Guide to buying a used laptop computer from another person.

Guide to buying a used laptop computer from another person.


Ok, so I’ve put together a little guide with
some tips on buying a used computer, particularly a laptop, from another individual. Lets get
right to it! OK, so here are some serious red flags that
should have you walking away from any transaction. If they want you to wire them money by western
union or pay by paypal and have them ship it to you. Shipping is fine if you are buying
off of eBay but never pay by western union, only use paypal. A missing power adapter is a big red flag.
This usually means one of three things. The most likely case is that the computer was
stolen and they simply never got the power adapter with it. Another possibility is that
they actually DO have the power cord but they pretend they lost it because the computer
just doesn’t work, or there is something that they don’t want you to see. So it is easier
for them to just say “Hey man, you can just buy a new power cord on eBay for $15.” Don’t
fall for this. If you can’t power it on, don’t buy it. Here’s another problem. If you turn
on the computer and it has a password, then you ask the seller what the password is and
he doesn’t know. This also likely means the computer is stolen. He’ll try to convince
you that you can send it back to the manufacturer to have the password cleared. But as soon
as they run the serial number and see that it is stolen they will ship it back to the
original owner. So don’t fall for this either! And I guess I’ll throw this in too. Anything
that sounds too good to be true, probably is, especially if the seller seems in a hurry
to sell it. So if you are buying locally and you can inspect
the computer then you should take a few minutes to test it out. You’d do the same thing if
buying a used car. Bring a CD or DVD with you. Make sure it is one you don’t care about.
Stick it in the computer and make sure it can read it. I know it isn’t always possible,
but see if you can connect to something with wireless. Typically if the computer can actually
see some wireless stations even if you don’t know the password this generally means the
WiFi is working. Try turning up the volume and make sure the speakers work. While you’re
at it, connect some headphones to the computer and make sure you can hear through those on
both speakers. Also try jiggling it around a bit. Often these jacks get broken when somebody
trips on a cable and as a result the jack will work intermittantly. You should test
the webcam. On a MacBook just open up photobooth for a quick test. The Power connector. If
you have a MacBook with the mag-safe connector, you can probably skip this. But if it is a
Windows PC with a jack like this, these get damaged all of the time by people tripping
over cables. So make sure it works and try jiggling it around a bit to see if it has
a good connection. Check the USB ports. Mostly what you are looking for are ones that are
broken from somebody yanking a cable out sideways. Check the screen hinges. The screen should
stay open on its own at any angle without falling. It should be very sturdy. If it seems
loose it is probably because the hinges are damaged. Also make sure the screen doesn’t
flicker when moving the screen back and forth, this could be a sign of damaged cables internally.
You should check the battery. On Apple products you can go to the system profiler and see
how many cycles the battery has been through. If it is more than 400 you know the battery
is at the end of its life. If it is 600 or more, its probably just about dead. One last
thing, check the keyboard. Open something like notepad and just try out every key. See
if any of them feel sticky or fail to type the character to the screen. I’m not saying
you shouldn’t buy a computer if one or more of these things turns out to be broken. Just
make sure you know what you are getting. So then you ask, is it a good deal? Well,
in order to determine its value you’re really going to need to get the exact model number.
Then you should be able to determine its age, which is very important. I’ve created a chart
here to sort of help you. Anything older then 3 years is starting to become out of date,
but should still be useable for most things. Once you get around 7 to 8 years old, the
computer is totally obsolete and should probably be avoided unless you know exactly what you
are dealing with. You can also check eBay’s completed listings. I don’t mean live listings,
but ones that have actually already sold. This way you can see not what people are asking
for the computer, but what they have actually sold for. Also factor in any warranty. If
the seller is backing it with a full money back guarantee, then that is always worth
something. You should also investigate what a brand-new computer costs. Pawn shops are
notorious about overpricing used equipment, knowing that the buyer will automatically
assume it is a good deal because it is used. In many cases you can buy a brand new one
for the same price or even cheaper. I’d also like to point out that after you
buy a used computer, you should probably consider wiping the hard drive and completely re-installing
all of the software. Here’s several good reasons why. The computer could be infected with viruses
or other malicious software. It could contain porn or even worse child porn, which could
land you in prison if found on your computer. It could have spyware that the seller put
there so they can watch what you do online or activate your webcam and snap nude photos
of you. It could contain pirated software, movies, or music which might get you into
trouble. And last but not least, it will probably just run a lot better with a fresh, clean
software load. Well, I hope you found the video useful, I
get inundated with emails from people asking me what I think about a particular deal. They’ll
send me a link to an ebay or craigslist posting and they’ll be like “do you think this is
a good deal?” And to be honest I really just don’t have the time to go look at them. And
even when I do, half the time the auction is already closed by the time I get to look
at it, so there’s really no point in sending those to me. Uh so I put this video together
to try to help people decide for themselves whether they should buy a particular computer
or not. I want to throw in one other little tip, especially if you are buying a mac. There
is a great website, its been around for years. And its called www.everymac.com um if you
go to this website you can pretty much find the detailed specifications of any Apple computer
all that way back into the 1980s and up the current versions are. Now they do have estimated
street price on there, but I wouldn’t go by that. From what I can see their street prices
are always out of date. Uh, they’re usually a bit high. In many cases they are double
what an actual computer is selling for. But if you are just going there for the specifications,
you want to find out what a particular model has, its a great resource. Its also useful
if somebody says “well I’ve got a you know macbook and its this processor speed” well
in many cases you can still use that information to go through there and find out what the
model number is and also find out how old the computer is. So, um, anyway leave me some
comments and tell me what you’d like to see in the next video. And if you happen to live
in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and you’d like to do a joint video with me sometime, let
me know about that too.