The Budget Buyer's Tech Source Guide

The Budget Buyer's Tech Source Guide

Jason Yang
Feb 20, 2013

Anyone that's needed an HDMI cable or cell phone charger in a pinch has felt the sting of outrageous big box pricing. We help you source quality but affordable home electronics and entertainment products without breaking the bank and all from the comfort of your own home.

The secret's been out for a long time now. Smart buyers know that Monoprice is the place to go for cables, adapters, and a ton more electronics at a fraction of the price of regular retailers. Their product quality is solid and their customer support is outstanding. You can spend hours chatting with their technical support team for free and they'll happily help you piece together every component of your home theater system or project. Visit in Apartment Therapy's Marketplace.

Great For: HDMI and ethernet cables, TV and projector mounts, wall plates and adapters

Sample Listings: 10ft HDMI cable for $5, ultra slim TV mount for $11.88

DIY computer geeks know of Newegg as the place to go when building their own system. Their computer hardware selection is immense. Newegg also carries full systems, electronics, games, home tech, and tons more random stuff. Their Shell Shocker deals are solid and be sure to sign up for their mailing list to get the inside track on the great deals. Visit in Apartment Therapy's Marketplace.

Great For: CPUs, motherboards, RAM, HDDs, disc drives, fans, accessories

Sample Listings: ASUS 23.5" LED Monitor for $169.99 (promo code EMCXVWL22, Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB SATA III SSD for $139 (promo code EMCXVWL82, XFX Core Edition 550W Power Supply for $39.99 (promo code EMCXVWL64 + mail-in-rebate)

Parts Express
Known for their audio cables and speaker components, Parts Express is another prime example of a great online resource for solid quality and fair pricing. Think of it as an online Radio Shack with random parts but fairly priced.

Great For: cables and speaker components

Sample Listings: 50ft flat speaker wire for $21.53, 8 port telephone module for $29.99

Amazon seems to be turning into the Google of online shopping. It's often the first place to go and with their numerous partnerships their breadth of products is huge. They simply have everything you could want to buy online. It's a great baseline to compare pricing and with free shipping deals such as Amazon Prime and Super Saver Shipping, it makes for a painless and easy transaction.

Great For: Comparing prices, finding anything you need

Sample Listings: Generic Apple iPhone 5 Lightning cable for $3.06, Keurig B60 Brewing System for $135.58

If you need an obscure part, chances are your last and final search is going to be at ebay. Snipers have made the bidding process a pain for regular users but it's worth the trouble for that rare part you have to have.

Great For: hard to find parts, that last piece for your collection, that random piece to finish your project

Sample Listings: 1984 Apple Macintosh for $172.50, Atari 2600 w/20 games for $27

If you don't mind pre-owned tech, Craigslist is a goldmine of great finds. You can usually snag some great tech at a fraction of the original cost. Be wary of scams and "too good to be true" deals and keep in mind that travel time and gas costs money too. Craigslist is also the place to spot fresh iProducts if you're not looking to jump on a contract.

Great For: Great pre-owned deals, tech at a fraction of the cost

Sample Listings: Apple 23" Cinema Display (aluminum) for $250 (DC)

Other Notable Retailers
There are lots of great retailers we love such as Micro Center,
CellPhoneShop, Rakuten (previously, and Send us a tip to your own special place where you always go to for the best bargains.

(Images: Gregory Han; Shutterstock/Studio_G)

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