If you happen to come across a used laptop computer and you’re considering purchasing it, below are a few questions that you might want to ask the seller.
Simple question. The answer will probably make you decide whether to carry on or forget about that used laptop.
If the seller does not need her computer anymore because she’s just moved in with her boyfriend who also has one, that’s good. If the seller told you that the computer was acting funny, that’s a big red warning flag that’s your hint to move along.
2) How old?
If the used laptop is more than five years old, you are asking for trouble. Fine, the machine might be still working like a piece of Swiss technology but everything dies and the fact that it has made it five years is a miracle.
If the laptop is less than a year old, you should go back to the first question and ask why a one year used laptop is suddenly for sale. It might be that the seller sees it as a lemon
3) Is it still under warranty?
If the used laptop computer is still under warranty and something wrong happens, you’ll be covered. If it’s not and something happens, you will have to pay for the repair costs from your own pocket. If it’s a broken key, it’s OK as it’s a cheap fix. If the motherboard goes all erratic, the cost to repair will be so high!
4) Is the original proof of purchase available?
Buying a second-hand laptop is not like buying a used lamp or a second-hand desk. It’s pretty expensive piece of technology and the last thing you want is for the manufacturer to ask you for a proof of purchase before any repairs are undertaken and for you to give a “err, I don’t have it” type of answer.
Needless to say, some of these used laptop computers might have belonged to anyone who’s not the seller and the last thing you want is the police knocking at your door and to your amazement and embarrassment having to explain exactly how you acquired the second-hand notebook.
5) What’s your personal guarantee?
This is a guarantee from the used laptop seller and not the manufacturer. If the seller is certain that he or she is selling you a fine notebook that will not break down within the first five seconds of your ownership, he or she won’t hesitate to take it back and give you back your money.
If the personal guarantee is “after you buy it it’s no longer my problem”, politely decline the offer and move on.
6) How much?
I almost forgot that one… You need to ask this question to compare with the original price but to also see if you’re buying a messed up used laptop computer or not.
If the notebook is one year old and the selling price is one tenth of the original price, there’s something fishy. If the used laptop goes for almost the same price and it’s three years old, you’re getting ripped off. If this second hand notebook is in mint condition and sells for half the price, you might have a good deal.
Used laptop shopping does have its risks. But for the cheap price you end up paying, it’s well worth the risk. Your best bet is to shop for used laptops from legit retailers or a person whose credentials are impeccable.