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Can you trust laptop from ebay

victorm

New member
I want a new laptop and am thinking of buying used one on ebay to save the cost...are these trustworthy will they last?
how do i make sure the seller hasn't put a virus or a tracker on to get my passwords and bank details, can I check for bad software and remove it guaranteed?
 

root

Administrator
Staff member
Hi @victorm - welcome to CF!

This is an interesting question. I would say as someone who has bought a few eBay refurb laptops that generally, yes, they're alright.
Like anything else on eBay you'll want to check the sellers feedback first - I would suggest sticking to people who professionally refurbish and resell laptops as generally they're not going to be loading malware.

The refurbished devices more often than not are ex-corporate and have spent most of their working life sat closed on a dock so can be found in pretty good condition.
I would be far less trusting of a random private seller of a laptop.

It's always a trade off buying used stuff, especially expensive things like a laptop. If you don't feel 100% confident you're probably better off buying new for the warranty but there are absolute bargains to be had.

If you're concerned about the machine coming loaded with malware I would suggest you either completely wipe and reinstall the operating system, or even take out the hard disk and fit a new one. Some ex-corporate machines come without the disk drives so you could even save some money doing it this way.
 

victorm

New member
If I buy from a seller that has lots of good feedback will it be ok then? are there any good sellers you can recommend? how do i "completely wipe and reinstall the operating system"? I've been using computers for a long time but not an expert.
 

root

Administrator
Staff member
I wouldn't be able to recommend any particular seller, but I would, as in general when buying on eBay, check their seller profile. Ideally I like to see a good 500+ feedbacks as a seller and no more than a handful of neturals and negatives (things don't always go right)

Ideally also they would be listed as a business seller - a company is more likely to have a vested interest in keeping a good reputation than an individual that might want to get some cash for a laptop that's past it's working life.

In terms of wiping and reinstalling - essentially if you're planning on using Windows, it's a case of using another machine to create a bootable USB. Microsoft provide a tool at Download Windows 10
If you're planning on using Windows 11 now or in the future be mindful that it requires relatively recent CPUs or a bit of a hack to get it installed, so you might want to look at the specs carefully.
 
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