For people like myself, buying a new computer or a laptop is such a wonderful experience. Always looking to go above and beyond to get the highest of specs that still hold up within a price range that is modest and affordable is what we are looking for. There might be some compromises we have to deal with but we are sure to get our money’s worth every time.
Buying a laptop is a breeze if you have thousands of dollars burning a hole in your pocket but for some people, it might be a literal nightmare. You might end up with a Chromebook that is slower than your phone for hundreds of dollars and might cost you money in the long run for buying new.
So, the best approach for people who want a bargain and get the most of their money will be going towards a used or refurbished marketplace. So, here is a list of how to buy a refurbished laptop and get a great deal while you are at it.
- Never Buy Directly from the Manufacturer
Buying directly from a manufacturer might have a seal of approval and a warranty attached to it, but they are looking to make the most amount of money on it as well. You might have the added peace of mind when you do so but we are sure you can squeeze better specs from the money than buying directly from the manufacturer will guarantee. Hence, go to third party sellers if you want to buy the same Laptop, you are sure to get a better price for it but sometimes for no warranty.
- Buy what you need
If you are a graphics designer or an animator who needs to buy a laptop, then go for the highest specs you can find within your budget and call it a day. However, if you are a College student with a history major whose use case will mostly be writing papers and watching Netflix or YouTube, then you can very easily save money by buying a laptop that does not have all the bells and whistles like the highest-end graphics processors and the highest refresh rate screens which most often than not will do nothing to affect your use case. Get any Laptop with an i5 from the past 5 years with 8 gigabytes of ram and a 240 gigabyte SSD which will do great throughout your college years and beyond.
- Go slightly old
If you have a budget of $500 dollars then you can do great by buying a Laptop that is slightly older than the current generation. You can go out and buy a high-end laptop from 2016 or 2017 in that budget that will still hold up with all the modern tasks as well. An example of this would be to buy a gaming Laptop with a Skylake or a kaby lake processor with an Nvidia 1050ti or 1060 which could easily come in and around $500.
- Go very old and Add an SSD
If you are someone who does not need a graphics card and need one for general office work and internet browsing then you have the luxury of even going more backward. A Laptop with Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge processors still holds up very well today for those tasks.
However, a good rule of thumb would be to add a Solid-State Drive so that they will not be showing their age when you are using them. Adding an SSD is a proven way to give Laptops a few more years of usability and you can squeeze many years from a Sandy Bridge or an Ivy Bridge laptop if you do so.
- Never Buy Windows when you are on a budget
By saying this, we do not mean going around activating your windows using illegal means. Windows 10 is fully usable even if you do not have a license. The only functionality you will lose is the ability to change your wallpaper and an “Activate Windows” watermark which will always be visible. So, there is no need to drop hundreds of dollars just to remove it.
You can however buy an OEM key for a few dollars on eBay which is ethically grey for the most part but you get a legitimate copy of the Windows license out of it.
- Go Open Source
Once you have got a Laptop, you can also save money on essential software by opting in to use free or open-source alternatives. Instead of Microsoft office, you can use Google Docs, Instead of Premiere Pro you can use Da Vinci Resolve. There are definitely alternatives to the open-source marketplace for whatever program you need.
- Do Not Buy a Laptop at all
Hear me out on this. You can buy a Laptop if you need a computer that needs to move around a lot, however, if you are someone that is going to use that Laptop at home only then you can get a better deal and better specs if you spend the same amount of money on a PC. The specs difference between a $500 dollar laptop and a $500 dollar PC is massive. Laptops also do not age very well and frankly do not provide the same amount of value that PCs do.
Here were a few tips on how you could buy a used or refurbished laptop and save some money while you are at it.