Save Money – Invoke Your Warranty

I’m old school in a lot of ways. I prefer large paper clips over the irritatingly small ones. I also use a manual stapler instead of the electric models. The one I’ve owned for many years has gotten to the point that it jams after a single use. I bought a new one yesterday, but on my way to check out, I noticed a blurb on the package about a limited lifetime warranty. I contacted Swingline and provided the model number, and voila! A new unit is on its way to my home – no charge, no hassle, nothing. The brand new stapler was only $10, but that’s the thing about being frugal (not cheap) – saving only $10 three times a week equates to $120 per month, or $1,440 per year. Needless to say, the new stapler is going back today – unopened, of course.

CHECK OUT THE WARRANTY BEFORE BUYING

Manufacturers provide a warranty on new items, with terms varying by product. Selling extended warranties is a HUGE money-maker for retailers. What you need to know – whether that warranty runs concurrently (along with the manufacturer’s warranty) or consecutively (kicks in after the manufacturer’s warranty ends). They typically run concurrently, reducing the effectiveness by half immediately upon purchase. Example: I purchased an iPad2 from Best Buy and bought an extended warranty a month later upon showing the store rep that the unit was in perfect condition. As I recall, the 2-year addition warranty was about $169. I also contacted Apple for an extended service agreement for about $99 (to the best of my recollection). Here’s the kicker – Best Buy’s warranty ran alongside Apple’s one-year warranty, so I actually only received ONE year’s extended warranty since Apple protected the product during the same year. BUT, six days after the end of Apple’s one-year manufacturer’s warranty, I had issues with my iPad and returned to Best Buy for a repair. Oh, no – no repairs – they just wipe the content clean and give you a new unit. In my case, I got the iPad4 (with Siri) and paid nothing. I left with a receipt for $499, and a $499 reversed entry for a $0 balance, and a brand new iPad4 – did I say it has Siri? So, sometimes it works in your favor, as in my case.

Now back to Apple – when I called to purchase a year’s additional support, the representative recommended, since I had a year of support with the purchase, that I wait until a couple of days before it ended to call, thus really adding value to my purchase. That’s what I did and I’m still covered on my iPad4 – did I say it has Siri? Again, you have to weigh your options to see what works best for you. I’ve included some links below to help you decide:

Consumer Automotive Research speaks to what to consider when purchasing an extended warranty.

OPINIONS ON EXTENDED WARRANTIES DIFFER

The next article cautions against buying an extended warranty.

6 Reasons Why You Should Never Purchase an Extended Warranty – My Money (usnews.com).

In the end, you have to make the decision that’s right for you. Before buying anything, check the retailer’s policy regarding replacements. My favorite savings club allows unlimited returns within a given time period (up to 5 years in some cases) if the merchandise fails to perform as intended. Whatever you do, don’t forget to see whether your retailer matches competitor’s prices on the item you’re about to buy – with or without an extended warranty.

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