How Hard Can It Be to Get a New Laptop?

While driving my son to speech therapy 3 mornings a week, I keep hearing this ad for Blue Hippo, a company that is targeting people who have too poor of credit to get that utterly vital laptop. They really talk it up.

Drives me nuts.

Typical offer for people who have poor credit; they don’t care how poor your credit is. They say they will get you that laptop. And in my area they’re even offering a free MP3 player and digital camera to go with it, which I find hilarious. I’ve bought cheap ones of each for around $10 around Christmas last year. They have a ways to go to impress me.

Basically, you make a down payment and 13 weeks of payments before you get anything. By the complaints linked above, getting what you paid for is at least sometimes problematic, so I thought about other ways people could get a laptop if that’s what they really wanted.

Freecycle

Maybe a long shot, maybe not. No doubt it would not be a new machine, but if you just need a basic laptop you can ask. Someone might have one they want to get rid of.

Craigslist

I checked the listings in my area, and there were a variety of laptops available. If you’re paying for something you have to be careful about what you get, of course, but there were a number of cheap laptops listed.

Saving Up

Should be obvious, but to some it isn’t. Nice part is that if you save up you can get a new machine or one that has been refurbished, depending on your needs.

According to Wikipedia, to get the Blue Hippo computer it’s $99 down and $39 a week for 13 weeks. If you can stick to that plan you’ve saved up $606. You can get a laptop from Amazon in that price range.

Honestly, it just drives me nuts seeing something like this that takes advantage of the desperate, who, if they could make those payments could just as easily save up for a laptop on their own, and not pay an outrageous price.

Do Without

And you really can’t forget the option to simply do without if things are all that bad. How many people really, truly need a laptop computer? They’re nice… I really want one myself. I was having some serious laptop envy during BlogWorld. But I do not, repeat, do NOT need one badly enough to spend the money.

There are some people who can have a greater need for one, such as college students. It’s not an utter necessity at most colleges, even if they are getting to be more common.

That’s the part of the ad that drives me the most nuts in a lot of ways. They’re trying so hard to make it seem like lacking a laptop is a major impact on your life in general. It’s not. It can be an inconvenience for some lifestyles, but really, how often do most people pull a laptop out of a bag because they really need to use it? Not just for fun.

This post is a little off my usual path, but not completely from my point of view. I’m just seeing an ad that is targeting people who don’t have a lot of money, which is common for stay at home parents, and pointing out the ways around it. Seems reasonable to me, and the occasional rant feels good.

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5 Responses

  1. elf_fu says:

    Most of those “too good to be true” advertisments are often…Well, yeah. Too good to be true.

    They ham it up and they make it sound great at first, and then they bend you over with the surprise 999999999 easy installments of 9999.9999 for several weeks, which ends up double or triple the normal value of whatever it is they are selling.

    These are some great tips! Thanks for these!

  2. I am so glad you went after these predatory ads! They drive me nuts too. They are all over the place around military areas as well – knowing that they can convince people with poor credit or “tiny” paychecks to jump on the bandwagon thinking they are getting some great deal. There are car companies that do the same thing…outside any military base you can see gobs of signs for “ANYONE military” can get credit. That’s because they know you’ve got $xyz a month coming in and they take it right out of your check. I really feel for the people who fall for it and end up paying a million % interest in the process on a car that’s only worth $500. Eek.

    GOOD for you…great rant topic!!!

  3. Stephanie says:

    We have a lot of military here too, so that’s probably a part of why they advertise so heavily in my area. I always find running the numbers very interesting.

    And if people try saving up as I described and then keep saving up $39 a week, just think what they could do for their finances in many cases!

  4. Pink Ink says:

    Here’s another way to get a laptop:

    Your parents feel sorry for you (the starving writer) and buy you a laptop.

    I know; I am a certifiable spoiled brat 🙂

    I love my laptop, but honestly, do I take it anywhere? Not unless I have the location taped and sealed for dust, germs and heat :-).

  5. I haven’t heard those specific ads but there are other ads in my local area, Montreal Canada, that drive my just as nuts…one is for a colon cleansing ad that I really don’t want to hear before breakfast…:( And on the topic of getting laptops…I got my Dell Inspiron from a good friend who I had done some computer work for. Her and her husband bought a top of the line desktop thus leaving their five year old DELL laptop “crying” in the corner of loneliness. I asked her what she was going to do with it and she asked me if I wanted it. I grabbed it and it now sits happily on my desk and loves it when I take it out to neighborhood cafe’s to do work. And I love it because I always wanted a laptop to do exactly that. So if you have friends with old laptops collecting dust, don’t be shy, ask if you can have one…I’m sure they would be more than happy to recycle it. Take care and thanks for the post…:)

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