How I Saved $200 On An Extended Warranty

08.15.06 | Money | 1 Comment | by junger

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Extended warranties are the bane of any consumer's existence. Extended warranties are like any kind of insurance — you hate paying for it, you'd rather not purchase it, but that guilt that your mother instilled in you makes you buy it.

Extended warranties are also the last real profit margin for retailers who have to compete with Internet vendors and the likes of Wal-Mart, BJs and Costco. So it's not a surprise that when you go in to make a big purchase, you're offered an extended warranty.

Since this past weekend was a tax-free weekend here in Massachusetts, I took the opportunity to purchase a new Toshiba laptop and save a good 5%.

But not only did I get a good deal on the laptop, but with a little preparation, I saved $200 on a three-year extended warranty.

My parents said that they would cover the price of the laptop for my birthday and recommended I get an extended warranty. Since I wasn't the one paying for it, I didn't put up a fight, and pulled up Toshiba's homepage and found prices on extended warranties. I printed out the specs for the laptop and the warranty and headed ove to Microcenter to make my purchase.

Toshiba was offering a 3-year warranty for $299, and the salesman at Microcenter tried to get me on their 3-year, apparently better warranty for $499. I told him I wasn't going to go for it, since Toshiba offered a 3-year warranty for $299, and the extra $200 was a deal-breaker.

I showed him the warranty sheet I had printed out, and without missing a beat, he told me that they could probably match the Toshiba price. I told him I would listen to any offers, and he quickly grabbed his manager who said they would price match. So I ended up with a better warranty for $200 cheaper than regular price, all because of a little preparation.

Most of the time, these retailers want your sale nearly as much as you want to buy the product, so coming in with a competitor's price or a legitimate online deal will save you money. Especially when it comes to the real margin-making products like extended warranties — if you are prepared to show them a cheaper alternative, they are most likely prepared to drop their price.

Have you had luck getting price breaks on extended warranties or any other products? Let me know in a comment below.

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