Ways to Save Money

This Secret Shopping Strategy Could Save You Up to 50%

Updated February 29, 2016
by Susan Shain
Contributor

We’ve got a fun little shopping secret to share with you…

When a customer returns an item that a retailer can’t put back on the shelf, it sometimes reduces the price and offers it as an open-box deal.

So, if you’re willing to buy something previously owned, you might be able to get it at a serious discount.

Want to see what’s available? Here are five places to find open-box deals online.

1. Amazon Warehouse

The Amazon Warehouse has hundreds of thousands of items in a variety of departments; all are “hand-checked” for quality, eligible for Prime shipping and have a 30-day return policy.

Though Amazon says it “thoroughly test[s] the functional and physical condition of each item,” it doesn’t offer a warranty on its open-box products.

2. Best Buy

The Best Buy Outlet can answer all of your electronics wishes, with deals on computers, tablets, TVs, phones, cameras and more.

Best Buy’s open-box items feature its “Return & Exchange Promise,” as well as a manufacturer’s warranty.

3. Overstock.com

As its name suggests, Overstock.com features overstock and open-box items in nearly every department, from clothing to furniture.

It offers free shipping on orders of $50 or more, as well as a 10% coupon when you sign up for its email list.

4. Newegg

Known for deals on electronics, Newegg’s open-box store mostly features significant markdowns on computers. While browsing the site, we saw several items discounted by 50% or more.

If you sign up for a free 30-day trial of its Premier membership, you’ll get free expedited shipping and returns.

5. Blinq

Though I’ve never heard of Blinq before, its rave reviews make it seem like a strong contender in the open-box game. It has great prices on overstock, open-box and refurbished products in a wide variety of categories.

Blinq offers free shipping on every order, as well as a 10% coupon when you sign up for its email newsletter.

How to Buy Open-Box Items

Before you run off to score your open-box deals, make sure you’re shopping smart.

Here are some tips for buying open-box items, thanks to a recent U.S. News and World Report article:

  • Only buy from companies you trust; if you haven’t heard of the company before, research it thoroughly.
  • Find out why it’s an open-box item, and make sure you’re okay with the reason.
  • Carefully check your item for imperfections or flaws; if you find any, ask for a further discount.
  • Double-check you’re protected with a money-back guarantee, generous return policy or other warranty.

Follow the precautions above, and you could find some great prices when exploring the world of open-box inventory!

Your Turn: Have you ever bought an open-box item?

Disclosure: You wouldn’t believe how much coffee The Penny Hoarder team goes through. This post contains affiliate links so we can keep the grinds stocked!

Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at susanshain.com, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.

by Susan Shain
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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