Saving

Geek Genius: How To Get The Latest Gadgets Without Breaking The Bank

photo: Harshit Sekhon

Tired of spending big bucks every time Apple (AAPL) releases a new version of your go-to gadget? (Hint: this happens every year). Then stop.

It’s easy to save on everything, from cell phones to laptops, if you know where to look. Frugal tech-shoppers use iPhone apps and police impound sites to score the best and newest gadgets for cheap.

Here are five ways to find discounts on all the gadgets you want:

RedLaser

Bargain hunters swear by RedLaser, a free application for iPhone and Android phones that scans item bar codes to find the merchant that sells it at the lowest price.

“This app has saved me so much money,” says Jordan Bucher, a special needs teacher in Missouri. “I love how it lets me scan any product with a barcode to get the best deal”.

To use this app, simply scan a product’s barcode. If it won’t scan, you can enter it manually. A list of stores and sites carrying the product will show up on your phone. Don’t have time to purchase the gadgets you find? RedLaser allows you to email yourself a list of products to shop for on your next money-saving excursion.

ChinaBuye

Where can you get a laptop for under $100? From a wholesale company called ChinaBuye. All products are brand new, and shipping is free no matter which part of the world you call home. Worried about receiving knock-offs or fakes? All electronics are guaranteed new, and come with a one-year warranty.

NexTag

You’ve probably heard of NexTag, a price comparison site that now boasts 30 million users. You can search for specific products and brands, or browse the rebate section if you don’t have your heart set on a particular item. It’s a great way to potentially save money if you already know the exact item you want.

Games Tester

Loan Processing Specialist Sarah Horton knows a thing or two about saving money. She spends her days discussing finances with clients around the world, and her evenings — finding ways to raise three children without depriving them of the newest technological advances.

“Being a beta tester is a good way to get new technology for cheap or free,” says Sarah, “but you have to find a place that will take you on”.

Games Tester is one of those places. While their primary focus is video games and software, they occasionally feature information about other types of beta testing. Most major companies use beta testers, so keep an eye out for openings. Not only will you get new gadgets for cheap or free, you’ll get them before early adopters have access to them.

Property Room

Between drug busts and other police seizures, a whole lot of ownerless, high-ticket items end up in police custody. Property Room is a unique auction site that allows bidders the chance to purchase lost, stolen, and seized goods from police departments around the country. The NYPD and LAPD are two of the more well-known police departments out of the 1500 law enforcement agencies associated with the Property Room. Low prices make the site a “steal” for the tech-savvy shopper.

Shane Snow is Editor-in-chief of Contently.com, which contributed this post exclusively for Mint.