A good laptop is hard to beat, but they can also be extremely expensive. Sometimes, you don’t want to pay a lot of money for something for the kids to watch movies on. And it’s always nice to save a little money. How do you get a good laptop for a low price? Buy used!
But where do you go? Sure, you can try your local classified site, but you never know what you’re going to get or who you’re buying it from. Who wants to go to some guy’s house just to buy a computer? And how do you know it works? It’s not like you can return it to a person you meet in a Walmart parking lot.
Fortunately, there are easy ways to get used laptops at great prices, and you don’t even have to leave the house.
One great way to get a good machine is to look for refurbished laptops. These are laptops that have been used, usually in a business, then returned. The seller cleans them up, makes sure they work, then lists them for sale. Even if you’re buying from an individual instead of a business, it’s nice to have online feedback on whether they’re trustworthy instead of handing over a wad of cash and hoping.
You do have to be a little bit careful when buying a used laptop online. Sometimes sellers are listing a non-working machine people can use for parts. Sometimes a refurbished machine may not come with an operating system like Windows or macOS, meaning you’ll have to pay for that separately.
With a little bit of diligence, though, you can save hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars and get a great laptop from known and trusted sites like these.
So you’ve always been tempted by a MacBook, but the price of a new machine puts you off. Or maybe you need a backup for Ol’ Reliable, just in case. Apple runs a refurbishment program that can save you big bucks on a premium-priced machine. Get an Apple-certified refurbished MacBook or MacBook Air and you can save a bundle. And unlike buying from the shady guy on the newspaper classifieds, these Macs are certified to work and come with a 1-year warranty against defects, so it’s almost as good as buying them new.
Ah, eBay. We used to buy Beanie Babies and now we can buy pretty much everything there. eBay is a great place to pick up a used laptop as long as you’re careful. First off, read the listing carefully to make sure you know what you’re getting. Make sure the machine boots and runs. You’ll also want to make sure you understand what’s included, in case you need Windows or want your machine to include Office.
On the other hand, eBay is a great place to save some cash because you can buy exactly what you need. Maybe you need an old laptop for the kids to use for watching movies or DVDs and don’t need anything fancy. Likewise, maybe a business-class laptop is too powerful and too expensive. For a little bit of money, you can get exactly that without paying the markup for a business-class computer.
Amazon’s a great place to buy electronics, but did you know you can also buy used and refurbished laptops there? Just type “refurbished laptop” in the search box and you’ll have an array of options. If you’ve been coveting the lightweight MacBook Air but the price tag is out of reach, you can grab a refurbished one for just $499!
Now, a caveat, sometimes these refurbished machines can be older and not the latest and greatest. However, if all you want is a great machine at a low price, you’ll find Apple, HP, Dell and more. Many of them are certified refurbished, which means they run and may even come with a warranty against defects.
Best of all, many of them come with Prime shipping, for when your laptop dies and you have a big presentation at the end of the week.
Groupon seems like a strange place to buy a laptop. Isn’t that the place to get a cheap massage or a nice hotel for a low price? Groupon is great for those things, but it has a lot more if you know where to look. Click on Goods, Electronics, Computers and Tablets, and Laptops to find some great deals only the savvy would know about.
Groupon buys from many different places, so you definitely want to read the listing carefully. We’ve talked about “Refurbished,” but Groupon also has “Scratch and Dent” items. These are laptops that may have scratches or other cosmetic wear on them, but when you can get a MacBook Pro for $630 instead of $1600, who cares about a few scratches on the case?