Buying a used laptop instead of a new one offers several advantages, regardless of whether you’re looking for your first laptop or your existing one is getting close to the end of its useful life. You get additional functionality for your money and the laptop itself is spared from becoming electronic junk. Although it’s not as simple as walking into Best Buy and picking one up off the shelf, purchasing a secondhand laptop isn’t as difficult as you would imagine.

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What alternatives do I have when purchasing used?

You have the option of selecting pre-owned, open-box, or refurbished laptops if you’re in the market for one. Pre-owned goods are offered as-is, so even if they might not be perfect, they provide the most savings. New things that were bought and returned either unopened or slightly worn before the return period ended are known as open-box items. Unless otherwise noted, they should still be in like-new condition even if they aren’t as deeply reduced as pre-owned products.

Purchasing products that have been refurbished is a fantastic method to save a lot of money without having to do the repairs yourself. Seller-refurbished products often don’t have extended warranties, but they are examined, fixed, and validated by the product seller. Refurbished goods are the greatest choice for anyone looking for a straightforward buying experience because they arrive functional right out of the box (and typically in like-new condition to boot).

The reputation of the seller determines if a seller-refurbished item is dependable or functions like new. Manufacturer-refurbished goods, on the other hand, typically come with an additional workmanship warranty and are fixed straight by the manufacturer. Although they cost more than seller-refurbished goods, they are a more secure choice.

Where do I get secondhand laptops for sale?

Used, open-box, and refurbished laptops are available for purchase straight from the manufacturer, as well as through physical and online stores and marketplaces. Purchasing directly from the manufacturer will almost always ensure a product functions like new or as close to new as possible, eliminate middlemen, and provide the clearest conditions regarding whether the used device has any supplementary guarantees.

But purchasing directly from the manufacturer isn’t always possible, and a manufacturer-refurbished product might not save you as much money as a pre-owned or seller-refurbished one.

Many reconditioned and used products are available from brick-and-mortar stores as well as online, with prices typically varying according on the item’s state. An extended warranty is not often included (unless you purchase one individually), but a trial and return period of 30 to 90 days is typical. When it comes to used laptop marketplaces, eBay, Newegg, and Amazon provide good buyer protection through PayPal or their own terms and conditions. These vendors often give a complete refund if the laptop you receive doesn’t perform as claimed in the item description.

There are also plenty of secondhand laptops available for purchase at physical stores like Best Buy, B&H Photo Video, and Adorama, including ones that have been refurbished by the partners of the company. The condition of an item is stated in the description, and you may easily return it within the return window if it does not live up to your expectations.

Online markets like Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, Swappa, and Craigslist enable direct communication between buyers and sellers to arrange a sale. Since sellers typically want to get rid of their goods as soon as possible, you can discover the best discounts here, but there are greater dangers involved. To reduce the risk of fraud or danger, meet in a well-lit, public place whenever you pick up a laptop in person. Using PayPal to pay for your purchase increases the security of the transaction since it’s simple to return or charge back the purchase if the laptop turns out to be defective. This is not the case with Venmo, wire transfers, or cheques.

Before exchanging money, make sure the laptop is in excellent working order. Inspect it for physical cracks, dead screen pixels, malfunctioning ports or features, faulty keyboards and trackpads, outdated batteries, and spyware. Generally speaking, if you’re not sure you can evaluate a laptop’s condition yourself, it’s better to stay with reliable sellers and merchants.

What drawbacks are there to buying old laptops?

A used laptop can contain outdated technology or a CPU that has to be updated soon in comparison to a new laptop. Over time, laptop batteries rapidly lose their ability to charge, so use the operating system’s utilities to monitor the battery condition. Keyboards, trackpads, and storage drives all deteriorate over time. Although memory and processors outlast most other components, as more bandwidth and processing power are needed for current computer applications, they eventually become outdated.

Remember that the original owner of a secondhand laptop may no longer desire it, and it is your responsibility to find out why. It’s OK that the prior owner frequently outgrew the laptop’s functionality or desired a different model with various features.

But occasionally, computers with poor performance or reliability problems quickly flood the resale market; MacBooks manufactured between 2016 and 2019 are renowned for having faulty keyboards. Verify evaluations for that laptop model from other consumers as well as from specialized review sites like ours to be sure you’re not purchasing a junk.

Who ought to continue purchasing new laptops?

There would be a significant reduction in e-waste in landfills if everyone purchased old computers, but this isn’t feasible for everyone. In certain cases, if a new laptop is on clearance or available during a big sale like Black Friday or Prime Day, you can get it for less money than a used laptop. When you buy a new laptop, you know it will function as intended for at least a few years. If, however, for some reason, it breaks down, you will be protected for a year or two by the manufacturer’s warranty. In the unlikely event that you want repairs after the warranty expires, it is also simpler to get replacement parts for modern laptops than for older models.

However, you shouldn’t distinguish between new and used if efficiency is your first priority. Purchasing secondhand gear may be an excellent method to save money on current-generation technology, even if newer hardware often has greater power than older hardware, particularly when it comes to graphics cards. Choosing to purchase a used Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, for example, can save you between $300 and $500 on the cost of the same cutting-edge gear.

Comparably, purchasing used is just as easy and dependable as purchasing new as long as you stay with respectable sellers and producers that provide long warranties and ample return windows. Although purchasing directly from a former owner has a little higher risk, you may save even more money if you utilize a transaction provider like PayPal for consumer protection and make sure you check the laptop’s condition before making the purchase. Whichever option you decide on, be careful and have fun hunting!