Buying Used Computers

Kristen Hewes - Hardware Technician

This week I had a friend ask me for some computer help with a system he bought from Craigslist.  It wasn’t playing videos that he wanted, and it turned out to be a codec problem that was easy to fix.  However, that is not the part of the story that got to me, this was: 

He bought the computer for his nephew and thought he was getting a good deal.  It turned out that the computer was stolen - which they found out when the police turned up to reclaim it!

If you are going to buy a used computer, please be wary of where and who you get it from, as it can be quite the hassle to explain it all to the cops.

You might want to consider these tips below on buying a used computer: 

1. If you are not a tech-savvy, ask some friends to shop with you.  They can help you choose the right specs.

2. Search online for places that sell used or second hand computers. Don't be afraid to shop around!

3. If you are buying a used computer at a local computer store, make sure to give a good inspection. Insist on testing the computer yourself!

4. Make sure that the computer has the original system software disks, manuals, and driver installer disks.

5. Bargain the price with the seller.  It doesn’t matter how much the seller paid for the computer.

6. Do not buy used printers, scanners, or hard disks unless you are sure that they are working.

7. Make sure that the used computer is upgradable (like expansion slots, extra RAM slots, or the processor).

8. Ask if the computer parts have been replaced or repaired. That can add to the life of the system.

9. Make sure that the computer’s operating system is compatible with software you have.

10. Ask if the seller has a transferable warranty on the computer.

11. Please don’t get arrested!

Have a great weekend.