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Make Money Buying and Selling Laptops

Updated on March 17, 2015

Getting Started

Have you been looking for a way to make a little extra money online? This hub will give you some idea about how to make money selling laptops online (Mainly through eBay). Buying and selling laptops doesn't require a lot of capital to start and is proven to work. Everyone needs a computer, but who wants to pay a ridiculous price for a new one? You'll be providing computers to those who need them and make a little money doing it. Your profit is only limited by the amount of time you're willing to give.

Here I'll explain how to make money through buying, fixing and selling laptops online. This can be achieved by using eBay to find used or broken laptops and flipping them for profit.

Starting off it helps to have a general knowledge of computers because you'll base your bids on current laptop and computer prices. You're going to have to do some research using eBay and Amazon to find prices for auctions you're bidding on. This is not a get rich quick scheme. However, with a little time and effort you can turn a great profit buying and selling laptops online through eBay and other sources.


Operating Systems, Parts and Components

This is where it helps to know what the newest parts and components for laptops are. You're looking for laptops that have minor problems that can be easily fixed, such as: broken keyboards, dead batteries, issues with turning on that aren't motherboard related. There is a certain amount of luck to this, but a lot of it is having a good general knowledge of how much certain components are worth and what you expect to make from them. When you're looking on eBay for a potential money maker some things to watch for are:

  • Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 based laptops
    • I look for windows based operating systems because they're easier to work with and parts are a lot easier and cheaper to obtain than mac. In my experience, Windows 7 laptops have given me the most return. I've excluded Windows XP because it's really on its way out since Windows 7 came around. Vista is also becoming a long shot, but there's always money to be made for the right price.
  • As for the processor, anything with a dual-core is a potential money maker, but the real money is in the i-series intel processors.
    • i7's are the big money makers right now, but you'll also have to expect to spend more to obtain them too. I've bought 2 i3's recently that I fixed up and they both brought me around $100 more than what I paid for them. Do your research, check eBay for how much certain laptops with certain processors are going for and make a mental note of it--or write it down. You'll learn a lot about component prices just skimming through eBay listings.
  • Hard Drives, just about anything that works.
    • As long as the laptop you buy has a hard drive you're probably in good shape. Don't buy a laptop without one unless you think it's really worth it, this is where your research comes in too. Remember that you're selling to the general public, they don't want something that needs to be fixed. Solid State Drives are going to be worth a lot more, but generally have lower space and are of course more expensive when you go to buy them.
  • Make sure it has RAM.
    • If you buy a laptop without RAM it can be a real money sucker, unless you have some laying around that can be used. It's best to just make sure it has RAM.
  • Optical Drives, make sure they're in there too.
    • Once again optical drives can be a real money sucker if your investment doesn't come with it, best to just stay away from laptops without them.

Almost always search auctions

Below is an example of what you should look for on eBay. You will generally search auctions, you may find a buy it now or two worth purchasing, but you have to be quick.

Thoughts About eBay

First off, when it comes to eBay, be ruthless. As long as you think you can make a profit on the item you're bidding on, don't let it go, but don't always start with your highest bid. You're really going to have to test the waters a bit. Start by placing a low bid, just above the current one. If someones placed a high bid on it keep going until you've hit their peak--unless their peak is higher than yours. If they're bidding higher than your comfortable with, let it go, either they know something you don't or they're probably not in it to make a profit.

Once you've locked down an item that could make you a potential profit, keep an eye on it. Either you can place your high bid and hope no one goes above you or you can try "sniping" it. I don't know if sniping is the proper term. What I mean is waiting until the bidding on an item is close to ending and in the last 30 seconds placing your highest bid. This tends to throw people of guard and is the method that works best for me, but it requires you to know when the items you're watching are ending. You've got to be fast because other bidders are doing the same thing.

Once you've acquired the item quickly diagnose the problems it has, if any and get it back out there. Remember parts can be bought from eBay too. If you don't need parts and it's a simple software malfunction--this happens a lot--then you've made yourself a nice little profit with minimal effort.

Selling on eBay

I can't stress enough how important it is to write a good title and description. It's best to use the computer's make, model and model number in the title. When it comes to descriptions, please include all of the system specs, such as: OS type, processor type, RAM type and amount, specific video card description, hard drive size and speed, (etc..) I can't tell you how many listings exclude important information and because of this lose profit.

Amazon For Research

Amazon is a useful little tool both for buying cheap parts and for researching prices. Once you find a laptop and you're thinking about buying it, go to Amazon and type the laptop into the search bar. If the laptop is in Amazon's catalog, then you have a price point for you're potential buy. Do not buy anything on eBay if you can't see yourself making a profit from it. Remember to account for eBay and paypal fees (About 13%) of you're final value.

If you need a crash course on eBay, take a look at eBay for Dummies. We're all familiar with these books and for the most part they are a great tool for learning.

eBay For Dummies

Feedback and constructive criticism are always welcome.


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    • Dabdab profile image

      Dabdab 4 years ago

      I really like this lens, great information for all types - from just buying your own laptop inexpensively or making some money re-selling. Thank you for creating it.

    • aaronward profile image

      aaronward 4 years ago

      @ajmac: I enjoy repairing for family too. I like to know I'm useful for something lol.

    • profile image

      ajmac 4 years ago

      You have nice lens here and good tips for people when buying computers.I like repairing my own and for family.Great lens.Thank you.

    • maryseena profile image

      maryseena 4 years ago

      Very interesting lens! Didn't know there was such a huge market for refurbished computers. Most people just throw away theirs when they find repairs are cost prohibitive.

    • Monika Weise profile image

      Monika Weise 4 years ago from Indianapolis, IN USA

      I like your idea about sniping. Welcome to Squidoo!

    • Arod17 profile image

      Arod17 4 years ago

      Thanks for the tips!

    • wildbluefrontier profile image

      Nathan M 4 years ago from Tucson

      Useful article. An interesting way to make a little extra cash.

    • Gaby81 profile image

      Gaby81 4 years ago

      Welcome on Squidoo

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Hi, welcome to Squidoo. Thanks for the useful tips :)