Much like with anything else, you can usually save a good chunk of cash when buying used computers VS brand new ones. However, unlike most of the other used products that you buy, it can actually be very risky when it comes to buying used computers, especially when you buy them on the internet at places like eBay.com or even Amazon. This is because of the fact that the people selling these computers do not always know what is really inside of the PC, as far as hardware. So in other words, there is a good chance that you can end up getting a computer with different specs than the owner stated in their auction etc.
So how can you possibly know for sure what you will be getting when you buy a PC that is used? The bad news is that there is no real way to know for sure exactly what you will end up getting. However, there are some precautions that you can take that will increase your odds of not getting burned when you buy a used PC from places like eBay. But again, buying something as complex as a computer (or laptop) that is used will always involve a fair amount of risk; so you also have to figure out if saving a few bucks is really worth it or not, when all is said and done.
Basically when you are looking for a particular computer on eBay (assuming that we are talking about a used one), the single most important thing that you can do is ask a lot of questions, and also get an idea of how knowledgeable the person selling the computer is when it comes to PC's. Be sure to read the whole entitlement auction, and pay close attention to the specifications, as this is where most people end up listing inaccuracies with the PC that they are selling.
So what kind of questions do you want to ask? Basically you will just want to verify that the specs listed for the computer are the true specs. So if the computer is listed as being 3 GHz, go ahead and ask the owner if they are sure that the computer is really 3 GHz. And also double check with them about the other important pieces of hardware, such as the amount of RAM (memory), the video card, and even the size of the hard drive, and so on. It may seem a little strange just verifying these kinds of details, but when you do this, if the owner accidently listed one of the specifications wrong, then double checking with them is a great way for them to realize their mistake, BEFORE it is to late and you have already bought the computer from them.
Another important thing that you should ask them is if the computer has ever been upgraded, or if any of the components have ever been replaced. If it has been upgraded, or had any of the hardware replaced, then you may not want to purchase the PC. This is because often when people have their PC upgraded, or have hardware replaced, it is very common for them to forget what was actually put into the PC, or they may not even know for sure what was really installed, which leaves a lot of room for misrepresentation when it comes to the technical details.