CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Teachers and students are becoming increasingly confident in using technology for learning, and is now a critical component of education.

Technology has now become a permanent fixture of the education experience after the crash course in educational technology during the 2020 school year, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

According to data from market research firm Deloitte, consumers are planning to make more technology purchases, while using digital technology to make those purchases. Nearly half of consumers want to shop online for technology purchases, and they say that quality and price are the top two factors that drive their purchase decisions. 

Shortages of supplies like computer chips that are essential might limit the options that are available to shoppers. These trends put consumers in a risky position because they can’t find them from trustworthy sellers. In times like these, schemes are very likely. 

BBB offers tips for buying technology products ahead of the new school year:

  • Shop with familiar retailers. Laptops, tablets, or other tech accessories can be a significant investment. Shop with businesses you know and trust to ensure you get a quality product and good customer service. 
  • Don’t buy from impostors. Fraudsters may use the name, logo, and other characteristics of brands they trust. Closely examine the website to verify they are who they are. 
  • Approach low prices with caution. Low prices and short-term sales could signal you’ve encountered a scam. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. 
  • Some companies rarely offer sales. Do more research if a company that rarely discounts products offers a huge sale. The products may be used or refurbished, or it could be a fake website.
  • Know what you’re shopping for. Set a budget, identify what capabilities will benefit your student, and compare your options. Then, shop around for a reliable seller. Researching the best product for your needs will help you avoid schemes and buyer’s remorse.
  • Ensure you know who the seller is. Some big box retailers allow third-party sellers to list items on their sites, and those items can be hard to distinguish from the rest. Read all the fine print to ensure you’re comfortable with the seller. 
  • Finish your shopping early. Supply shortages are possible, especially as many consumers begin shopping for the same products. Do your shopping now to avoid paying higher prices or falling victim to a scheme.

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