The Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Computer

Like anything else, purchasing a used or refurbished computer has both advantages and disadvantages. Understanding the pros and cons of purchasing a used desktop or laptop computer can make it much easier to reach the best decision. Good decisions can’t be reached with bad information.
Reasons to purchase a used computer:
1. Price: This is the most obvious advantage of purchasing a used computer – and the primary motivator for most people. Due to the “slow economy” many people and businesses are looking for used computers as a way to save money. It’s most likely the primary reason you are reading this article and considering a used computer. While older computers typically have lower specifications, they often provide far more capability than the average user requires. Even the most basic computer can be used for word processing, spreadsheets, using the Internet, or viewing photos.
• Unless you have a regular need for high-end applications, most desktop and laptop computers are overkill. Further, if you have fast internet speed you can often survive on an older computer with less “spec.”
2. Convenience: If you’re purchasing a used computer from a local computer business, it’s much easier to get repairs done. Try taking a new computer back to Wal-Mart for repairs. You’ll likely have to box up your computer and head for the post office. How long can you afford to wait? And yes, new computers sometimes have problems. In buying a used PC from a local shop hopefully you’ll be starting a relationship with a repair person there, also.
• A used (or new) computer is much easier to have serviced when purchased from a local provider rather than over the internet.
3. You won’t pay for things you don’t need. The primary difference between a current computer model and one that’s 3-years old is a faster processing speed, more ram and better graphics. These improvements aren’t necessary for 75+% of computer users. Why pay for more than you need? Also, many used computers already have expensive office and antivirus software and that is another expense you will not incur.
4. Windows 7 unavailable. Many users don’t like Windows 8. If you walk into Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, etc. the only machines available have Windows 8. If you buy a used computer you can find one with Windows 7.
The disadvantages of a used computer:
1. Warranty: New computers include a warranty. If you’re purchasing a used computer from an individual or shop, they likely won’t include a warranty; however, purchasing a used computer from a computer business might include a warranty. Remember to ask!
2. The latest technology: If you need access to cutting-edge technology a new computer might be a better option. Consider what you truly need before making a decision. If you’re not sure what you need, ask someone with the necessary knowledge.
3. Lifespan: A re-furbished computer can potentially last as long as a new computer, but the used computer might naturally be out of date before a new computer. Again, assess your personal requirements and risk tolerance and the cost benefits of both.
4. The seller might be selling you a machine that has had a motherboard repair or might have been compromised in some other fashion. Similar to a used car the computer might have a past the seller might not know or be forthcoming about.

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