Finding cheap used laptop on the Internet can be difficult because most laptop websites try to sell them for more than they are worth. This can be extremely frustrating since the whole point of buying a second hand notebook computer is to save you money.
The good news is that there are websites with huge selections of good quality and inexpensive used laptops. However, all of these sites are auction-based sites, such as eBay, because in my experience they will always have the best prices. Nevertheless, while auction websites unquestionably have the best prices and selection there are a few things to consider before you buy a cheap second-hand laptop.
- Unlike new or even refurbished laptop, used ones often don’t come with a warranty or if they do one that only lasts a short period of time. Thus, cheap second laptops can be a little more risky than buying new or refurbished but are and will remain the cheapest option. In addition, if you follow my advice below you can eliminate virtually all the most common mistake people make when buying from online auction websites, further reducing your risk.
- Also, before you buy any second-hand laptop make sure that you are getting everything you need for it to run. Many used noteboks do not come with all the proper software installed and/or are missing other things needed to make your laptop work. If you are not sure ask, if the seller is genuinely interested in selling you a quality product then they shouldn’t have any problem answering. For more information about what to look for in a laptop computer please read our Buyer’s Guide.
- The first thing to do when you go to an auction website is to determine what type of cheap used notebook computer you want.
Then, assuming you can find one that meets your criteria, you should check the seller’s reputation rating and look at the following three things.
- The first is their feedback rating, which is the percentage of people you have bought from the seller in the past and were happy with their purchase. Personally, I look for a seller with a rating of 99% or above, because I have found that I tend to have problems with sellers with anything lower.
- Second, I look to see how many items the person has sold before and if the item they are selling is the type that they usually sell. Personally, I look for someone who has sold a least a few hundred things before as a form of reassurance that I am not dealing with a fly-by-night operation. Also, I make sure that when I am buying an affordable second hand laptop that the seller has experience selling them, so that if I have a problem they know what to do. Again, I want to buy from someone who has experience with and knows about what they are selling.
- Finally, I strongly urge you to read other people’s comments about the process of buying from that seller. I can’t believe that people sometimes give sellers a positive feedback response even after having had problems buying from them. Thus, it pays to read the specifics of a given seller before buying, so that you know what type of person you are dealing with.
Refurbished vs Used Laptops
When searching for a good laptop and budget is your concern, you may be faced with two types of systems – a second laptop or a reconditioned laptop. Both types of laptops come at a cheaper price, but there are certain differences between refurbished and second hand notebook that you should consider before buying.
Reconditioned laptops are systems that were bought new by a customer, was used for a day to up to several months and returned to the store for several reasons. Since the store cannot sell the second-hand laptop as “new”, they will return it to the original manufacturer for refurbishing. When you buy a notebook, it usually comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Within this period, the customer can return the laptop and ask for a refund, while the store sends it back to the manufacturer.
The differences between a “like new” and used notebook focus on hardware features. Although reconditioned laptops are not new, just like used laptops, they are within a couple of months old. Meaning, expect a refurbished notebook to have greater space, better processing speeds, newer operating systems, more memory and the most up to date technology because it has been revamped to meet the current market standards.
On the other hand, a used laptop is older than a recertified laptop, but they are in good working condition. However, expect a second-hand laptop to have older operating systems, lower processor speeds, less memory space and include many outdated hardware. One of the differences between refurbished and second laptop is that second laptops operate like a new system because the original owner has sent it to a computer technician to be reconditioned to meet its original specifications.
Simply put, the differences between refurbished and used laptop boils down to how each system is revamped or renovated to work “as new”. Since both types of laptops can save you hundreds of dollars, it is your decision in picking between a refurb or a second hand laptop depends on whom you trust most – the original manufacturer of the notebook or your friendly computer technician.