How Do You Gear Up?

gadgetsI’m not gonna lie, a big reason that I like my current freelance tech blogging gig is the gear. But even if I wasn’t in this particular line of work, I’d still take an unnatural amount of interest in outfitting my office or workspace, regardless of whether it happens to be in my home or not. Computers, gadgets, office supplies, office furniture — these are the things that get me truly excited about doing my job, from the lowliest stapler to the most extravagantly outfitted desktop computer.

While just acquiring and setting up new gear is cause enough for celebration, better still is getting great deals on new work-related stuff. For instance, re-purposing an old SLR camera bag as the perfect clandestine portable HDD/DVD-RW/cable tote, or having Best Buy match the deep discount a much smaller competitor is offering on a 16GB SDHC card.

Gear-swapping via Craigslist or with friends and colleagues is another favorite pastime of mine. Through straight-up trades, I acquired my first film SLR camera (a Canon Rebel that’s still in great shape), a flatbed scanner with a special film/slide slot in the lid for archiving my parents’ extensive collection, and a Palm T|X that for a long time served as my go-to mobile device.

I’m curious about the hardware-sourcing habits of other similarly positioned freelancers. Do folks normally buy new, as might be expected from those who largely write about the cutting edge of remote working trends? Or is the preferred method to look for deals on gently used or refurbished goods in order to keep costs down and profit margins high? Personally, I find my own gear strategy to be a blend of both, though as a general rule it tends to lean strongly towards the new-and-shiny end of the spectrum — an approach much noted and frowned upon by my significant other.

Any and all tips, tricks, and strategies you have to share would be greatly appreciated, and maybe we can all save a few bucks in the process! So my question for you is, how do you manage your hardware/home office/tools and supplies acquisition process?

Image by SlipStreamJC from flickr

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