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sowon

Sanity Check on Buying a Used Laptop

Decided to pull the trigger last night and just go for it since I would be getting it regardless. Besides, I can always ask after the fact about the specs if I'm so concerned, but since they provided pictures, and looking at their other listings, they would tend to specify if the device would have any problems, so I'm not overly concerned.

 

At worst, I've paid for 3-year used, crud battery-life laptop, with likely aging components, and would last me at most 2 more years.

At best, I have bought a <2 year used, alright laptop on the cheap.

 

If there were any problems, I have PayPal Buyers' Protection likely on my side anyway, so I concluded it was worth the gamble.

 

Thanks for all your advice! :)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hi, so I'm about 90% of the way to buying a used laptop (reason it's used is because it's from 2016 era) and I just need a quick sanity check before making any hasty decisions.

 

Some important things to note:

  • I am no rush for a new laptop
  • The laptop in question that I'm aftter is my dream laptop
  • It is the only one in existence for sale with my specs
    • It is an eBay listing, with half a dozen other watchers

 

I recently tried to contact the seller through eBay messaging to ask about the condition, battery life etc. of the laptop, and they're still to get back to me. I thought it's common practise to at least get some basic background checks on used devices before committing, so I did.

 

The thing is, the seller will not be able to respond until Monday at the earliest (they're a business operating Mon-Fri 9-5) and so I'm concerned about the laptop being sold over the weekend.

I'd like some opinions on whether it's best to just jump the gun now and purchase it to secure the laptop, or it's it's best to wait it out, potentially letting something else buy the item.

 

I'm very concerned about the laptop being sold before I'm able to get to it. I would be selling my old laptop so I have no concern in regards to money, only the condition of the laptop.

 

The seller did provide pictures and the pictures show the laptop is in very good condition, but like I mentioned earlier, I thought it would be best to get some background information instead of directly leading to a sale.

 

Many thanks in advance for advice!


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Some sellers that get high volumes of used stuff merely turn it on to see if it works, so making them ascertain battery health isn't something they're likely to do. The laptop might already be boxed and just waiting for a label. One thing you could do is see how much a replacement battery is.

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Posted (edited)

I would personally take the safe route and wait and then ask about it's condition, ask for pictures/ what it was used for etc.

if you don't need it now, better be late and safe than take a risk and potentially deal with a scam, and the seller not providing pictures is not a good sign imo. 

definitely wait i would say. or if you want to take the risk and you're used to the used market, you could do that.

personally though i would wait.

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eBay is quite good at helping the buyer get their money back if the buyer gets screwed by the seller. 

If you're confident enough on what you want to ask being correct anyways, I'd take the plunge. Just make sure you can return it if possible.


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why is that particular laptop your 'dream' laptop? i'm sure you might be able to find it elsewhere. its highly unlikely that a 2016 laptop is only available in 1 place in a used condition

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37 minutes ago, sowon said:

I'd like some opinions on whether it's best to just jump the gun now

This is what I would do to be honest. If it's as good as a deal can be or it's something I want, it's an instant buy.


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8 minutes ago, DildorTheDecent said:

This is what I would do to be honest. If it's as good as a deal can be or it's something I want, it's an instant buy.

Indeed. I'd just look at their feedback and return policy.

After that it's just a matter of whether or not you can deal with having your money tied up for potentially a month while you wait for the return process.

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So heres me - you said Dream Laptop.  If you have the money set aside, its not going to cause you to miss meals, or rent - the answer seems pretty easy to me :)


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13 hours ago, sowon said:

Hi, so I'm about 90% of the way to buying a used laptop (reason it's used is because it's from 2016 era) and I just need a quick sanity check before making any hasty decisions.

 

Some important things to note:

  • I am no rush for a new laptop
  • The laptop in question that I'm aftter is my dream laptop
  • It is the only one in existence for sale with my specs
    • It is an eBay listing, with half a dozen other watchers

 

I recently tried to contact the seller through eBay messaging to ask about the condition, battery life etc. of the laptop, and they're still to get back to me. I thought it's common practise to at least get some basic background checks on used devices before committing, so I did.

 

The thing is, the seller will not be able to respond until Monday at the earliest (they're a business operating Mon-Fri 9-5) and so I'm concerned about the laptop being sold over the weekend.

I'd like some opinions on whether it's best to just jump the gun now and purchase it to secure the laptop, or it's it's best to wait it out, potentially letting something else buy the item.

 

I'm very concerned about the laptop being sold before I'm able to get to it. I would be selling my old laptop so I have no concern in regards to money, only the condition of the laptop.

