Police Scanners On Sale: Tips For Buyers

So, you want to get into this hobby without breaking the bank. Trust me, I get it. We are all a bit short on cash these days. With this in mind, I want to discuss some ways to purchase police scanners on sale, so that your wallet stays fat. So let’s dive in, shall we?



Savings is all about the holidays


There is seemingly always a way to pick up a police scanner at a discount. The first way that comes to mind is to check Amazon. After all, Amazon is one of the biggest marketplaces in the world. If anyone is going to have a police scanner on sale at any given moment, it most likely going to be Amazon or an associated reseller on Amazon. This is especially true around the major holidays such as Christmas and Father’s Day. It would be a great idea to start combing Amazon for that particular police scanner model you have had your eye on starting at the beginning of June, then again around Black Friday onward. You are likely to find a great deal at these times.


I also mentioned Father’s Day in particular because I can remember in the past almost every year, Radio Shack would list their scanners for sale at a discount right around Father’s Day. So, I would definitely check with Radio Shack right around this time, and also again around Black Friday, if you are interested in a Radio Shack scanner that fits your needs.



The usual suspects and some hidden gems



Another way to find a police scanner on sale for a good price is to do a Google search for “police scanners on sale”. While a search such as this may seem completely obvious, it actually turned up some not so obvious retailers. I just performed a search in Google with those keywords and it turned up a number of retailers. The usual suspects such as Amazon, Ebay, Walmart, and Best Buy were at the top of the list. However, the search did turn up two retailers offering discounts on police scanners that would have never crossed my mind. Sears is selling police scanners on sale at the moment. Additionally, Overstock carries police scanners as well. This just goes to show that you should never rule out that trusty Google search as it may just uncover a few hidden gems for you.


Another retailer that you should definitely check out is Scanner Master. This retailer always has a great selection of scanners, antennas, and accessories. I have had good customer service experiences in the past when I have purchased equipment from them. They ship quickly, and the items I purchased showed up in great condition. Additionally, this retailer also has sales from time to time. I would especially check with them around Father’s Day and Christmas for the best deals.



Sometimes we get used


As I mentioned in a previous post, if you really want to score a great deal on a police scanner and do not mind a used piece of equipment, both Amazon and Ebay are excellent sources for scanners and equipment. With Ebay you are more than likely going to find a piece of equipment in used condition, whereas Amazon often has resellers that sell manufacturer certified refurbished equipment. As with any purchase of used or refurbished equipment, it is always best to do your research before buying. This will help to ensure that you to get a good piece of equipment from a trust-worthy reseller. If you want more information on purchasing used police scanner and equipment, please check out the following post:




A good point of reference



Another way to pick up a scanner at a great price is to check out Radio Reference and navigate to their classifieds section. This website contains one of the most comprehensive scanner and radio receiver hobbyist and enthusiast communities online. When you purchase a piece of equipment from this community, you are more than likely going to be getting a piece of equipment that was used and cared for properly by a knowledgeable hobbyist. This site is also a very good place to go for just about anything radio related from equipment, to advice, as well as reference materials.



Ok, so join the club



Another excellent way to find a police scanner at a good price is to reach out to, or join a local radio community. There are tons of amateur (ham) radio groups out there that hold regular meetings and community events. There are more than likely members of these groups that have one too many radios taking up space in their monitoring shacks that they may be able to part with at a discount. If you go this route and buy from a club member in your area, you will likely also be purchasing a well cared for piece of equipment that was owned by a knowledgeable hobbyist. Additionally, if you purchase from a local amateur radio hobbyist, you may just luck out and purchase a scanner that is already programmed. This is a time saver and will allow you the pleasure of scanning as soon as you get your radio home. So, do yourself a favor and do a Google search for your city and amateur radio club. This may just point you to an excellent resource for finding a scanner at a discount.



To Craigslist, or not to Craigslist?



You may also be able to find someone in your area who is selling a police scanner for a good price through a Craigslist listing. Personally, I feel that Craigslist is one of those resources that people either love and use religiously, or are skeptical of, and use seldom, if ever. This resource has had its share of problems with people scamming buyers, people getting robbed amid a purchase, or worse. Whatever your feeling is about Craigslist, this could be a good resource for police scanners and equipment. Sometimes people may get into this hobby and move on to another hobby shortly after. Other times, people may need some quick money to pay for something, or to fund another hobby. These are all legitimate reasons to sell equipment on a listing such as this. However, I would always advise taking proper precautions such as:


  • Meet the seller in a very public place
  • Only complete transactions during the daytime
  • Take another person with you for the purchase
  • Do not bring along a lot of extra money with you



You better shop around



As you can see, there are a number of ways to pick up the police scanner that you want at a discount, or on sale. Feel free to be creative with this. You should always be patient and shop around. With patience and dedication you will find the model that you want, at a price you are willing to pay.



When old is new



If you are the type of person that does not need all the newest features and additions when a new device comes out on the market, then I have a great method for you to pick up a new scanner at a discounted or sale price. It can often be helpful to visit resources such as Radio Reference and scanner manufacturer websites such as Uniden, Radio Shack, and Whistler to see when brand new scanner models are due to come out on the market. When these dates approach, you may be able to find retailers and resellers that are willing to sell the previous model at a discount in anticipation of the arrival of the new models. This may be an especially good strategy to employ if the new models are slated to come out near a major holiday.


Show me the money


If you are looking to save even more money on your scanner purchase, don’t forget to search for discount codes and coupon codes. It is always a good idea to do a Google search for coupon codes or discount codes for scanner retailers, as well as Amazon and Ebay deals. It never hurts to do all you can to make your dollars stretch even further. Every little bit of savings helps. Additionally, when your birthday and the major holidays approach, family and friends are always looking for gift ideas. A great way to help alleviate the cost of a police scanner is to ask for gift certificates to a retailer that sells police scanners. I have personally used gift certificates over the years to reduce the cost of my scanner purchase.



Avoiding sticker shock



Depending on what type of technology that the public safety agencies uses in your area, you may be able to find a police scanner that will meet your listening needs for under $100. In other areas, your public safety agencies may be using the latest technologies that are available in a $500 digital scanner. Ouch! This may sound expensive to you at first. However, keep this key point in mind when purchasing a police scanner. The important thing to remember is that public safety agencies often have difficulties with upgrading to new communications equipment due to high infrastructure and equipment costs. Consequently, it is difficult for these agencies to switch to new technologies very often. This is actually a good thing for scanner listeners because you can often buy a police scanner for what seems like a steep price up front, but also be able to use that piece of equipment for many years to come. As an example, I have one police scanner that I bought over 13 years ago for approximately $600, and I am still able to use that particular scanner to monitor the public safety agencies in my local neighborhood to this day. So, it helps to view this as a one-time investment that will have you listening to all the action for many years to come. We often buy a new television with this same reasoning.



What are your thoughts?



If you have any tips or recommendations for purchasing a police scanner at a discount or on sale, feel free to share them with the community by leaving a comment below. Saving money is definitely of interest to all, and allows us to further enjoy this hobby with more people. Until next time, Happy Listening to all!

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