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Buying Used


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#1 mdurigan

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 09:09 PM

My computer is not working. It is over four years old and the b and n keys were not working, so I thought there was a problem with the keyboard. Then the computer stopped turning on, which makes me think it is the motherboard. It is an HP L2000 Limited Edition. I don't think I should pour anymore money into it because I have already had to wipe the hard drive and reinstall Windows because of previous problems. I am planning on buying a new laptop next fall before attending law school. I need a cheap laptop for the interim period and was considering buying used. I found an Acer Aspire 5100 with 2GB of memory, 100GB hard drive, Windows XP home, Microsoft Office Enterprise, Adobe, and Karsinsky Security Suite. The full specs are here: http://cgi.ebay.com/Acer-Aspire-5002WLMi-G...CH:US:101#rpdId

Right now the price is at 149.99 on ebay with $9.99 in shipping. How much would you pay for this computer? Do you think it will last a year? Is there anything I should try with my old computer first? Does anyone know another reliable source for a laptop for under $200.

There is a 3 day return policy, in which I would just have to pay return shipping ($10.00) I am just very worried about getting scammed so if anyone has any advice I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you so much!

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 12:38 PM

There is a difference between refurbished computer products and used computer items...and I believe it's a rather large difference. A refurbished product generally includes warranty provisions that are similar to the new product...because things go wrong every day. A used product generally has no warranty provision, particularly if acquired from someone who's selling it to get rid of it (for whatever reason).

I would never buy a used computer...I have bought used computer parts from forum members that I (rightfully) trusted and whom I knew were in the habit of upgrading as part of their approach to life.

The only laptop I have ever owned...I bought from an eBay listing, but I negotiated directly with the seller...just as I would if purchasing a used auto from a private seller. That was 9 years ago, when laptop pricing was outrageous (IMO) and netbooks did not exist.

All that being said...I would not recommend anyone to purchase a used computer system in today's market. There are laptops and desktops available new (with warranties) for $300 or less...that easily outperform many items which are listed as used. And I like the insurance of warranty provisions, even though I've never had cause to use such except on two occasions (since 1996).

I actually prefer to buy new (not necessarily recent) components that are dated (not being hawked)...than to piddle around with components that are seemingly more dynamic/more recent...but which are probably troubled/damaged.

On eBay, you can always take a look at the seller's history. If it's not substantial, I would not even consider a purchase of any sort today.

That's just me.

I would also hasten to add...the closer that a listing comes to termination, the more active the bidding...from what I have observed on eBay.

Louis




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