Patrick Yau
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Last revised: 12/26/06
Author: Patrick Yau

First of all, auction website are giving you a cheap price. Ebay Sellers sell older models than the manufacture direct stores (e.g. Panasonic, Gateway) does, and usually cheaper. You cannot customize model to the way your want. You may not get a good warranty. Read the fineprints carefully. Look at the auction is refundable/refundable or not. To be safe, please do read online reviews and recommendations.

Rule of thumb, read seller's feedback from previous customers at least a page. Customers complain if they have defective/fake products, poor packaging, shipping mistakes etc etc.

Frankly, I haven't been buying laptops on ebay, BUT usually I buy computer components on ebay and tigerdirect. I buy laptops on dell direct, toshiba direct websites because of (1) warranties (of some people yes but not me) (2) options of earning triple points with a credit card is what I am after. However, I bought my desktop a year ago on tigerdirect.com and assembling the components myself. (3) I want to get the laptop first hand so that I know the problem is directly from the manufacturers (one layer), not the retailers, resellers etc (many layers to get through).

So I can only tell you about how good are the computer components deals on ebay base on my experience.

Computer components on ebay are most likely okay. There is a risk, but let's if see buyer protections helping ebayers for irresponsible sellers.

Used Components: If it is used, you got to be careful. Make sure it is returnable and even refundable. Be careful if the used components because they are not tested.

Refurbished components: I had Igo 90 a year ago and it didn't do good to me. I haven't read enough review. I bought an open box HP PSC2175 all in one, and poor shipping.

Brand new components on ebay: Usually they are good deals. As of December 26 2006, I may buy a 1Gb ram for $129US for new my Tablet PC if I want (may be two years later). The same thing will cost $200US on toshiba direct now. Look at the warranties though.

**Begin Important**
As of December 2006, You mostly cannot upgrade the refurbished laptops to Windows Vista unless they say things like "express upgrade to Windows Vista".

Think about the shipping too. It is possible for ebay sellers selling you a supercomputer for $0.01 and $99999 as your shipping.
**End Important**

Please read my Rules of Computer Investments for further guidelines.