eBay is a treasure trove of great bargains. However, some people are wary of buying anything that’s fragile or expensive, like computer equipment. But with these simple tips from eBay experts (they buy everything there, and have never regretted a single purchase!), you can spot a scam and score the best deal.
Be clear about what kind of computer you want
With the wide variety of computers available, you’ll be completely overwhelmed with your choices if you don’t have a clue of what you really need. Do you want a PC or a Mac? Do you want a desktop or a laptop? For a laptop, do you require something that’s very lightweight, or are good features and high speed more important to you? Are you looking for a complete package with accessories and all, or just a simple machine? Or do you want a netbook? Consider also if you want to purchase extended warranty
Narrow down your search
Once you know what kind of computer you’re looking for, you can use the eBay product finder to generate a list of people who are selling those. You can modify your search to limit the results according to your price range, too.
Scrutinize the offer
When you view the list of products on ebay, find out exactly what you get for the price. Don’t assume that you automatically get an operating system or a battery. On the other hand, don’t get sweet-talked into paying extra money for things you don’t need. The seller may say that it’s ‘free’ but may actually be tucking in the cost of those accessories into the total price.
Know the condition of the computer
It’s important to find out whether the computer is second-hand and whether it has damage. Read the description of the product and ask sellers about specifics like the battery life, keyboard stiffness, brightness of the monitor, loose hinges, etc. Also ask, if you’re buying second-hand, how long it was used and by whom. Another thing to check is if the software in the computer is legal.
Check the reputation of the seller
Look at the feedback stats. When choosing between an ‘iffy’ deal with a rock-bottom price or a stable and reputable seller who charges a little extra, choose the latter. At least you know you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for—and won’t be fooled into getting a lemon of a computer and spending far more to get it repaired.
Ask about shopping costs
Shipping costs for computers tend to be a little high, because the extra-packaging material which will help protect its fragile parts will add to the total weight. Budget as much as $100 extra dollars for a desktop system, or about $40 for a laptop. Pick a shipping method that lets you personally receive the package.
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