So you have decided to buy a laptop on Ebay. Here are a few tips, things to look for etc. Who to buy from , What kind of laptop do you need. Physical shape of the laptop. Specs of Laptops on Ebay. This guide will not go into different specs of laptops but rather who to buy from and what kind of quality to expect
First of all you need to figure out who the seller is. Laptops are a major fraud category, so you need to watch out. There are 3 types of sellers of laptops on Ebay.
Who to buy from
1) Resellers of Laptops and other Computer Equipment: These are people who buy and sell computers and laptops. Check their feedback and see if they have feedback from people who bought computers from them. They usually have higher Feedback. Are PowerSellers , have many listings of computers and laptops. They usually are open about contact information and will share this information with you. Also many will offer square trade extended warranties. Resellers will give you clean install operating systems because they do not want to give out other people's data and their machines will not likely have trojan horses are spyware. You will pay a higher price from a re-seller since they know what the machine is usually worth, but the higher price is usually worth it since a clean install is not needed. Resellers can usually tell you the answers to most tougher questions. A reseller most likely will package your laptop better as they have professional shipping departments.
2) Individuals : These are people sell off single computers they don't want or need anymore. Usually lower feedback and they have sold few items. They will usually take Paypal and their listings are cruder than the professional sellers. Always check their feedback and make sure its for real items. When buying from an individual its likely their system will have their data on it and maybe have spyware and trojan horses so the laptop will need to really have a fresh install of an operating system. Usually you can get the laptops cheaper from individuals since they might need some software installation. Individuals might not as knowledgeable about the machine, so there might be some guesswork and homework needed on the real specs. An individual probably doesnt have much packing experience and unless they pay the UPS store for instance for packing , you are likely to get a less than perfect packing.
3) Scammmers : People trying to take your money. Some red flags to look for. Western Union Money Order. Feedback is from people who sell recipes or ebooks. 1 Day auctions. Contact me before buiyng. You can never be 100% sure who is a scammer and who is not. Always use Caution.
Physical Quality of the machines
Unlike new laptops, Most used laptops have some defects. You need to read the description carefully. Most used latops will have scractches on the top. These are minor and nothing to be concerned about. A used laptop might have cracks in the unit itself. Depending where the cracks are this might or might not be important.
Also be on the lookout for dead pixels , white spots and screen impression. Sometimes the pixels on the LCD's will stop working and distort the screen. The laptop will still work but your picture will be missing spots. On many brands (Compaq for example) the mouse pointer will sometimes make a permanent impression on the LCD screen). This occurs from the mouse touching the LCD when the unit is closed.
Unlike when you buy a laptop or computer from the store. A used laptop from Ebay does not nessarily have an operating system. You need to make sure the laptop comes with an OS and COA. or be prepared to install this yourself.
Why buy a used laptop on Ebay when I can buy one new for $399.99 at Wal-Mart.
Do not compare a laptop sold on Ebay to the $399.99 special at Wal-Mart. Most used laptops are better quality units. Manufacturers have different lines of units. Professional and personal. Most laptops sold on Ebay are from the professional lines. They usually use Pentiums instead of the cheaper Celerons and AMD's. They might have Windows XP PRO instead of Windows XP Home. Also the abuse the unit will take is greater since these are sold to busy professionals who take their laptops everywhere.
When buying a computer from Wal-Mart, you cannot upgrade the system as you are going to void the warranty. By purchasing a used laptop on Ebay you can always upgrade the memory, hard drive or devices.
Its very important to know what kind of laptop you are buying and if they exist on the re-sale market. Most laptops on Ebay come from corporate evironments OFF-LEASE. Corporations dont lease Alienware and few Sony Vaio's. If you see someone with a lot of these, Be Careful, likely a scammer!!
The most common laptops sold by legitimate sellers are Compaq EVO series, Dell Latitude and IBM Thinkpad. When bidding on Alienware or Sony Vaio be extra careful.
You can check out some of my Laptops for Sale. If I am selling "B" grade or laptops without OS. I clearly state so. Otherwise all laptops are "A" grade.