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Buying used laptops on craigslist


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#1 canuckbeliever

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:54 PM

I am a broke university student and my last laptop just recently went wack. I was wondering if anyone has bought a used one on craigslist and how it turned out. I try to avoid craigslist as much as possible but they do have good deals and I am cheap so it works hand in hand I guess.

#2 Xbox

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:56 PM

If you're goona buy it off the internet on an untrusted site at least use Kijiji

#3 Opmac

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:32 PM

If you're goona buy it off the internet on an untrusted site at least use Kijiji

What's the difference between Kijiji and Craigslist? I've always seen Kijiji as the poor cousin of Craigslist.

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#4 MillerGenuineDraft

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:37 PM

I mean, it's a hit or miss. You might luck out and find that business man, whose selling his laptop to make that easy $300, just because. Or you might land that 19 year old that knows there is a problem with the laptop, but is just selling it for a low price.

Classifying craigslist as a whole isn't really the best way of looking at it. Every seller has different reasons for selling it. Find out those reasons and you should be good my dude.
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#5 Jai604

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:39 PM

Honestly, you're probably better off going to Costco and getting a $500 cheap HP laptop.

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#6 TheGuyOnTheBuffalo

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:41 PM

I know your on a budget but check out ncix. Pay $300 for a used one or $500 at ncix. Atleast you know it will work right.

#7 The Brahma Bull

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:42 PM

i was just thinking about the same thing tonight. :lol:

Some shady people and some are not. the thing is that if someone completely stripped a new looking laptop and put complete garbage inside of it, i wouldnt know the difference.

i might just buy a super cheap $300ish new one.

Edited by The Brahma Bull, 23 August 2012 - 10:43 PM.



#8 The Bookie

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 01:44 AM

Craigslist is great if you know how to navigate it. The key is in the details - look for people who have included a ton of details, multiple photos, use correct spelling. As always, if it sounds too good to be true, don't bother with it. Ask them questions by email, one at a time, and see if they take the time to answer. If they just try to push you to meet up and buy it, say no thanks. Finally, when you go to meet them, try to find a friend who knows more than you to come along. Or even someone who can fake it, but introduce them as "My friend ___, who knows a lot about computers!" Read their body language, see if this makes them nervous. Anyone trying to quickly pass off a dying computer will want to get out of there immediately.

Probably the majority of my possessions these days came off Craigslist/Kijiji (and yeah, they are more or less interchangeable) and everything works fine, some of it has for years. When it works it really is the best option.

#9 Ossi Vaananen

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 01:54 AM

I was considering this recently too. I was looking for an HDTV, an upgrade over my old style flatscreen. Some great deals on craigslist, I'm just weary of what to watch for. Any tips?

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#10 Mr. Ambien

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 04:43 AM

I've done a number of transactions over Craigslist whether it be selling or buying electronics, or buying sports tickets, etc., my simplified advice relating to the two types of electronics discussed:

1. Either arrange to meet the person in public and/or make sure others know where you are just to eliminate the worst case "crazy person" scenario. Bringing someone also helps if you're that paranoid.

2a. TV's are simple -- make sure you can power the thing on to check and see if it works, if it has any dead pixels, faded colour, burn-in, etc.

2b. Laptops are more complicated. Similarly, make sure the laptop comes with all accessories like adapter (all pieces), make sure screen doesn't have dead pixels, burn-in, missing keys, missing hardware from bays, make sure the computer functions as advertised, look for signs of break or falls, tiny scratches and nicks on the laptop exterior are expected from most, also find out if it has a recovery disc and OEM windows serial that is hardware specific so you can get a cleanly installed machine. You could also ask this person to do a fresh install if they haven't already.

3. Don't show the money until you are ready to pay, obviously.

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#11 Offensive Threat

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 11:17 AM

it has a lot to do with talking to the person whos selling it. Dont just use E-mails. Get a number to call them. If they sound reasonable and educated over the phone it helps a lot. If they sound like 17 year old wanna be gangstas give it a pass. The use of the word "bro" is a bad sign.

You can find some incredible deals on craigslist. I went with my buddy and we picked up a really nice leather couch for him for $200.

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#12 GLASSJAW

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 11:19 AM

If your craigslist experience is anything like mine, your laptop will be 120 pounds heavier than listed, and be unwilling to do half the things the post suggests.

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#13 Hume

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 12:14 PM

If your craigslist experience is anything like mine, your laptop will be 120 pounds heavier than listed, and be unwilling to do half the things the post suggests.


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#14 Offensive Threat

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 10:05 PM

If your craigslist experience is anything like mine, your laptop will be 120 pounds heavier than listed, and be unwilling to do half the things the post suggests.


So your Craigslist experience is exactly the same as your girlfriend experience...

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#15 hockeyfan90

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 10:12 PM

I would avoid craigslist or kijiji for big $$$ electronics because of the money involved. But I bought a lot of PS3 games from others who just played, beat the game, and done with it and selling it and it's always worked properly for me.

#16 Hobbes!!!

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 01:00 AM

I've bought some smaller things from Craigslist, like Wii games, movies... All work great.

I wouldn't buy something expensive like a laptop tho. You just never know. Sometimes the con artists ARE the ones who sound trustworthy and spell everything right.
Maybe try something refurbished at futureshop that you know will come with a decent warranty in case something goes sideways after a few weeks.


#17 The Brahma Bull

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 12:28 PM

Bought a pretty solid laptop from craigslist yesterday. got home and looked a bit closer at the power brick. The cord was frayed right beside the power brick and the velcro was over top of it and there was a small loop of cord to stop the velcro from moving out of place. Returned it today, but lost $20 out of it for 'his time'. At least he let me return it. Said he didn't realize it, but you never know.

Be very careful.

Edited by The Brahma Bull, 29 August 2012 - 12:30 PM.



#18 SukhKular

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 12:49 PM

Love CL. But only for things that are easily testable.

43 inch sony wega TV $150 works perfectly to this day.
couches, tv stand, video games (only the game not the system)
Speakers (easy to test also)
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#19 250Integra

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 01:37 PM

My family have bought many laptops from usedvictoria.com (obviously similar to craiglists) and the only problem we've had was one of our laptops had a faulty hard-drive.


You can honestly find some amazing deals from international students who try to get rid of their things before heading back to their home country.

Edited by 250Integra, 29 August 2012 - 01:38 PM.

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