Buying preowned computer parts can be a great way to save money when building your new machine. As mentioned in other articles such as building a computer for under £1000, it is possible to find affordable components if you are trying to stick to a budget. However, sometimes buying something ‘new’ or ‘first-hand’ is always going to be expensive.
To some people, buying preowned computer parts is considered ‘risky’, as you are unaware of what you are getting in terms of quality. When you buying something new, you expect it to work, no problem. However, if something doesn’t work, then you know, by law you are entitled to complain, send the product back and either receive a replacement or get your money back (different countries will have different laws, so check yours). So, basically, you know that when you buy something first-hand, you have some form of protection that will ensure for quality as well as having and a money-back guarantee.
What Protection do you have when Buying Preowned Computer Parts?
Some companies selling second-hand electrical items may offer some sort of warranty, such as CEX and Game. These are known as extended warranties and their aim is to give you, the buyer, some form of buying protection. I remember when my PlayStation 3 got the dreaded ‘yellow light of death’, I sent it to Sony to get it repaired and they kindly sent me a refurbished one that came with a 3-month warranty.
However, most of the time you might not get a warranty, especially if the component is a few years old.
But, what if I want my money back?
Depending on what payment platform you use, getting your money back should not be too much of an issue. PayPal is the safest option when purchasing online. If you have been ‘scammed’ online and you want your money back, most of the time PayPal will take the side of the buyer over the seller. Platforms such as Ebay use PayPal as their main method of payment. Using PayPal is a much secure system of paying online, rather than using your debit card directly because PayPal acts as a middleman between the buyer and the seller. If a site you are using does not have PayPal, then using a credit card is another secure way of protecting yourself, as again, it is not directly accessing your bank account. However, you will need to contact your credit card company to warn them about the transaction.
Can I trust the quality?
Look, at the end of the day, most people aren’t out to scam you! There will always be the few that will try to pull a fast one, but overall, buying preowned computer parts online is a great way to save money. Before you do make a purchase it is best to check the following:
- The seller’s user profile ratings
- The pictures – make sure there are images
- The product description – including the condition
Where Can I Purchase Second-hand Computer Parts?
Amazon is a good start. For example, check out this Amazon seller’s store:
This seller sells a whole variety of technology items, such as mobile phones, computer cases, motherboards, processors and monitors. Pretty much everything you will need to build a new computer. Not everything is second-hand, but what is, is fantastic quality, at a much lower price than the recommended retail price.
Ebay is another great place where you can buy pre-owned computer parts.
See these examples:
From these two screenshots, you can see the items the sellers are currently selling as well as their seller rating which is based upon their activity in the form of feedback. The Ebay profile screens may have a ‘basic’ look about them, but they give you a glimpse into the seller’s world and whether you should trust them or not. Both sellers are selling used computer components at a largely deflated value. If you were to purchase a power supply unit, an optical drive, graphics card, hard drive, and motherboard (including an AMD 6-core CPU), you would be looking at paying under £200 for the lot. Now, doesn’t that sound like a bargain….
When buying preowned computer parts, I like to take research the item that I am wanting to purchase and shop around to find the best deal. Sometimes, buying second-hand is the best option, and frankly, there is nothing wrong with that. There are many people looking to flog their old parts for a lot less money than they bought them for.
I personally don’t like to buy used hard drives, as they are mechanical and don’t have a great lifespan. However, saying that, if they are ‘pretty much’ new, then I would probably consider buying one. I have also sold hard drives before. If you are thinking of selling your hard drive, please check out this guide on how to ‘safely wipe your hard-drive’.
Buying preowned computer parts such as RAM can be very beneficial as sometimes computer memory can be expensive. Network cards, graphics cards and motherboards should be all fine too. Just make sure you are aware of the condition before you buy and try to stick to the major, trustworthy sites, such as Amazon and Ebay as getting your money back will be a lot easier using these platforms than doing a deal online via a chat forum (for example) where there is no middleman or protection.
The lifespan of a computer component may not be as great as if it is used compared to buying ‘new’, but a lot of components today are built with care and should last a long time, regardless. Just make sure you are maintaining your PC and that they don’t overheat or get clogged full of dust.
So, what’s your opinion on buying preowned computer parts?
Have you done so before and if so, what has been your experiences in doing so?
Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.