Buying a used device or what is now fashionably called a “pre-loved” device is a noble endeavor. Environmental considerations must come into play in the age of global warming and it is believed that the disposal of computer devices is extremely damaging to the environment. For that reason and for obvious cost-saving purposes, buying such a device is certainly a good idea. An increasing number of people now trawl the internet in search for used devices and find themselves in the lucky position of having a choice of a limitless number of low priced used devices. But how do you choose? How do you know which device is going to go the distance and give you at least a few years of reasonable use?
It’s obvious that one has to be cautious when buying a used device, and while you may indeed be lucky enough to snap up a real bargain from an honest private seller or dealer, you are just as likely to fall into the hands of a ruthless seller out to make a few bucks from a naive and innocent buyer.
I dare wag my finger and say: “Be careful, when buying a used device”, just because I have seen too many people burnt and left with devices that either broke down after five minutes or didn’t ever work at all. Particularly, private sellers will give you no comeback, your money will be gone and you will have nothing to show for!
To save you from such an unfortunate fate, here are some basic tips that should protect you from used device selling sharks:
- Only Buy from a Reputable Source:In my opinion, buying from a private seller is just crazy and you are highly likely to get scammed. The seller will happily ride off into the sunset with your money and leave you hanging with a device that will be of little use to you. Reputable websites such as Amazon or eBay award you some protection, but the best place to buy a pre-loved device is your local computer store. In most cases, businesses like my own, thoroughly check used devices and only offer them for resale when they are in a position to offer customers a warranty period. By doing so, the customer can rest assured that the used device she/he is purchasing is in good working order and that if something goes wrong, she/he can return to the seller and have it fixed. Real bargains can be gotten this way and you can end up with a top device without spending a fortune.
- Research the Product You Are Buying: Before you buy a used device, do plenty of research, find out all the features and in particular look at comparisons with more current devices. Does this device stand the test of time? Did a particular problem keep reoccurring? Was there a specific reason for the producers to change features in follow-up models? The internet will produces countless product reviews and inform you on all these aspects, as will your local computer technician who has seen products come and go and will know which ones stand the test of time.
- Make Sure Your Used Device is Compatible With Current Software: Let’s say you are in the market for an iPad. You find an iPad one from a reputable source, get 12 months warranty and go ahead and buy it. It won’t take much more than five minutes for you to discover that your iPad will not download the latest iOS update, won’t install newly developed games and won’t allow you to use even the most basic apps. Waste of money, dare I say! Of course, you are likely to have bought such a device online. A local computer dealer would have told you about the perils of buying a well-working but outdated model of a product!
If you make the noble decision to buy a used device, visit your local computer store, get plenty of advice, ask lots of questions, only buy if a warranty period is included and choose a device that can actually be used with current software. Though this may seem like a lengthy and tiresome process, there are real bargains out there and you will be doing our beautiful planet a favor. Lastly, if you can, be patient and wait for the right device to become available so as to ensure that you will get optimum use out of it for years to come.