What to Ask When Buying a Used Computer

What to Ask When Buying a Used Computer

When it’s time to buy a computer, you’ll have a number of options available to you. One of the most common ways to buy a laptop or desktop computer is to purchase a used model. Buying used offers a number of benefits, including a lower price and the ability to obtain a computer fairly quickly. Before you hand over your cash, though, there are several questions that you should ask the seller.

1. How old is the computer?

Find out how old the computer is. Even if the computer hasn’t been used often, a model that is several years old is going to be outdated and will likely require repairs. This can quickly become costly and could defeat the purpose of buying a used model. Always ask for a specific date from the seller so that you’re sure exactly how old the computer is.

2. Do you still have the original receipt?

Not everyone hangs on to the original receipt from the computer purchase, but it’s worth asking about. If you do encounter any problems with the computer you buy, you’ll be able to know exactly when and where it was purchased. This will also help you with any warranty issues you may encounter.

3. Is it still under warranty?

Always ask if the computer is still under warranty. If the seller says that it is, you absolutely must obtain the original receipt. Also find out on the manufacturer’s website if the warranty is transferable. If it’s not, you can ask the seller to give you a slightly lower price since you won’t be able to count on warranty protection for problems.

4. Have you had any problems with it?

Not all sellers will be honest with you when you ask if they’ve had problems, but many will. Sometimes there might be small bugs or issues with a computer that the original owner can disclose to you. For example, maybe the screen tends to lock up during large computer downloads. Maybe the “Y” key on the keyboard doesn’t always work. A minor problem typically isn’t a reason to avoid buying a computer, but you’ll still want to know about it before you make your purchase.

5. How old is the battery?

While it might seem odd to ask about the life of the battery, realize that some sellers will give you a newer laptop computer with an older battery. A new computer battery can cost quite a lot, so make sure you find out if the battery is more than a few months old. If it is, price batteries and determine whether or not it’s worth your time and effort to buy a used computer. You may find that you’re able to get a modestly priced new computer that works just as well.

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