How to get right when it comes to buying second-hand hardware

There comes a time when we all need to buy or upgrade the PC with new hardware components, but the economic situation may prevent you from buying new products and you have to resort to the second-hand market . If this is your case, in this article we are going to give you some tips so that you do not get screwed and that your purchase is satisfactory.

The second-hand market is a double-edged sword: there are people who sell products in very good condition at cheap prices and who have nothing to hide, but we can also find ourselves in the position that products in poor condition are sold, with vices hidden or that do not directly correspond to the description provided by the seller. Unfortunately, you have to be quite careful and especially when you intend to buy hardware parts, so let’s see what you can do so that you do not get screwed.

What to look for when buying second-hand hardware

The first thing you should look at is the attitude of the seller . If you ask him for more photographs of the product, or ask him for details and he is willing to collaborate and answer all your questions, it is a good sign because he probably has nothing to hide. If you are reluctant, it is possible that the product is not in very good condition and that it hides hidden defects or that its operation is not as expected. If so, be suspicious.

The same thing happens with descriptions that don’t tell you anything. Generally, any advertisement for second-hand hardware carries a description of the product’s features and condition; If the description does not give any information, or if it is clearly a copy and paste of the specifications of the product manufacturer, you are suspicious because either that person does not know what they are selling or does not want to specify it. Look for ads in which the product is described in detail and with complete clarity, always look for transparency.

Invoice and guarantee, the key to success

It is complicated since the guarantee law only covers two years from the purchase, but if a second-hand product that you are about to buy has an invoice and a guarantee and this is clearly indicated by the seller, it is a good sign because even if you had problems with him, you could make use of that guarantee.

The problem is that when you buy it you will not have two years from your purchase but from the original purchase of the person who sells you the product, that is, the guarantee is inherited and you could only have a few months or even weeks of coverage; in any case, it would be enough to be able to mount the component and check if it works correctly or not.

Buy specific second-hand hardware

We are going to give you below a series of tips regarding specific hardware devices, so that you can check before making the purchase. This little guide can be used both to check once you have the product in your hands and to ask questions or ask the seller for photos:

  • SSD, hard drives and storage in general : a screenshot of CrystalDisk Info showing the number and hours on is crucial to know their status. A SMART status report also helps.
  • Graphics cards : check that it has not been disassembled, that it retains the warranty label on the socket anchoring screws (as in the photo above). If possible, ask for a video that shows it in operation while Furmark is running, so you can see if it is noisy or has a coil whine.
  • Processors and motherboards : it is vital that in the images you have you can see the state of the motherboard socket (Intel) to see if there are bent pins, as well as the bottom of the processor (AMD) to see the pins. On boards, check that the PCI-Express sockets are not bent.
  • Heatsinks : you can not notice much here, except that they do not have bent blades and, in the case of liquid cooling, that the radiator is not damaged and with bent blades as well. Check if it’s dirty.
  • Monitors : ask for images in which the monitor is turned on with a completely blank image, in order to see if it has dead or vague pixels. Also a photo of the video inputs to see if there are any bent or in bad condition.
  • Peripherals : images showing the aesthetic state of the product can help you get an idea of ​​both the time of use (marks, wear, etc.) and whether the person who sells them has properly sanitized them.

Don’t even think about buying an OEM PC

Let’s finish by giving you one final piece of advice: don’t buy OEM (pre-assembled) PCs on the second-hand market. This type of equipment is cheap but is packed in small-format boxes with a disastrous cooling system, low-quality power supplies and, in addition, as a general rule they have non-standard hardware, that is, you will not be able to change many of its components without having to resort to the PC manufacturer itself.

For this reason we recommend that if you are looking for a complete PC in the second-hand market, that you either assemble it by parts or that you are looking for complete equipment but assembled by parts, never OEM equipment because they really age very badly and as a general rule they will be prone to problems and very noisy.



by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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