Five Key Tips For Purchasing Refurbished Laptops Online

12/04/2011 15:00

Buying refurbished laptops online is the most common way to purchase a refurbished laptop. Most brick and motor stores are focused on selling new products, and the online world has become the home for many companies selling refurbished products. A first step in selecting an online store is to find a seller that meets your comfort level. A good practice is to select three potential online sources to evaluate, and then eliminate them one by one, until you have a source that meets your requirements. When you settle on a seller make sure you look around their online store and browse what they are offering. Your selected seller should address the following:

Complete Refurbished Laptops Descriptions: Make sure the seller has complete product descriptions, that include complete product specifications, and descriptions with a list of the items included with the laptop. Be sure to understand what is in the shipping group for the product, so you will not be disappointed when the product arrives and the items in the box where not what you expected. If software such as Microsoft XP, or Windows Vista are installed on the refurbished laptop make sure that the original software license keys are included with the product.

Clear Product Warranties: Make sure there is a product warranty and that the terms of the warranty are spelled out completely. It is a good idea to read the terms and conditions of the warranty. If the terms are not spelled out, then contact the seller to get a copy. The minimum warranty period you should accept is a thirty day warranty, with ninety days being a good compromise. If your refurbished laptop performs for thirty days to your expectation, then it is likely it will work for years to come, subject to the failures typical of any electronic device. Regarding extended warranties, this is an individual decision, but buying an extended service plan for a product costing under $500 is rarely a good decision. Be sure to understand the conditions under which you can return the product.

Test the Customer Service: Make sure there is a customer service function that includes a live person on the other end of the phone. Look for the contact numbers and call the support line to make sure support will be available when you need it.

Verify Integrity of the Seller: Look for Better Business Bureau (BBB) seals, BizRate, or Buy Safe seals which are indicators of the sellers integrity and acceptable business practices. If the seller has a reviews section on their web site check out what others have said but be aware that a seller can write the reviews and use fictitious names to make it look like real customers have provided the comments.

Buying Refurbished Laptops on eBay: eBay is one of the best places to buy a refurbished laptop since they have built a system to ensure safe shopping with a reviews and feedback system that makes it very difficult for less than a reputable seller to survive. Look for sellers that have a large number of transactions and with high or near perfect feedback scores. Select three eBay sellers of refurbished laptops, and using the criteria described above, review their products and select the seller that meets your needs.

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In many respects buying a product online is safer than from a "brick and mortar" store because the traditional store doesn't have a feedback score on the front door. The online purchase of a refurbished laptop can be a well thought out process executed at your pace, and not at end of a high pressure sales pitch. Follow these steps and you will enjoy a product purchase experience that results in buying an excellent refurbished laptop at a bargain price.