaten value and you are set. For the next 30 days, you can then show this emailed quote to an employee at Officeworks to receive your 5% beat price, even if Officeworks has updated to be a tad cheaper than other retailers.

Through this method, you can save a very decent amount of money on most products. But wait – it gets even better. As you may remember, Officeworks also price beats ALL Aussie online retailers! This, as I said, includes places such as Kogan, mWave, Amazon and literally anywhere else online (as long as the products are identical and in stock).

This is the real crux of the money saving at Officeworks. Let me give you a bit of a break down of AirPods Pro, for example:

So, at Apple’s official store, AirPods Pro are listed at $399.

But a quick Google for ‘AirPods Pro’ found that Kogan has them listed at $309.

So, you can now go to Officeworks and price-beat with Kogan, taking the final price of your new AirPods Pro to just $293.

Price-beating with Officeworks means you can get 5% better than the great prices offered at online stores, without any concern for shipping issues or authenticity of the online websites selling these heavily-discounted products.

So… As a consumer looking to purchase a new tech product, what should you do?

Firstly, check the price on Officeworks to see what they have your product for.

Secondly, Google the exact product name and go to Google’s Shopping tab (which should present itself high-up in the list of search options).

Now, look through the Google shopping results to see if there is any retailer selling your product for less than Officeworks. Make sure to double check the website is selling an identical product that is in-stock and brand new (not refurb). Not all retailers will be shown on the Shopping tab, so make sure to also check places such as Kogan, mWave and Amazon AU which are known for having cheaper prices than other competition.

Finally, save the online listing and call up Officeworks to receive a price-beat quote and ‘lock’ in your price – or go directly to an Officeworks store and price-beat at the counter.

Just recently, I purchased Apple’s new 2020 M1 MacBook Air (256gb) for just $1360 – saving a solid $240 off Apple’s listed $1599. I did this by price beating mWave’s $1435 listing at Officeworks (who were already on sale at $1439).

This process can save you loads of money, and I think the main takeaway here is to typically avoid Apple’s official store when buying products as you can usually save far more when buying their products elsewhere.

While this article has mainly focussed on Apple devices, you can absolutely price-beat non-Apple products too using similar methods.

So. Let’s see some numbers! How much can you save?

AirPods Pro – $399 at Apple – $293 at Officeworks with price-beat from Kogan

Apple Watch S6 44mm – $649 at Apple – $569 at Officeworks with price-beat from Kogan

iPhone 12 64gb – $1349 at Apple – $1262 at Officeworks with price-beat from Kogan

MacBook Air – $1599 at Apple – $1360 at Officeworks with price-beat from mWave

iPad Air – $899 at Apple – $796 at Officeworks with price-beat from mediaform

Apple Pencil 2 – $199 at Apple – $174 at Officeworks with price-beat from jw.com.au

Apple TV 4K – $249 at Apple – $227 at Officeworks with price-beat from Kogan

So

As you can see, you can save a decent amount of money on most products through online comparison shopping and price-beating with Officeworks. The above numbers took me 5 minutes research maximum and could now save me a couple hundreds (depending on the product!).

Not every product will have incredible savings through price-beating, but I’d wager that 9/10 tech products will offer some sort of savings through Officeoworks price-beat, mainly Apple products.

The time is NOW to start saving on your tech purchases. Make sure to shop smart and make use of these ‘hacks’ above to ensure you have the best possible prices (and save the most possible cash)!

(The prices above are all in AUD and are subject to change following the publication of this article.)