Share your tips for buying used laptops

Discussion in 'Laptop General Discussion' started by fcuco, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. fcuco

    fcuco

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    Here are mine:

    1. Don't ever buy anything that's missing a charger, that's a clear sign of a stolen good
    2. Bring your own DVDs to test the optical drives, bring an USB device and test all ports
    3. Bring your own headphones too so you can test the headphone jack
    4. And finally, the battery, since Windows 7 you can use the powercfg -energy command to check how healthy the battery is, pay attention to the "Design capacity" versus the "Last full charge" entries displayed, you should see a value for Last full charge that's slightly lower than the Design capacity, if it is half or something like that, the battery is about to die.
    What other tips can you offer?
     
    fcuco, Apr 17, 2016
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  2. fcuco

    Corzhens

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    Most used laptop stores here have their products fully refurbished before selling so testing is not proof of its capability. I'm not much for batteries because it takes time to know the real capacity or life of the battery. Our rule of thumb is the warranty. If they can give you a warranty of at least 6 months then that would be a good deal. But shorter than 6 months is suspect for used electronic items can have a breakdown sooner or later particularly with the hard disk. So what happens if the system hard disk gave up?
     
    Corzhens, Apr 18, 2016
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  3. fcuco

    Sefie

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    Very good tips... USB ports are often the first ones to go. You just never know how careful the other owner was, I'm a god example of that ;) only one out of 3 USB ports are working in my laptop ;)
     
    Sefie, Apr 18, 2016
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  4. fcuco

    FenWoFon

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    These tips are just amazing, I will surelly take keep them in mind in case I ever buy an used laptop, thank you for sharing them.
    I also think that you gotta check the mouse pad, because they're mostly broken or they do not get to recognize the finger movements properly.
     
    FenWoFon, Apr 18, 2016
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  5. fcuco

    fcuco

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    Well, I was talking more about the lines of buying a laptop from somebody else using something like eBay or craigslists, if you are buying from an actual store then I guess that having a good warranty should suffice to give you peace of mind. You should test the whole thing anyway because maybe even the store owner ignores some of the problems that the machine could have not because of malice but by simple omission.

    I think that it is safe to expect that a store is not going to be selling stolen goods, but, you never know, the used market is always shady by definition.
     
    fcuco, Apr 21, 2016
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  6. fcuco

    fcuco

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    Another thin that breaks often are the DC power jacks, you know how it works, the laptop is connected and somebody trips or steps into the cable and the thing breaks internally, so unless you are buying something that uses one of those magnetic power connectors like the MacBooks you should also test if it is easy to connect the computer to the power supply without having to mess with the connector a lot. Don't trust the machine even if it appears to be fully charged because maybe the only way to accomplish this is by connecting the power cable in some weird angle or position and the thing loses connection as soon as you move the laptop a little. It should start charging immediately as you connect the power.
     
    fcuco, Apr 21, 2016
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  7. fcuco

    Corzhens

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    Oh, buying used electronic items online is not recommended to us by our tech. And I agree because we had some experiences with electronic items particularly computers. One desktop we bought in 2002 had a problem with the processor which only surfaced after a month of use. And it was a brand new computer. But anyway, for second hand items, what would happen if the laptop you buy has a technical problem? Buying from a store is much safer for you as the buyer.
     
    Corzhens, Apr 21, 2016
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  8. fcuco

    fcuco

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    Well, some people have entire operations going on for selling used tech out of eBay or something like that, they function pretty much as a store and offer you a 30 day money back warranty, they are pretty much well established businesses at this point. It is usually a couple of guys that buy and repair used machines but that lack the capital, time or simply are not willing to open a computer shop so they basically work from home. I would say that going to some of these groups is almost as safe as going to a computer store, sometimes even a better option since usually these people are very knowledgeable. I don't know, buying used tech is always a gamble.
     
    fcuco, Apr 22, 2016
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    Corzhens likes this.
  9. fcuco

    OursIsTheFury

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    I'm gonna go with... DON'T. Second hand laptops are a pain, since you don't know until when it will last, what repairs does it need, and what errors the seller "forgot" to tell you when he was selling it to you. There's also no warranty, so all repairs will come out of your pocket. Needless to say, as someone with experience buying secondhand CPUs, it is more cost-effective to just buy a new one, It will save you a lot of money, and a lot of headaches in the future.
     
