Nowadays, it's actually cool to be frugal and to be wise about managing your money. One way of being exactly that is in buying a used or refurbished computer instead of new models (that tend to depreciate quickly in value, anyway). It's good to know that some of these computers were simply returned by their previous owners without having been used at all. Also, if you're planning on using the computer for basic operations such as word processing, net surfing, emailing and spreadsheets, then go ahead and buy a used one. Here are some tips how to find the best option:
Purchase a reliable, reputable brand
Buy a brand reputed for high quality that's been tested by users worldwide. You can't go wrong with that. Plus, it'd be easier for you to look for parts and components, just in case you'd need one for replacement or for upgrading. Also important, you can obtain a warranty on your computer.
A word about warranties--make sure that you obtain a written one, and remember to keep it.
Check it out
This is essential. These are things to look out for:
- Do the installed programs boot up speedily and perform properly?
- Is the hardware (the monitor, the mouse, the keyboard) in good condition?
- Do the CD and disk drives open and close properly?
- Check out the graphics, sound and video drivers as well.
- Take a look at the hard drive capacity, and check if the memory could be upgraded.
- For a laptop, check if the battery lasts long enough, and if it can be charged properly.
Ask if that computer could support software that you're planning to install. You may inform whoever is selling you the computer exactly for what purposes you're planning to use the computer, and they can tell you if it's right for you or not.
See if that company could offer a trial period with your money back or a computer replacement if you're not satisfied. If not, then just take your time (about 30 minutes) really inspecting the computer; test it as you are planning to use it: write a document, test out the spreadsheet, check your mail.
Look into customer support
What are the hours? Are they convenient for you? Call the customer support hot-line number, and see if you can easily gain access to a live customer service associate and not frustrating machine recordings. And what if there isn't any support available? Maybe you're better off not purchasing this particular brand.
Ask for the proper software documents and licenses
This is a precautionary measure to make sure that the computer hasn't been stolen and that everything is all clear and legal. Remember, you don't want to end up being at the losing end.
Remember, as with any purchase, there are always some risks involved. However, as we have said being wise about money is essential nowadays. The key is that you check the computer thoroughly, and make sure that the computer you're purchasing fits your exact needs and lifestyle. Good luck, and happy shopping!