Question by : It it worth the risk of buying a used laptop?
I saw an ad on Craigslist for an ad that said barely used laptop for $ 125. I never owned a laptop before but thought I will take a chance and buy this one. I am going to meet the owner this afternoon. What should I look for when buying this laptop and is it worth my risk to buy it?
Answer by Adrian
I would not...
"barely used" may mean it has problems and does not run well. Also, there is no "warranty" of any sort, if something is wrong with it.
You have to watch out for Craigslist, there are a lot of scammers out there. Always deal in person (meet at a coffee shop or shopping mall), and test the machine out for 1/2 hour or so before buying anything. Bring a friend along, one who knows a bit about laptops... (and it is safer to have someone with you)
It may be a stolen machine, ask the seller where they got (bought) it from, and if possible, ask for the serial number. Crooks will hesitate to give that information out. If the seller says they bought it at a store, ask them to bring the original sales receipt.
Finally, ask for photo ID from the seller, so you can be sure of who they are, and write down their home address (like from a drivers license). That way, if the laptop turns out to be stolen, you can tell the cops who it was. You can also verify their phone number/address through a reverse phone lookup on the Internet.
Bottom line, if it is an honest seller, you should be able to identify them easily, and identify the laptop (serial, where bought, etc...)
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