Most people put financial concerns right at the top of their priority list in life and, as such, will aim to save money wherever possible. Shopping for goods online makes comparing different products easy, convenient, and quick, and generally opens up more options than people are exposed to through regular high street shopping. When looking for cheaper chargers and docks for a mobile phone, there are a variety of things to consider, such as which type of charger to get, and where to get it for the best prices. In addition, it will be sensible to look at whether OEM or non-OEM chargers are best when trying to save money.
About OEM and Non-OEM Chargers and Docks
Whenever a phone runs out of charge, it will need to be recharged. A new mobile phone will have several important accessories along with the phone itself, although this will depend upon which phone it is. Any phone, however, will always come with a new charger, made by the same manufacturer who made the phone. This is important, because different chargers will only fit certain brands of phone. For example, an Apple iPhone 4S charger will fit the 4S itself and any previous iterations in the series (not including the iPhone 5), while a Nokia charger will generally fit all Nokia phones. When a charger is lost or broken, however, a new one will be needed. When buying any replacement charger or dock, it will be either OEM, or non-OEM, but what do these mean?
OEM stands for official equipment manufacturer, and this simply means that the product has been made by the original company who created it in the first place. When getting an OEM charger, therefore, it will be from the same manufacturer who made the phone. Typically, these chargers and docks come with warranties, and are from well-known companies. In addition, OEM products will be of a standard that other unofficial manufacturers simply cannot match, making them far more reliable.
Non-OEM chargers will not be made by the official manufacturer. Typically, they are made to be compatible with certain brands, and can be a lot cheaper than OEM products. In addition, they are often made to mimic the look and design of official products made by the original manufacturer. For example, a manufacturer might create a product that looks just like a regular iPhone charger. However, while it may look the same, it will generally be less reliable and prone to potential problems. Often, these products are faulty, and may damage easily. On the flipside, however, they are cheaper, and can be excellent for those looking to save some money. Of course, there will be a range of quality provided by different third party manufacturers who create these aftermarket products - some will approximate the quality of official products, while others can break quickly, and may even cause damage to the phone being used. In addition, these products will rarely come with warranties, so if they don't work, it will not be possible to get a replacement or refund.
Types of Chargers and Docks
There are a variety of different chargers and docks available online, all of which will generally be available in both non-OEM form. These will include:
These chargers are used for specific brands of phone. For example, the iPhone charger will work with iPhones only. In most cases, these are the most popular types of chargers, and will, therefore, be made by a variety of different manufacturers. With some careful research, therefore, it should be possible to find some high quality alternatives that are both reliable and affordable.
Universal chargers are designed to be used with a variety of phone brands. They come with several connections that will fit most major phones. Again, these come in a range of prices, depending on their functions and the manufacturer making them.
Car chargers are plugged into the cigarette lighter in the car, and power the phone via the car's battery. They can be either specific to a single brand of phone, or universal.
Docks are more solid structures, rather than just wires leading to a connection that fits in the phone, and often come with additional features. Most common among these is to get a dock that charges the phone, and plays music as well. This can either be through the music player on the phone, or via the radio. Once again, the iPhone has a huge variety of available docks to choose from, some with single connections ports, and others with many. Each of these different types of chargers will be available both from official, and original manufacturers, and those who create aftermarket products. These will invariably be cheaper, but often this is at the expense of quality. When charging an expensive phone, this can be dangerous, and may end up causing damage to the phone itself.
Important Considerations When Buying non-OEM Chargers and Docks
Before buying a charger or dock it is important to consider a few things. Do these and it will be possible to find both high quality, and affordable, products.
Know the Seller or Retailer
It is important to trust the seller before buying, and to make sure that they are reliable. This can be done through research. Any online retailers will leave a paper trail of reviews and ratings that can be scrutinised to determine whether or not they are reliable. Reading reviews of retailers on forums and blogs will help to ensure that they are trustworthy.
Know the Product
It is even more important to review the product. Most retailers will not make the goods themselves - they will simply sell them on. As such, reading customer opinion about different products will reveal whether it is worth buying or not, detailing whether or not the charger will cause damage to the phone, how reliable it is, whether it is likely to be delivered faulty, and so on.
There is no better way to save money when buying online than through a thorough comparison of potential products. Don't just settle for the first charger or dock that appears to be of decent quality and is being sold at a reasonable price. Further searches may reveal others that are rated better and are more affordable.
It is important to always double check that the charger will work with the intended phone. As mentioned, many chargers are brand specific, and so will only work with certain brands or models of phone made by that brand. Carefully read the descriptions of any product to ensure that it will work, especially when buying non-OEM. At least when buying official products there will be warranties with them, meaning that any wrong purchase will be refunded.
Buying non-OEM Chargers and Docks on eBay
There is no better place to buy both official and unofficial products than on eBay. Not only is it possible to compare thousands of potential products and sellers, but it is very simple to quickly find out whether these products and sellers are highly rated or not. When searching for non-OEM chargers and docks on eBay, there are several simple steps that need to be taken. First of all, go to the main homepage. Then find the category marked Electronics & Technology down the left and click on it. This will open a list of new categories, so click on the one marked Home & Mobile Phones, and then the one of the next page called Mobile Phone Accessories. Now a series of smaller categories will appear under accessories, so scroll down and click on Chargers & Docks. Once this page has loaded, all of the listings on eBay for chargers and docks will appear. To find non-OEM listings, click on the tab called unbranded/generic under brand, and this will load up all of the different listings for non-OEM chargers. It is also possible to narrow this field by searching for various other brands and different types of chargers. This can be done by either clicking on the tabs, or by using the search function at the top of the page.
Shopping online provides a variety of options when looking to save money on any product purchase, and eBay is certainly an excellent marketplace for finding a host of different sellers to buy from, and products to buy. Non-OEM products can be risky, but will certainly be more affordable. When shopping for non-OEM docks and chargers, be sure to carefully review any potential sellers, and their products, before making a purchase. While this may be somewhat pointless with cheaper chargers, it is often an excellent way to save money when it comes to more expensive docks.