 

The seller did provide pictures and the pictures show the laptop is in very good condition, but like I mentioned earlier, I thought it would be best to get some background information instead of directly leading to a sale.

 

Many thanks in advance for advice!

I'd say wait. You say it's from the 2016 era and it's used, which means the silicon inside (as well as the battery), has been worn down. There is no guarantee on how the owner treated it, what it was used for, what parts were fixed and/or swapped, under what conditions it operated in (high heat/cold/etc), if it had issues with viruses or what was installed on it....too many unknowns in my opinion. And when it comes to electronics, my rule of thumb is buy new wherever possible. Doesn't mean you can't get nice used hardware, but in my experience it's sometimes worth it to spend a couple extra bucks to secure something that no one else has fucked with.

 

And what exactly makes it a dream laptop? There may be other used laptops from more recent generations that may yield better results in terms of longevity. Is it your budget that makes this appealing? What features are you looking for? Would you consider new but maybe last years model?


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Posted · Original PosterOP
17 hours ago, Saksham said:

why is that particular laptop your 'dream' laptop? i'm sure you might be able to find it elsewhere. its highly unlikely that a 2016 laptop is only available in 1 place in a used condition

3 hours ago, Stylized_Violence said:

And what exactly makes it a dream laptop? There may be other used laptops from more recent generations that may yield better results in terms of longevity. Is it your budget that makes this appealing? What features are you looking for? Would you consider new but maybe last years model?

Totally forgot to mention it's an Asus ZenBook 3 UX390. It's basically got the body of the 2016 12" MacBook, it's my ideal laptop. I found it relatively cheap used locally so that was my reasoning for finding it locally. Otherwise, I would be looking at listings in the USA or Eastern Europe, where for those prices and postage costs, I might as well just keep my current laptop, an Asus ZenBook UX410 which costs me £529 brand new.

 

4 hours ago, Stylized_Violence said:

I'd say wait. You say it's from the 2016 era and it's used, which means the silicon inside (as well as the battery), has been worn down. There is no guarantee on how the owner treated it, what it was used for, what parts were fixed and/or swapped, under what conditions it operated in (high heat/cold/etc), if it had issues with viruses or what was installed on it....too many unknowns in my opinion.

I did heed warnings to myself, I know full well it's a 2016-era laptop, so worst case scenario, it's been used for 2-3 years, and so the battery will likely need replacing. But for my usage, where I only need a laptop for web browsing, I don't need top of the line silicon, and would be okay with going for second-rate performance for the convenience of a laptop that I can see myself carrying around comfortably, compared to my 1.4kg behemoth I currently use.


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8 hours ago, sowon said:

I did heed warnings to myself, I know full well it's a 2016-era laptop, so worst case scenario, it's been used for 2-3 years, and so the battery will likely need replacing. But for my usage, where I only need a laptop for web browsing, I don't need top of the line silicon, and would be okay with going for second-rate performance for the convenience of a laptop that I can see myself carrying around comfortably, compared to my 1.4kg behemoth I currently use.

I agree with ya there, but I must not have worded my original statement very well so I'll rephrase. I figured you don't need top of the line silicon, I'm sure the performance itself is fine for the laptop, I was simply referring to the lifespan of the components themselves since they're already broken in and used for around four years. And as stated before, we don't know how the laptop was used or if it was treated well. Again, doesn't mean used hardware is bad or you can't get some good shit for a steal, I just wanted to point out that the lifespan of the stuff is already four years old and may have an impact on longevity. Or it may not and you get another five years out of it, who knows?

 

But if it's your dream laptop and they got a solid return policy, go for it. I just know for me I would wait but that's just because I've been burned by used electronics before. YMMV. 


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Posted · Original PosterOP · Best Answer

Decided to pull the trigger last night and just go for it since I would be getting it regardless. Besides, I can always ask after the fact about the specs if I'm so concerned, but since they provided pictures, and looking at their other listings, they would tend to specify if the device would have any problems, so I'm not overly concerned.

 

At worst, I've paid for 3-year used, crud battery-life laptop, with likely aging components, and would last me at most 2 more years.

At best, I have bought a <2 year used, alright laptop on the cheap.

 

If there were any problems, I have PayPal Buyers' Protection likely on my side anyway, so I concluded it was worth the gamble.

 

Thanks for all your advice! :)


mechanical keyboard switches aficionado & hi-fi audio enthusiast

switch reviews  how i lube mx-style keyboard switches

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