While eBay isn’t the best place to buy everything, it’s not a bad place to purchase a used computer. There are some risks involved, but in general, the majority of transactions on eBay will be trouble-free if you know what you’re doing. Here are a few helpful tips for buying a used computer on eBay that will give you a great eBay experience.
- Know what you’re looking for and do your homework! I can’t tell you enough how important it is to research the computers you might be interested in, read reviews, and know exactly what it is you want before you go browsing eBay for a computer. You’ll also need to determine whether a desktop or laptop is best for your needs.
- Determine the price you’d like to get the computer for and decide right then and there that even if the auction is nearing the end and it’s gone out of your price range, that you won’t give in and bid higher than you wanted to. It’s easy to get caught-up in the excitement of auctions and you could end up spending more than what the computer is even worth. Sellers know this which is why often times, they’re more willing to put an item up for sale as an auction versus buy-it-now.
- Compare the costs of buying used versus new. Often times you can buy a new computer for nearly the same price as some of the used computers selling on eBay. Determine if buying used is worth it.
- Read the description. Actually read it from top to bottom. Look for an extremely detailed description of the product. Some of the details that should be included: Are there any scratches, blemishes, or cracks? Is the battery still working? How long does the battery last? Are there any dead pixels? How often was it used? What accessories are included? What software will be installed on it including the operating system?
- Check for warranty information. Is there a warranty, and more importantly, is the warranty transferable? Alienware is one example of a company that does not allow users to transfer a warranty to a new user.
- Ask questions – Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If the seller is reliable, they’ll answer you promptly and thoroughly .
- Shipping – How will the computer be shipped and what will it cost? Some sellers may charge a hefty shipping charge, beware!
- Watch out for scams – they happen. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. PayPal is your best bet for a secure transaction. If a seller asks you to wire the funds or even send cash, it’s a scam!
- Look for clear pictures that show any blemishes the computer may have. This is important! Those who are trying to scam you will usually only show a manufacturers picture. If the seller lists in the description that there are cosmetic imperfections, there should be clear pictures of them so that there’s no question about the condition of the computer that you’ll be receiving.
- Feedback – check to see what kind of feedback the seller has. Were there any major complaints from previous buyers? What kinds of items has the buyer sold in the past?
Once you feel confident that you know how to buy a computer on eBay, go ahead and check-out what sellers have to offer at http://computers.ebay.com. Good luck!