Warranty: Worth It or Not?

By Vivian El-Salawy on March 20, 2018

When it comes to purchasing warranty for a product, giving it the least bit of consideration isn’t a terrible idea. However, college students don’t always know exactly what to look into when taking into consideration the purchase of a warranty outside of the initial cost. The following are some tips that may help you narrow down which kinds of warranties are worth it, and which are not:

Image via Pixabay

General Tips:

  • Reading fine print is something we hate doing, but it’s something that you have to do if you’re considering investing money into making sure that you get the most out of your product. Exceptions, as well as terms and conditions, for your warranty might be what determines whether or not the warranty is worthwhile regardless of what you’re paying for it.
  • Avoid purchasing third-party warranties for products or appliances. Most of the time, they end up being companies with call centers that help talk you through your problems, however they often lack the ability to legitimately repair your product or device.
  • Read the reviews from other, independent sites. Google Reviews is generally a reliable source for reviews on warranties, but even taking into consideration a multitude of websites will help with your search.
  • Sometimes extended warranties end up being more than the cost of the repair for said product. Always look into discounts, especially as a student. Many companies offer discounted (or even freebie) warranties if you can present either a student e-mail or a student ID. Sometimes asking a question or two about cheaper warranty deals can help you save yourself a dollar here and there. Worst case scenario, they offer no discounts.
  • Before you spend any money, check to see if your product already comes with some kind of warranty or other service deal.

When purchasing warranty is worth it:

Image via Pixabay

Most of the time, purchasing warranty for digital products and appliances is totally worth it. This goes for laptops, cameras, and other electronic devices. For instance, the Apple Store for Education offers the Applecare Protection Plan (or APP) – the extended warranty for a Powerbook/Macbook Pro. This warranty usually runs for more, but is offered to faculty, staff, homeschool teachers, current and newly accepted college students and their parents, for a discounted price. You can also trade in your eligible Mac and get credit towards a new MacBook. Applecare can be a true lifesaver when your laptop breaks down the week of your midterms or final exams.

Purchasing a warranty for your cellular device isn’t a terrible idea either. Accidents happen (whether or not you are the cause of it), and the last thing you want to worry about is purchasing a brand-new iPhone only months after you’ve started leasing your current phone.

When purchasing warranty isn’t worth it:

Image via Pixabay

You should typically stray away from buying warranty on larger, more expensive consumer products, which college students typically avoid anyway, unless they’re moving into a larger home. These appliances include refrigerators, washing machines, TV’s, microwaves, and so on.

“Forty percent of refrigerator buyers who purchase an extended warranty aren’t buying an insurance policy because they think the refrigerator will fail, they are buying one because they would feel foolish if the fridge breaks and they were left without coverage.” - U.S. News

While students aren’t usually purchasing humungous refrigerators, microwaves and mini-fridges often find their way into college dorms. While most students go for the smaller, cheaper products – these typically serve as temporary appliances that will either be used for a few more years in an off-campus apartment or sold to another desperate college student at the end of the year.

Sometimes, looking into a worthwhile product and spending more on the quality of the appliance can save you hundreds of dollars on buying a warranty for a faulty product “just in case” something bad happens. Don’t just invest your time into researching warranties, but research the quality of products. Spending $30 more on an iPhone case may pay off over spending $30 less on a lesser quality case, and an additional price for a warranty or service fee (or worse, a brand-new case).

All in all, putting in a little more time into warranty considerations can help you save loads of money when it comes to purchasing products and appliances to enhance your college career. After all, that’s what warranties are for in the first place.

Vivian El-Salawy is a graduate of Florida State University with a B.A. in Editing, Writing, and Media with minors in Slavic (Russian) Studies and Communications. Alongside writing for Uloop News, WVFS Tallahassee 89.7 FM, and editing for the Good Life Community magazine, she is heavily involved with a Tau Beta Sigma, a national honorary sorority that promotes women in the band profession.

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