It’s time to think about back to school and for many families. That will mean preparing for an at-home classroom. We’re stretching your dollar with what to look for as you buy new gadgets.
The days of notebooks and backpacks as your primary back-to-school supplies are behind us for many families who are trading the in-person classroom for the at-home school amid the pandemic.
This year, electronics are topping the list.
“One thing that you, parents and kids need to do, is making sure there are enough computers to go around. If mom is in a meeting, dad is in a meeting and two kids are in meetings, you have to make sure everyone can be connected at the same time if needed.”
Dealnews.com‘s Michael Bonebright says the good news is you don’t have to pay top dollar so everyone can have their own gadget. He says buying a refurbished laptop is fairly easy these days.
Just be sure you’re protected in case something goes wrong with the product.
“What you want to see on the listing, say if you’re on eBay, is a good warranty. You want to make sure the people who refurbished the laptop will offer a warranty and stand behind it along the way. And you don’t want to buy extra. You want the warranty to come with the device.”
If you want to buy new, he says deals will be better late in August. More technology you may want to consider – Choose a computer with a built-in microphone and webcam so you don’t have to spend extra on separate products.
You don’t need anything beyond the basics for connecting virtually. Getting a WiFi hotspot is a good idea especially if you’re in an apartment complex where everyone is fighting for the wireless. And perhaps a free or inexpensive scanning app.
“If you can scan in a worksheet and email it to a teacher or whatever, that’s going to save you a lot of heartache down the road.”
Whatever you decide to buy, you may want to move quickly to account for the delayed shipping you’ll likely run into.
There are also a lot of out-of-stock items. But with this being an unusual year, you shouldn’t worry about having everything set up right away. Just have the basics to get going when school starts.