If your budget is limited and you want the best for your money or you just want to keep something out of the landfill, the market for used or refurbished laptops is worth considering. I was very lucky to buy used laptops on eBay from all sorts of sellers (both professionals and ordinary people).
To make the best deal, make sure you know the market. Do a little research to find out the machine that suits your needs. The easiest to get and therefore (usually) the best deals tend to be more boring, business-oriented models. I happen to like ThinkPads, which are used – and then discarded all at once – by large corporations, which means they have a lot to choose from and are cheap.
Aim for these specifications: Try to get a laptop with at least a ninth-generation Intel Core i3 processor, 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage (preferably an SSD) and at least a 13-inch display close to HD.
Finding used laptops on eBay: Once you know what you want, search for it on eBay. Scroll down and check the option to show only “sold ads”. Now take the 10 latest sales, add the prices and divide by 10. This is the average price; don’t pay more than that.
Keep in mind the lowest price – this is the great price. Now uncheck the Sold Listing option. See what is between the lowest price and this average price. These are the deals you can consider. I suggest you watch a few. Do not bid or participate at all. Just watch them to the end and see how high the auctions will go.
Once you feel the market and what you have to pay, you will know when you find a deal. When you find it, wait. Do not bid until the last few minutes of the auction. You do not want other participants to be able to react. Remember that if you miss something, it is not the end of the world. There is always something new that is listed on eBay.