Best Buy: Where All Back-To-School Tech Is In One Place

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Best Buy's College Student Program.
Best Buy’s College Student Program.

This is a Sponsored Post on behalf of Best Buy, all opinions are my own.

In our house, back-to-school clothes and supply shopping is an annual event. But what we discovered this year is that we need to add another stop for back-to-school.

We needed a place to find all kinds of tech. Especially one that has discounts for college students.

Best Buy is the only place we’ve found that has a large selection of items from tablets to computers to phones to accessories like cases, portable memory, mice, keyboards, portable batteries and basically any kind of tech they need for school. (My son made a pitch for gaming headphones to count as a back-to-school item. I eventually caved, especially given study session on Skype.)

An, as any mom with multiple kids does, I made a list of items we could get within a budget. I had a $500 Best Buy gift card, so I researched everything that could be bought for that amount.

Note: You’ll have your own chance to do this by entering our Best Buy $500 Gift Card giveaway. See the raffelcopter widget below! 

What did I find?

A great selection of choices.

Best Buy
Tablet plus keyboard combination at my local Best Buy. photo: Corrina Lawson

There was the touch-screen laptop for $449.99. Chromebooks for under $250. Tablets that ranged from $89 to $499. Monitors starting at $89.99, gaming headphones from $40 to $129.99. Separate sections for Windows Surface tablets and iPads, so I could compare them. Printers with price ranges from $79.99 and above.

I personally prefer Apple laptops and desktops over any other kind but there’s no denying that they are, one, pricey, and two, less customizable that Windows-based PCs and laptops, and many college students prefer the latter for that reason, especially if they are gamers or, as is becoming increasingly likely now, taking courses in game development.

Researching all these Windows laptops online can be exhausting. With Best Buy, they were all in one place, and many of them came with Microsoft Office, an additional savings.

Not to mention that the HP laptops came with a package deal with an HP printer for only an additional $19.99. Yes, I know most colleges have public printers. And I also know how frustrating trying to use them can be. We had to buy a printer for my older student and I expect my son will need one small enough for his dorm room too, like the one in the photograph below.

2015-08-09 11.06.58

And, then, there were the phones. Every kind of smartphone that seemed to be in existence, with all kinds of cases. I spotted a rack of clearance cases for those on a tight budget, and the phones ranged in price from the newest smartphones with contract to no-contract smartphones for less than $50. The latter is a good option for college students, especially as my oldest had a tendency to lose her phone or break it. A broken no-contract phone means that you simply have to spend another $50, not deal with replacing a lost or broken contract phone. (We have insurance. It still costs $150 for us to replace our phones.)

Bonus, as a thrifty shopper, I love bargains and I love the section of Best Buy that deals with second-hand and refurbished merchandise.

2015-08-09 11.09.28You can’t quiet read all the prices but the newer out-of-case, refurbished laptops were as low as $250 in this section. (There was even a Macbook Air for $929, a $300 savings over the brand-new models.)

And, of course, there are the little bargains on-site. I tossed one of this portable batteries for $5 in the stuff or my daughter.

The box of portable chargers.  photo by Corrina Lawson
The box of portable chargers. photo by Corrina Lawson

Best Buy’s has an additional advantage over online retailers in having knowledge people on site to answer questions. I was approached at least 3 times to see if I needed assistance in my visit to my local Best Buy and they always pointed me in the right direction.

The store even has an official program recognizing this need: #BESTCOLLEGE. The campaign centers around providing students with tips and advice on how to have the best college experience ever. Students can always find expert advice and great deals in Best Buy stores and on BestBuy.com, but through the new campaign, they can now see tips and advice from other students and some of their favorite internet starts through the #BESTCOLLEGE hashtag and program website.

And, hey, look, even backpacks!
And, hey, look, even backpacks!

In addition to sharing tips and tech through the #BESTCOLLEGE hashtag, Best Buy also launched the #BESTCOLLEGE Challenge Contest. Now through August 15, students can enter to win one of six Grand Prize packages featuring approximately $2,500 worth of the latest and greatest back-to-school products from Best Buy.

Entering to win one of the teched-out rooms is simple. Students just need to visit BestBuy.com/bestcollege and submit their own tip on how to have a great college experience, or share what tech they can’t live without on campus along with a photo.

But right now, you can enter to win a $500 Best Buy giftcard to go on your own shopping spree.

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Best Buy.

Writer, Mom, Geek and Superhero. though usually not all four on the same day. Author of the award-winning Phoenix Institute Superhero series and the steampunk novel, The Curse of the Brimstone Contract.