How I Bought A New Computer & Sold My Old One


I needed a new computer, but I didn’t have a guy.  Do you have a guy?  I don’t have a guy.  Then it occurred to me that my union may have the hook-up to get a computer at a discount.  So I called SAG-AFTRA and voila – they’ve got a guy!  Well, a website.

Step One:  Buying Through Your Hook-Up

working advantage logo-smIf I signed into, and plugged in my union’s code, I could go to Dell and get a computer at a discount.  The price was discounted 11%.  That was $90 off.  This brought the price down to $750.

The Takeaway:  Check with your employer, union, or social organization to see if they have any such hook-up before making a large purchase.

Step Two: How To Pay For The Stuff

Cardpool+Raise LogosYou can buy gift cards to stores (including Dell) at a discount.  Raise, Cardpool, Gyft, GiftCardRescue, and MonsterGiftCard are companies that buy and sell gift cards.  They buy your unused or partially used gift cards for less than face value, and turn around and sell them for more.  It’s a profit deal.  Stores will also provide cards to the discount gift card companies too.  The discount gift card companies make a profit, even though they sell the gift cards to you at a discount – below face value.  To you, it is an automatic discount.

CashBackPortals-smThere are a couple ways you can buy these discounted gift cards.  You can click on the links above and go directly to those sites.  There is another way that will earn you a little bit more money.  Go to TopCashback, Ebates or BigCrumbs.  These are websites that give you cash back, just for going through them on your way to your store’s website.  These cash back portal sites get paid a commission from stores that you connect to, through them.  You get a taste of their commission jingle-jangle.  Read more about those three cashback portals in my post “Get Paid to Say Howdy to Store Greeters”.

I checked out what cash back percentage TopCashback, Ebates and BigCrumbs were offering.  TopCashback had the best deal, paying 2% cashback on my purchases at Cardpool as well as Raise.  So, I signed into my TopCashback account, searched for Cardpool.  I was taken to Cardpool’s site to buy my gift card.  Same thing with Raise.

In my case, I chose the Dell computer I wanted.  I saved it to my Dell cart online.  It was $749.49 + tax.  Then I signed in at TopCashback which took me to Cardpool to buy a $500 Dell eGift card, and to Raise to buy a $250 Dell eGift card.  TopCashback will pay me 2% of the gift card purchase price.  That’s $14 just for going through TopCashback to get to Cardpool & Raise.

The Dell eGift cards were 5% off, but additional promotional discounts made it a grand total of $50 off the face value of the gift cards.

I used my credit card to buy the $750 of Dell eGift cards.  I got the cards at a discount of only $700.  The sale went through and the eGift cards showed up in my Cardpool and Raise accounts moments later.  I plugged the eGift cards’ numbers and PINs into my Dell cart.  $750 was applied to my purchase.  I owed a few bucks more than the $750, so I slapped that on my credit card, clicked “submit” and the new computer was on the way.

For about 5 minutes of my time, I saved $14 going through TopCashback and an additional $50 by using discounted eGift cards purchased at Cardpool and Raise.

The Takeaway:  Use discount gift cards for larger purchases.  These were only 5% off but still saved me $64.  I once purchased Macy’s gift cards through Raise at 30% off!

Step Three: How To Pay For The Gift Cards

Hopefully you use a credit card that gives you airline miles, rewards points or good ol’ cash back.  The credit card I used to buy $750 in Dell eGift cards for only $700 paid me 2% cash back.  That is another $14 that comes back into my pocket.

The Takeaway:  If someone is going to pay you to buy something – let them!  That is what cash back or rewards cards do.  If you want such a card, click on “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” at the top right side of this website for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on these cards. Email me if you have any questions.

Step Four: Selling My Old Computer

craigslist_searchRemember, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  I view it as someone paying me to take away my garbage.

As I wrote about in “Crazy Chip’s Cyber Yard Sale Results”, I’ve made thousands of dollars selling my old stuff via Craigslist.  This was no different.  I gathered the details of my 5 year-old computer and snapped a bunch of clear photos.  I posted the free add on Craigslist.  I asked $199 and received offers of $150, $160 and $180.  I accepted the latter.  Dude stopped by with cash in hand.  I fired up the ‘puter to show that it was working and had legal software.  I pointed out a tricky switch on the PC tower.  I took his cash and he left happy that he got a deal on a computer he was going to use for gaming.

The Recap:

Shopping thru my union’s hook-up             $90.00
Via TopCashback to buy eGift cards          $14.00
Using Discounted eGift cards                   $50.00
Getting 2% cashback buying eGift cards     $14.00  

TOTAL Savings on Purchase             $168.00

Selling Old Computer                              $180.00

TOTAL Savings & Cash Back             $348.00


  1. Love it. Will def check out the gift card site. Any suggestions other than Craig’s List? Being a gal, CL makes me a bit nervous having peeps come to the house.

  2. I have met Craigslisters at the front of a large grocery store to make a transaction. Easy parking and lot’s o’ people around to deter shenanigans.


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