by: Christophe Catesson
Nowadays desktops and laptops are much more durable and dependable that they were just five years ago. Therefore, buying a used or refurbished computer is becoming more of a trend.
Suppliers replace their computers on average every 6 months and companies frequently upgrade their equipment. Buying one of these used or refurbished computers can save you a lot of money while still using a quite up to date technology. This is even more relevant if you are not a heavy user (i.e. most of your time on a computer is spent online, you may use a few standard applications once in a while). Even modestly priced computers will more than suffice for these types of demand.
Thinking about buying a used or refurbished desktop or laptop?
Buying a computer is not at all an easy job, one has look get detailed information of the available computers of good and reputed brands. One must take into consideration the size, color, configurations, features etc… While your computer should correspond to your personality and lifestyle, you should always keep in mind the reputation of the brand in the market. Brand counts a lot; you can render good service by the manufacturer if your computer is damaged.
Important handy Tips before buying a computer...
* Verify if the brand is reputed and always buy a good reputed brand. Read about customer service experience for that specific computer issues
* Check the warranty/guarantee of the computer (seek out computers which still have warranty/guarantee remaining)
* Compare the price of the new model in the market with what price your buying your used computer, try to get the best bargain. i.e. a two year old computer should not be bought for more than half of its original price.
* Check if the computer is outdated (if out of production it is difficult to get spare parts)
* Is the operating system current (Windows Vista/Windows Xp). Earlier versions probably run slower (windows 2000) and would not be advisable unless your needs are limited (i.e. web surfing, Word...). In any event, stay away with computers running on Windows 98 (granted you don't find many anymore). Also be aware of Windows Vista. Many users are reverting back to XP and that is even more obvious in the corporate world. Why? Vista looks nice but doesn't bring many technical improvements; therefore IT managers are not willing to implement something new when what they have works just fine. Some domestic users just don't like the new way of navigation within the Vista Operating System.
* Check if the configuration of the computer you are buying is good.
* Check the speed of the processor. If possible start the computer and see how long it takes to fully turn on. If its slow just turning on, imagine the lack of speed once you start adding software..
Additional Tips for laptops
* Is the battery life good? (search for the computers with a very good battery backup (2 hours minimum).
* Check for the screen size of the computer your buying and see to it that it is not exceeding the Normal (normally the screen size should be between 15-17). Less than that generally translates in older computers and increases the chance of age failure. Once the screen breaks, you are often better of changing the whole computer.
* Review the connectivity of the computer (Network, USB, Video, Audio…) look to it that it has a good connectivity including wireless
* Check out the weight. Ensure the computer is light enough for you to carry (light 7pounds)
Where to buy used computers:
* Online auctions. Pro: Often offer the best prices. Cons: Cannot validate the accuracy of the described item. No warranty. Tip 1: Some companies will offer warranty for up to two years, the cost is about 12 of the purchase price. Tip2: Buy from sellers with great feedback, do not hesitate to contact the seller with questions prior to bidding
* Online marketplaces: Pro: Set prices and quantities - Sometime warranty is available. Cons: Prices can vary a lot, do your homework
* Craiglist.com Contacting sellers on Craiglist.com in your local area gives you a chance to meet with the owner and physically test the computer before the purchase
Where to buy refurbished computers:
Refurbished computers can be a great way to buy as they have warranties and are generally sold by manufacturers or companies affiliated with them.
* Manufacturers websites will tell you how to buy directly from them or from their authorized sellers. Pros: Warranty, established companies. Cons: Prices are higher than regular auctions (you pay more for peace of mind)
Buying a used or refurbished computer can be a great way to save money. If you use some of the advice discussed above you can avoid many pitfalls. One last thing concerning laptops, make sure you have a good bag to protect your computer from a fatal accident. Your bag should be big enough for a 17 inch screen computer as it is rapidly becoming the norm, you will probably change your computer within a few years, the bag you may keep a lot longer.