Dell’s laptops are some of the most famous laptops all over the world. This can be credited to a couple of different factors.
The first is the fact that Dell pioneered the build-to-order desktop, and laptop computer. They achieved this by bypassing the traditional computer retail outlets, and instead started selling directly to consumers. This had the obvious benefit that customers could get a computer with exactly the features they wanted. Moreover, this system also proved to be more efficient than other companies, with the result that today Dell notebooks are amongst the cheapest around.
Currently Dell notebooks are sold under three different brand names. The Inspiron line is aimed for use in the home and/or for students and as a result tends to feature more of the basic versions of software. The Latitude line is aimed at business users and as result includes more business and/or professional versions of software. Finally the Dell Precision lines of notebooks are intended for people who use very graphics intensive software. For most people the Inspiron line is more than adequate plus they tend, on the whole, to be cheaper than the other two lines.
Now since Dell sells directly to consumers your only option when looking to buy a new Dell notebook is to buy directly from them. The good news though, is that since their computers are build-to-order, you can choose the features you want and not have to pay for the rest. However, if you are interested in buying a refurbished or used laptop from DELL there are a few more options. Thus, the choice is up to you on what you want to do.
Refurbished Dell Laptops: The Middle Ground
Buying refurbished Dell laptops rather than new ones, has become increasingly popular over the last few years. The primary reason this has occurred is probably due to cost savings.
Today, they come with virtually all the same features of new Dell’s laptops, yet cost far less. Therefore, buying a refurbished Dell notebook computer can be a good alternative to buying new. However, there are a few things you should be aware of before buying any refurbished laptop.
Refurbished Dell notebooks, like all other refurbished computers, are a mixture between new and used computer. As a result they are, on average, cheaper than brand new models but more expensive than used models. The term refurbished refers to the process of fixing of minor cosmetic blemishes and/or correcting other minor problems with a computer. The laptops are then tested and certified that they work properly. While Dell does not always do this directly, it does still have a large selection of refurbished notebooks at the Dell Outlet.
As a further guarantee, virtually all refurbished laptops from Dell (at least from sites we recommend) come with some form of additional warranty. These on average tend to last for 30 to 90 days, so check to make sure what you are getting before you buy. Overall, this is far shorter than that given on brand new models, although better than used models, which often don’t give any form of warranty. Thus, they are the middle ground between higher priced new models and lower priced used models.
Finally, there is one more important thing to watch out for before buying a refurbished laptop. While most refurbished Dell’s laptops can be used right out of the box, there are a few that can’t. This is a result of the fact that some refurbished laptops, don’t come with any operating system installed. While, this can save you money on the laptop itself, it can mean more money spent later on. So, just be sure to check that out before you buy. Moreover, that also goes for making sure it has everything else you want too! For more information about what to look for in a laptop please read our Buyer’s Laptop Buying Guide.
Where to Find the Cheapest Used Dell Laptops
Finding used Dell laptops on the internet is not that difficult. Given Dell’s immense popularity there are now dozens of websites selling various refurbished and used Dell notebooks.
Thus the difficult part is not where to find them but where to find them cheap. Personally I think that the best and by far the cheapest place to find used Dell notebooks are on auction sites like Ebay. However, before you buy a used laptop, especially from an auction website, there are a few things you should consider.
Unlike new or refurbished Dell’s laptops, used ones often come with only a very limited warranty or none at all, and this is especially true of those bought from auction websites. However, that being said, the price of used laptops from Dell can be hundreds of dollars less than even the cheapest refurbished model. The good news is that while buying from online auctions sites, is and will remain, slightly less certain than buying from a store or manufacturer, there are ways of insuring that you get what you paid for.
The easiest and best way to make sure that you are buying from someone reputable, on an auction site, is to check the seller’s reputation rating. Two things to watch out for are a high degree of negative feedback and lack of sales experience. Personally I tend to look for sellers with a 99% or higher approval rating and who have sold at least a couple of hundred things before. Beyond that it can be very helpful to read people’s actual comments to get a feel for the seller’s reputation. The two biggest and most useful auction sites are eBay and Overstock.com. Also, both websites are increasingly featuring sellers who are willing to give some form of warranty.
While the two sites auction sites above unquestionably have the best deals around, many people feel more comfortable buying something a bit more certain. If this is how you feel then you may want to consider visiting the auction website just like Ebay and Overstock.com.
Finally, there are a few more things to consider before buying used Dell’s laptops. The first, as has already been mentioned, is to check for the existence and/or duration of any warranty offered. The second is to make sure that everything you need is included with your laptop. Occasionally, people sell used a Dell’s laptop, without any sort of operating system and this could significantly add to the cost of that cheap laptop of yours. Finally, don’t jump at the first deal you see since it is usually worth it to look at each and every auction site to find exactly what you are looking for.