If you’re on a budget, you could land a bargain by buying a used laptop instead of a brand new one. This is especially true for high-end models. MacBooks are known to hold value, but a second-hand model can help you avoid the eye-watering premiums you’ll pay at retail.
The best place to buy used laptops may depend on where you live. Ideally, you’ll want to inspect before you buy. But if you can’t do that, look for online retailers that offer buyer protection. Here are some of the best websites to find used laptops for sale.
This one’s predictable, but incredibly popular. The internet’s premium online auction site has a huge variety of used laptops for sale at any one time, which makes it easy to find exactly what you want. You can search by brand, narrow things down by price, and pick the year of manufacturing.
You can also filter the results by just about every computer-related metric: processors, storage capacity, RAM, screen size, and more. Choose to search both manufacturer and seller refurbished models, or stick to the used market for the cheapest prices.
Looking at a MacBook? Check out eBay’s MacBook store. Want a Windows laptop? eBay has a PC notebook store, too. Sort every laptop auction by ending soonest to spot any bargains that haven’t received bids yet. You can try your luck at the auctions (sniper tools may come in handy), or take your time with Buy It Now listings.
Finally, most auctions are covered by eBay’s Money-Back Guarantee, meaning that you’re covered against sellers that don’t ship your item, products that do not match the listing, or faulty items that don’t work as advertised. This makes eBay the best choice for buyers who are unable to inspect items in person.
Facebook is no longer just a social network, but a popular peer-to-peer marketplace too. Leveraging the ever-growing user base, Marketplace makes it easy to list or find items for sale in your immediate area.
Simply search what you’re looking for, or browse by “Electronics” to see everything tech-related. You can then filter by price or adjust your location, widening the search area if you’re happy to travel a little further to find what you’re looking for.
Unlike eBay, Facebook Marketplace doesn’t take care of the transaction. If you find an item you’re interested in, you’ll need to contact the seller to arrange an inspection. For this reason, Facebook Marketplace isn’t suitable for long-distance transactions, since you’ll have no buyer protection.
Make sure you look any potential product over before you buy. If a bargain looks too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t fall for items that may be stolen that lack essential cables, or are listed at very low price points. Consider joining a few local “buy/sell” groups, where the items for sale are up for discussion.
Gumtree is another site in the same vein as Facebook Marketplace. The main difference here is that you don’t need a Facebook account to use it. You can inquire about any item for sale with a good old email address.
Despite expanding into the US market in 2007, Gumtree is most popular in its home country of the UK. It also enjoys success in Australia, Singapore, and South Africa. You can choose to browse by category or use the search bar instead.
Once you’ve entered a location, you can modify the search area to widen or narrow down the results. When you’ve found what you need, you can either email the seller or call them if their phone number is listed. Just like Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree sales take place between you and the seller only.
If you’re thinking of buying through Gumtree, take a look at the company’s safety guidelines. Generally, it’s recommended to avoid sales that don’t take place face to face, and always be suspicious of adverts that look too good to be true.
Swappa is an online marketplace for used laptops, smartphones, cameras, video games, and tablets. Sellers can list their products for free, but buyers must pay a small fee that’s included in the final sale price.
The service does a few things differently from eBay and other services. Only working products are allowed on the service, which means no broken or “for parts” listings. Each listing that goes live on the website has been reviewed and approved by a member of Swappa’s support team. Serial numbers are checked to help verify items, adding further peace of mind.
All shipping costs are included in the final price. The platform uses PayPal to protect buyers against items not showing up in the post, products that differ significantly from the description, and faulty items.
If you’re thinking of buying a second-hand laptop through Swappa, there are dedicated sections for specific models including MacBooks, Chromebooks, and Microsoft Surface Books. Filter by price, year of manufacturing, and metrics like RAM, storage, and even color.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more than what you’d normally pay for a used laptop, you can get a refurbished laptop instead. These devices have been inspected, graded, and often come with some sort of warranty. While they’re not flawless, the price will reflect the laptop’s overall condition.
If you don’t need the latest and greatest, Best Buy carries a lot of refurbished older machines that are still serviceable. Some refurbished laptops come with a warranty, while others may not.
All laptops purchased through Best Buy are covered by its Return & Exchange Promise. The company states that “most products offer a minimum 90-day warranty unless otherwise noted,” but it’s best to query each individual item before you buy.
If you’re looking for a Mac in the absolute best condition you can buy, Apple’s refurbished store is the best place to go. Everything you buy under the Apple Certified Refurbished program includes a one-year warranty, a power adapter, and compatible power cords.
Apple’s refurbished store is the most expensive place to buy a used Mac, but it offers the best warranty and range of products. The price you pay will depend largely on the product and the year of manufacture, as well as how powerful the laptop is.
Refurbished laptops still represent a decent saving over the cost of the latest products. And you can purchase with confidence knowing they have been serviced by Apple before being sold.
In addition to a proper warranty, you can also buy AppleCare to extend the coverage of your refurbished products. Purchases are also eligible for a 14-day return policy. If you spot something, be quick since supplies are generally limited.
Get a Good Deal on Used Laptops
Finding used laptops for sale isn’t difficult. The challenge lies in selecting a product that matches the description and has a decent price. Double-check the seller, read customer reviews, and compare prices before you make a purchase.
Bear in mind that you don’t always need to buy a second-hand laptop to save some money. Many manufacturers now produce cheap laptops that won’t break the bank. You just need to know what to look for.
Thinking about buying a new laptop? This week’s chat looks at how to consider every factor before you even set foot in a shop.
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