10-Step Guide to Buying a Used Laptop That Works

Buying second-hand products is always green, but it’s easy to be discouraged by the stories of broken laptops from eBay or Craigslist. To quell these fears, here is a 10-step checklist on how to avoid high-tech lemons.

Most wouldn’t flinch at the idea of buying a used car, but the thought of a used computer sends them squirming. The tech industry tries their hardest to keep it that way: they advertise new products in such a way to render the previous models perceptually obsolete; they block even the simplest hardware upgrades; and they sell bottom-of-the-line models that simply break within a couple years.

This shouldn’t scare you away from a used computer purchase, but know that they are imperfect machines; some research, determination, and basic knowledge is required. To make this list, I used both my own experience along with some tips from Peter Montesano of Peter’s PC Repair, one of the most highly regarded repair shops in San Francisco.
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