How to Sell a Broken Laptop

Written by corey m. mackenzie
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If your laptop is broken, you can still sell it. Some used computer dealers, as well as computer hobbyists, are experts at repairing laptops and will give you a decent amount of money for a broken laptop. You shouldn't expect to get as much money, of course, as you would if the laptop still functions, but you can still get some return on your initial investment.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Write down, or memorise, exactly what is wrong with the laptop. If you aren’t sure, note that too but describe the malfunction (for instance, if it doesn’t boot up). Also make a note of aspects that still work. Writing these things down will help you communicate more effectively to prospective buyers.

  2. 2

    Clean your broken laptop. Though cleaning may seem unimportant, it will make the laptop look more enticing to potential buyers.

  3. 3

    Look in your local phone book’s yellow pages for used computer dealers. Many will buy old laptops even if broken. Explain what is wrong with it and ask how much the dealer would be willing to pay. Keep calling around until you get a reasonable offer; however, keep in mind that some dealers might not be willing to give you an offer without looking at the laptop.

  4. 4

    Place a classified listing on line or in your local newspaper. You should be explicit, detailing all the perks of your particular laptop plus all things you know are wrong with it. For instance, if it boots up fine but the screen has been scratched, mention that the only thing wrong with it is a scratched screen. If it caught on fire because of a battery problem, you absolutely should mention that to potential buyers.

  5. 5

    Pawn the laptop. This should be your last resort. You should only pawn the laptop if the other steps did not yield any results. You are unlikely to get much money for a broken laptop at a pawn shop—some shops might not be willing to take it at all.

Tips and warnings

  • Be honest. You can be honest about the laptop's problems without making it sound like a complete piece of junk. The only thing you will get if you lie about the laptop is a very angry buyer who might demand a refund.
  • If placing an ad on line or in a newspaper, first investigate what new and used working, laptops with your laptop's specifications are retailing for. This will help prevent you from setting a price that is too high.
  • Be careful when selling anything on the Internet. If you can, use a merchant service such as Pay pal—this will give you, the seller, extra security

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