Buying a laptop on eBay

LaptopI’ve recently dived into the second hand laptop market. It certainly will make things a lot more convenient for me to not be tied down to the desktop. Might even up my productivity. Maybe.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t buy anything new unless I need it now. That includes (especially) computer components. So, off to eBay I went. And what a mess that is.

My conclusion is that there are about twice as many people who know absolutely nothing about laptops except that they want one as there are intelligent people like myself who what we’re looking for.

A fairly decent laptop of varying make, with a processor that exceeds 1.5Ghz can be had for approximately $300 with shipping. Here’s where the stupid comes in. There are laptops with processors that are antiques by computer standards that are selling for upwards of $250 plus shipping. I’m talking Pentium 333mhz processors with 32Mb ram selling for $222 plus $25.00 shipping with hours left on the auction. And it’s not just a isolated incedent. It’s rampant.

Some brands are worse than others. Dell is by far the worst, but is closely followed by IBM. There are brand new Dell laptops selling on eBay for more than you can buy them from Dell for. Sad. People need to educate themselves a little on the market before just diving in and buying the first thing that they come across. And while I’m at it, there really should be some sort of regulation on how a laptop can be advertised. There are some borderline shady practices going on in the listings. One for instance listed the table of compontents(i.e. hard drive, processor) and rather than telling the bidder what the specs were, merely had a blurb something like “more than you’ll need!!!!”. Below the table of “specs” a different section with much smaller print stating “the detailed specs for those who care” and listed the actual specs of the “more than you’ll need!!!” pentium 133 laptop computer.

End Rant.

I’m still looking for that “big deal” on a laptop at the moment. Seems that I either miss the really good ones or someone is willing to pay $5 more than I am. Sure, what’s $5, but then the amount that I’m willing to pay keeps crawling if I do that. It’s already jumped by about $100 this week. If I don’t win one soon, I might end up paying much more than I had intended.

UPDATE: I finally found one that I didn’t get outbid on.  Oddly enough, it’s very nearly the same model that is pictured above.  Toshiba Satellite.  Got a heck of a deal as well.  Patience can pay off sometimes.

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About Shane Ede

Shane Ede is an IT guy by day and a Entrepreneurial Blogger by night. You can follow him here on Thatedeguy or over on Twitter and Google+.