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How to Buy a Good Used Laptop

Updated on June 2, 2011

The Advantage of Buying a Used Laptop

When you need a laptop, most of the time buying is the first option that comes to mind. Buying a laptop is not a big deal, and you can do it easily from the web, but it is not cheap.

On the other hand, there is a way to get a laptop without having to buy a new one. It is just a matter of finding a used laptop that satisfy your needs and buying it for sometimes half the price of a new one. Using this strategy, you can get probably get a laptop computer that satisfy all your needs and still stay within your budget for computers.

The secret of buying a good used laptop is having a strategy. I will discuss what you can do to find and buy a used laptop that won’t make a hole in your pocket and will still be useful to you for a few years.

Create a Plan

As I said, finding a good laptop is a matter of defining your priorities and sticking to them until you get what you want. The idea behind the strategy is simple: the web is filled with people that overpay for laptops with capacity that they don’t need. If you plan correctly, you can find one of these people to sell their used laptop for you, with all that you need and a price you can afford.

So, the first step is to create a list of features that you really need from a used laptop. I am not talking about a feature list of the latest computer on the market. I am talking about features that you need for your work.

For example, nowadays it is almost impossible to do anything without the web. So, Internet connectivity is a must for your used laptop. On the other hand, a powerful graphics card that you can use for the newest games is not necessary at all. You can edit plenty of excel files without a fast graphics card. So you don’t need that feature in your used laptop computer.

Go through the list of items such as memory, disk, external connections, screen size, and check the features that you believe are absolutely essential for what you want. This you help you to avoid a situation where you will waste money on something that you don’t really need -- that is not smart, and can cost you a lot of additional money.

Go to the Market with a Plan

The next step is to look at the used laptop computers available in the market. The obvious place to look for is eBay, in the laptop section. However, there are lots of smaller websites that have great bargains that you can take advantage of.

On each website, check the available used laptops that satisfy your requirements. Look carefully for the description of each item, and don’t rely only on pictures and descriptions on the manufacturer website. Many of these items have hidden problems that you will learn only by reading the fine print.

It is easy to get lost in the sea of options that the manufactures provide. The fact, however, is that there are very few variables that determine if a laptop is good or not. First you need to identify the operating system you want: Windows or Mac OS. Then, select the amount of memory, the amount of disk, and the general processor speed, and you will have a large selection of options that are more or less equivalent.

Also, I would suggest that you buy only laptops that are at most two years old. Anything older than two years is not worth your time anymore, as it is not up to date enough to last for more two years.

The ideal situation is to find a semi-new laptop that was just bought for someone by mistake, or that was received as a gift. This kind of thing happens very frequently, and you need to take action when you see this kind of item. You can buy very good machines in this way, and it will make a big difference in your budget when you find such a bargain.


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    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 8 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      I hit these hubs at the right time.. amazing!! Thank you for all your work!!