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What Are the Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Desktop Computer?

A computer, keyboard, and mouse with a hidden tower.
A used desktop computer may have outdated internal components such as a slow microprocessor.
A used desktop computer could save a buyer money, but it might also not work as expected.
Article Details
  • Written By: M. Walker
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Buying a used desktop computer has several pros and cons. Some of the main advantages include general cost, the ability to find great deals, and possible extra hardware or software. The main disadvantages include the potential for damage, possible scams or stolen computers, and lack of transferable warranty. Individuals should conduct thorough research before buying a used desktop computer to ensure high quality, fair pricing, and legal transactions.

Large cost savings can make used computers very appealing to many buyers. For those who cannot afford a high quality new computer, finding a used desktop computer of equal quality can be a way to save money. Since used computers are frequently sold by individual previous owners rather than retail outlets, costs are often further reduced because there is no overhead. Another cost advantage of used computers is that they frequently contain additional hardware or software that was purchased and installed by the previous owner, adding to the overall value of the item.

It’s usually much easier to find a great deal when buying a used desktop computer instead of a new one. Sales and promotions on new computers can often help buyers save, but they are still designed to maximize profits for the company. Used desktops that are sold by individuals are not optimized for profit. Instead, many sellers have already purchased a new computer and are looking to sell their old one for a reasonable amount of money.

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Some of the main disadvantages of buying a used desktop computer include damage and scams. Sellers will occasionally try to sell broken or damaged computers at high prices without disclosing the damage. Some people might attempt to sell stolen computers. Thoroughly inspecting the item, testing it to see if it works, and checking the serial number against databases of stolen goods can all help reduce these problems.

Another disadvantage of used computers is their frequent lack of warranty. In some cases, a warranty will still be valid but it will not be transferable to the new user. This means that any future issues or damage to the computer will not be covered, and the new buyer will be responsible for the repair costs. Taking this into account and estimating potential added costs for repair can help buyers determine a more accurate price of the used desktop computer.

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Vincenzo
Post 2

@Melonlity -- you can find some great deals that way and it is virtually a risk free way of purchasing a desktop. If you are on the lookout for laptop computers, however, be careful. In general, you don't want a used laptop unless it is factory certified to be in good condition. Laptops take a lot more abuse than desktops do, so extra caution necessary when purchasing one.

Melonlity
Post 1

There are stores set up in several towns that specialize in buying used computers, fixing them if necessary and then selling them at a reasonable cost. You can get some great deals that way and you might even be able to get a warranty.

Those computers might not be as cheap as ones you can find from individuals looking to sell old equipment, but you do have a bit more peace of mind.

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