    OursIsTheFury, Apr 23, 2016
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  10. fcuco

    fcuco

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    I don't know, I still believe that you could find a good deal on premium used laptops providing that you buy them before they become obsolete, especially with stuff like MacBooks and MacBooks Pro if those are your thing. You just have to find that sweet stop between the laptops being old enough for the price to drop but not old enough to become collectibles because then the price sky rockets. That's a very weird phenomenon but for some laptops it works like that. This only makes sense for durable high end laptops that are not older than 3 years. Cheap laptops are now so inexpensive that you should always buy new.
     
    fcuco, Apr 23, 2016
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  11. fcuco

    acer93

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    Huh, well.

    I just sold my old garbage laptop to a younger boy. I know that he only wanted to use parts of it, but the whole exchange was really unsafe. I just gave him my laptop and he gave me the money. Not even looking at the laptop or charger or anything. Felt fishy but well, I got money from it.
     
    acer93, Apr 25, 2016
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  12. fcuco

    Sealpikachu

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    Check everything about it. Open the CD port and check all the usb slots, some pieces might be broken. Check the screen on the sides for signs of age, if it is too beat up the screen might not last (learned the hard way). Beg to be allowed to use it for a week or at least a day before paying in full, things might come up in that time.
     
    Sealpikachu, Apr 25, 2016
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  13. fcuco

    vinaya

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    People buy used items because they do not have budget for new items or want to save money. Thus, if we are buying used items we should always check whether it is fully functional or not. You mention very important point regarding the purchase of used laptops. The laptop you are buying should work perfectly.If any thing is missing or is not working, you should try to lower the price.
     
    vinaya, Jul 5, 2016
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  14. fcuco

    author33

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    Before buying used laptops, you must test the keyboard, the optical drive, the speaker, the usb port and headphone jacks. Because all of them are the reason for seller to sell their used laptop.
     
    author33, Jul 7, 2016
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  15. fcuco

    Vash

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    What if you by it online? You can't test anything.
    Then again, if you buy from reputable sellers on Ebay, you should not worry about stolen goods and the quality of the goods.

    Talking about stolen goods... Back in around the year 2000, when I was outside a supermarket, a dude asked me if I want a laptop. I said nope, why don't you try to sell it on ebay? He said "I want cash"... That was a clear sign of stolen goods right there.
    And it was actually right cross the street from a university campus. He probably stole it from the library or classroom.

    Anyway, as for tip, I'd still pick Ebay etc. and look for reputable sellers who have good transaction records and reviews. (IF) I am in the market for a used laptop. It should save you a lot of trouble since all the aspects should be listed if the seller is indeed a good one with good reviews.
     
    Vash, Jul 10, 2016
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  16. fcuco

    rz3300

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    Well I would say just do you homework, and diligently might I add, and see which ones have the features that you are looking for and will be needing, and the good news is is that there are so many outlets out there that if you take your time you can really get yourself a good deal. I would stick with the reputable stores, though, because those seem to have the better products when it comes to used items.
     
    rz3300, Jul 10, 2016
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  17. fcuco

    fcuco

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    Buying any electronic product without testing it first sound like a terrible idea, the tips still apply though since you should run the test battery as soon as you receive the item so you are more likely to be able to return it if something goes wrong, don't expect until you have the actual need to use a CD for testing the optical drive since you could get weeks without using it just to discover later that it is broken. Luckily eBay usually sides with the buyer so returning a broken laptop should be possible but a big waste of time.

    Even if the seller has a good reputation, every used machine could have a very unique set of problems and you can't possibly trust a high volume seller to test each an every laptop thoroughly.
     
    fcuco, Jul 13, 2016
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  18. fcuco

    nytegeek

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    @fcuco those are good tips, but you can skip the hassle and worry by getting a manufacturer refurbished laptop instead of just any used one out there. You can find good deals at $300 or less on models that would normally run $600 to $900 new. They usually come with a warranty and you have the satisfaction of knowing it is a legitimate product with working parts. It is like paying used for something new.
     
    nytegeek, Jul 13, 2016
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