Another home-IT question: My wife would like a laptop, but we are feeling strapped for cash. We started poking around on eBay, and found a great many laptops, some for very low prices. Some are clearly under-powered (one was described as having a “roomy 1.2 Gig disk” and “loaded with 32 Meg of RAM”), but some seem reasonable.
But what should I look out for? I can already tell that I’ll have to buy a new battery no matter what, because these used laptops always have flaccid batteries. What else? Anyone have any experiences with this sort of transaction?
Once you sort out the veracity of the seller, then (imo) it's just a matter of buying what you need based on whatever criteria you have.
Second - Ebay
- watch shipping costs, if they are not stated, ask.
- stay away from pawn shops, and dealers that sell everything from laptops to beanie babies.
- the best seller is just a "guy" who is selling one laptop that he owned.
- IBM has it's own eBay store, and perhaps other large manufacturers do as well
2) Battery life: some batteries have a "life" indicator. Ie, If a good battery is fully charged, pressing a button will light up 5 leds, bad battery only lights up 2 leds..etc.
You may try to ask the seller about that.
3) I got a keyboard problem when I got a laptop 9 months ago on ebay, luckily the laptop was still in warranty so I can repair that with no cost (The seller, also in Canada, didn't reply my emails)
4) I live in Toronto, Canada. Now I find a local shop who sells refurbished laptops (from corporates). I can go there and physically try them out (booting linux...etc). The price is comparable to Ebay. You may want to look at your local computer paper to find those.
My personal experience, however, is that the bundled new laptop is the way to go. I've had very good luck with $800 laptops from HP over the past 3 years. But ... say you kill a keyboard, or fry out a DVD drive, or purchase software upgrade ... etc. ... you'll be then shocked to find that to rebuild an $800 laptop costs > $1600. Consider then when paying $400 for a used laptop on eBay plus having to fork out-of-pocket to get the latest virus scanning, OS upgrade, etc.
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