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Buying a secondhand laptop?

19 replies to this topic

#1 ECsMum

Posted 20 November 2019 - 11:03 AM

Just wondering if anyone can give me any tips on buying a secondhand laptop (specifically a macbook air).   I can't afford to buy a new one and DD needs one for school next year so wanting to know the pitfalls of buying secondhand or what I can do to make sure I am not getting a lemon or a stolen item.   The other option I have is to hire one for 6 months and then look at buying a new one later next year when I could afford it.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)

#2 JBH

Posted 20 November 2019 - 11:49 AM

I wouldn’t buy one on Gumtree or the like - it may be cheaper but if it doesn’t work, your money is down the drain. However I would buy a refurbished one from a reputable business. Apple do them, although imagine they are at the expensive end. You can google and find other businesses, and I would recommend checking reviews.

#3 sophiasmum

Posted 20 November 2019 - 12:24 PM

I just bought 2 x refurbished MacBook air from this website for my teens in HS, it's a store at my local westfield plus online


#4 Dadto2

Posted 20 November 2019 - 12:55 PM

Refurbished laptops from Apple are only marginally cheaper than the new ones e.g $1400 compared to $1600.

Have a look on Gumtree. Plenty of legitimate sellers. Just makes you don't go for anything too old, as they will be a bit slow, especially if they've got the latest operating system on. Also look for a computer with SSD drive, it will be much quicker and as it has no moving parts won't die like an older rotating drive (HDD). So perhaps no older than 2015? Just make sure with the macbooks the hinges aren't loose and stay away from ones with scratched lids, bottoms as they have probably not been looked after well.

#5 charmed30

Posted 20 November 2019 - 01:38 PM

Does it have to be a MacBook? How about buying a new non-Apple laptop?

#6 ECsMum

Posted 20 November 2019 - 02:10 PM

Yes it has to be a macbook unfortunately - not that I am against them other than the cost!

#7 IamtheMumma

Posted 20 November 2019 - 02:40 PM

I've bought from Graysonline with success. They're refurbished most of the time. Occasionally you can get new. There's an element of personal preference but I buy HP. Used to buy Toshiba but the last two the cases broke very easily on the monitor.

Edit - I missed the macbook. Look at the school specifications for what you need in a laptop. I wouldn't be paying that kind of money for primary school.

Edited by IamtheMumma, 20 November 2019 - 02:42 PM.

#8 ECsMum

Posted 20 November 2019 - 03:13 PM

The school specifications are for macbooks only - they are an apple school.

#9 charmed30

Posted 20 November 2019 - 03:16 PM

I think your safest bet is to buy refurbished from the Apple store. I know it will still come with warranty that will give you peace of mind.

#10 FatherofFour

Posted 20 November 2019 - 03:28 PM

Does this school offer a Stay at School option?

The student uses the macbook during the day then leaves at school overnight.  All files / work is usually uploaded / stored in the cloud nowadays (when not a usb stick can be used) and the student uses their home computer to retrieve these files and do any homework.

** this idea relies on there being a suitable computer at home.

#11 FatherofFour

Posted 20 November 2019 - 03:31 PM

This also takes the onus away from the owner to keep the device updated / patched etc and the school will follow their refresh cycle and (if the timing is right) the student will be given a brand new laptop while those that bought theirs in the first year will have a older models still.

#12 IamzFeralz

Posted 20 November 2019 - 04:12 PM

View PostECsMum, on 20 November 2019 - 03:13 PM, said:

The school specifications are for macbooks only - they are an apple school.

My DD and I went halves on a new one and she got a job to pay it off.  She wanted a new one that would last her through uni.

#13 ECsMum

Posted 20 November 2019 - 04:15 PM

View PostIamzFeralz, on 20 November 2019 - 04:12 PM, said:

My DD and I went halves on a new one and she got a job to pay it off.  She wanted a new one that would last her through uni.

I like this idea but she's only 8 - they start the 1:1 laptop program in Year 4.

#14 IamzFeralz

Posted 20 November 2019 - 04:47 PM

View PostECsMum, on 20 November 2019 - 04:15 PM, said:

I like this idea but she's only 8 - they start the 1:1 laptop program in Year 4.

Wow, I was thinking she was in high school!  That seems crazy.

Would the school be willing to purchase it and then you pay it off in instalments?  Is it a private school?

#15 SeaPrincess

Posted 20 November 2019 - 07:45 PM

Our primary school is an Apple school, but our local high school is PC. I’ve just received a note home from the school to let us know that if we’re interested in selling our Year 6 child’s MacBook, we can provide our contact details and the school will pass them on to the year 3 parents. The school doesn’t get involved in the actual process at all other than to gather the details of people selling and provide a list to the year 3 parents.

We’re not selling because although the high school is PC, their recommended device is garbage and DS1 continued to use his MacBook anyway. His has done 5 years and still going strong.

ETA We’re at a public primary school in WA

Edited by SeaPrincess, 20 November 2019 - 07:46 PM.

#16 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 20 November 2019 - 10:16 PM

Year 4?! Is it compulsory? Our PS BYOD program is optional and includes Chrome books for ~$400.

#17 ECsMum

Posted 21 November 2019 - 09:24 AM

This is a public school, not compulsory but recommended as there are limited macbooks available for use during school hours and not guaranteed as they are spread across several classes.   It can only be a macbook.   I have no problem with this other than the financial impact which is why I am exploring options.   DD would get a lot of use from it school and leisure wise.

#18 SeaPrincess

Posted 21 November 2019 - 09:39 AM

Also OP, if you can’t get one second hand, shop around. When we got DS1’s, we went through the school’s educational partner supplier because they had a good deal, but they weren’t competitive for the younger children. DS2’s was from JB Hifi and DD’s came from Harvey Norman.

Actually, when DS2 was going into year 4, I went to the deputy principal and told him I thought it was getting too expensive. I know school families who can’t afford their $60 voluntary contribution. The school now accepts other devices, but they are not as well supported as the MacBooks. In our case, the MacBooks were sponsored when they first came into use, and the school was really well resourced and supported by external providers, so it’s a legacy of a pilot program.

Edited by SeaPrincess, 21 November 2019 - 09:46 AM.

#19 ECsMum

Posted 27 November 2019 - 10:01 AM

thanks for everyone's input ...

any thoughts on this one - JBHiFi have a special on it ...


#20 SeaPrincess

Posted 28 November 2019 - 12:39 AM

It’s possibly an older build, hence the price reduction, but it should be fine.

Edited by SeaPrincess, 28 November 2019 - 12:39 AM.

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