Whether you are looking for software for personal or professional use, you are almost certainly look for different ways to save money. Software can often be very expensive and, without being proactive about searching for savings opportunities, you may easily find yourself paying more than you need to.
Fortunately, there are many different things you can to decrease what you need to pay for these programs. Both online and in-person retailers are looking for new ways to attract your business. Though taking the time to explore your options may require a little bit of effort, once you have been able to find the savings you’ve been looking for, you’ll realize that the effort was well worth it.
In this article, we will discuss the best strategies you can use for finding software outlet discount stores and how you can save significantly on top programs. Though some of these strategies may seem to be rather intuitive, you may be surprised just how often these savings opportunities are overlooked by even the most seasoned shoppers.
Save Time and Money by Comparison Shopping Online
One of the primary advantages of living in the 21st Century is that comparison shopping is easier than ever before. While in the past, you would likely need to go to multiple different stores in order to know what prices are available, this is something that can now easily be done from the comfort of your own home.
Even if one of the retail outlets you are considering buying from does indeed have a physical shopping location, visiting their website in advance will likely be quite advantageous. Most resellers will readily list their prices on their website, making it much easier to compare multiple dealers at once. By taking the time to compare your options, you may able to instantly save more than 50% on a given product.
Take Advantage of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Discount
Technically speaking, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) software is designed to already come pre-installed onto a computer. However, there are many exceptions to this rule. In fact, many online software dealers have copies available and ready to be sold.
While purchasing a new copy of Windows Home Premium may cost over $200 when purchased directly from Microsoft, OEM discounts may be able to give you access to the exact same software for less than $100. Depending on the amount and type of application you currently need to buy, using the OEM route can help you effectively save thousands of dollars over time.
Search for Student Discounts—Even if you’re Not a Student
Most manufacturers are fully aware of two facts of life: college students need a reliable source for software and these same students typically have very little disposable income. Because of these facts—and the dealer’s desire to build a life-long relationship with their clients—many dealers are willing to offer generous discounts to students.
However, contrary to popular belief, most student discounts can be accessed by people who are no longer in school. Though the level of “security” involved will vary depending on who you are purchasing from, many software dealers will simply ask for a .edu email address or may even just ask you to simply check a box that says “student.” These discounts may only apply for a certain period of time, but they can certainly offer you access to easy and immediate savings.
Consider Buying in Bulk or Purchasing Bundles
As is the case with essentially all products, software is significantly more affordable when it is purchased in bulk. This is especially true when you are dealing with online outlets that are hoping to sell a large inventory quickly.
There are many different ways that you can access bulk discounts. If you are a student or someone who is a member of a large organization (such as a specific business), then you could easily organize a group and make your purchase all at once. Typically, bulk discounts will begin to “kick in” as soon as you are purchasing more than one unit at a time. The more software that you are able to purchase at once, the larger the discount you are likely to receive.
Furthermore, purchasing multiple pieces of bundled applications from an online retailer can help you save even more many. For example, instead of purchasing Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint individually, you will likely save much more by purchasing the entire Microsoft Office family at once. If you are unsure if a bundling discount is actually available or not, it never hurts to ask.
Pay Attention to Your Favorite Developers
These days, software developers of all varieties are looking for ways to create lasting and meaningful relationships with their clients. Most companies have made significant efforts to increase their social media presence and, consequently, these platforms often offer their followers exclusive discounts they may not be able to find elsewhere.
Usually, the calendar distribution for social media discounts can be rather unpredictable, though it is often related to the company’s general operating cycle. If you are hoping to have access to these discounts, consider “liking” or “following” your favorite developers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other platforms you may be regularly using.
You might also want to consider signing up for various e-mailing lists. Though these e-mails will be something that you can simply “unsubscribe” from as soon as your software purchase has been made, they can help you find some reasonable deals until that day has actually come. In addition to following the various developers you are considering purchasing software from, you should also consider following their corresponding software dealers (in Microsoft’s case, look for “officially licensed partners”).
Recognize Your Needs
Lastly, if you are hoping to save money while using online outlets, it is very important that you recognize your actual needs before you begin the shopping process. For example, while bundling or bulk purchasing discounts will indeed allow you to save on a per-unit basis, these savings will be fundamentally useless if they force you to purchase something you simply don’t need.
Before you begin the process of comparison shopping various software outlets, there are a few important questions you should consider asking yourself.
- What are my current needs? What kind of applications do I already own?
- Would it make more sense to purchase the licensing rights upfront or to purchase a subscription over time?
- When am I planning on purchasing my next computer? What software will this computer likely already include?
- Do I have a history or a positive relationship already established with any discount software outlets?
Once you have been able to effectively answer these questions, you should be able to have a much easier time navigating a relatively crowded market for computer applications.
Even once you have seen the initial retail price for new programs, there is still no need for you to panic. Currently, there are many different discount software outlets available for you to choose from—each of these outlets will various pros and cons associated with it. By taking the time to familiarize yourself with the industry and engage in smart comparison shopping habits, you should be able to access significant savings over time.