How Do I Sell Used Laptops? Everything You Need to Know

Do you use your laptop for work, school, or just fun from time to time? If so, you already know how frustrating it can be to have an overloaded and slow device.

According to experts, most mid-range laptops available today will only last for about three years. Sometimes, they will last longer if they are properly maintained.

However, even high-end, high-cost laptops won’t last forever.

The hardware deteriorates, and software becomes outdated.

You may eventually be ready to sell used laptops and replace them with newer, more tech-savvy options.

While the thought of trying to sell a laptop may seem intimidating, it doesn’t have to be. Use the tips and information here to make the process as simple and lucrative as possible.

Preparing Your Laptop to Sell

Even old laptops with outdated technology are worth something to someone.

However, before taking time to learn more about selling, there are a few steps you should take to get the device ready to go to its new home.

Back-Up Personal Information

If you are like most people, you don’t want to lose essential work documents or personal videos and pictures you have stored on your device.

Before you factory reset your laptop, make sure you take time to move everything to an external hard drive or cloud storage.

Sign Out of Your Accounts

It’s also important to sign out of all the accounts you are signed into on your device.

When you do this, it helps ensure that whoever winds up with your laptop will not be able to access your personal information.

Even though that is unlikely once you factory reset the device, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Erase the Device’s Hard Drive

Once your folders and files are backed up safely, and accounts are removed, you can wipe all your data and information from the laptop.

When you are doing this, make sure you connect it to a power source. This resetting and erasing process can take some time, especially if you have a lot of information stored on it.

Check to See if Anything Is Broken

Before trying to list your used laptop for sale, it’s a good idea to check and see if everything is working properly.

It’s worth noting you can still sell a broken device for a decent amount of money, but having a functional device will always result in more cash.

Make sure there are no issues with the display and that the battery charges properly. You should also make sure the buttons are working properly.

It’s up to you if you want to have the issues fixed before trying to sell. Some buyers will purchase broken electronics.

Remember, repairs will increase the value of your device, but it is up to you if you want to have it done.

Make Your Device Appear New

No one wants to pay a lot of money for an electronic that looks used. Because of this, you need to take time to clean your laptop before trying to sell it.

The best option for cleaning a laptop (or any electronic device) is isopropyl alcohol. Make sure you never use soap and water.

Even if your laptop still works like new, appearances matter.

Make sure you take all stickers off your device and clean any left-over residue. It may be tempting to use a knife to remove the stickers but try to use your hands first, so you don’t accidentally scratch it.

Once that is done, make sure to clean all the small parts, such as the creases and buttons. With a laptop, it may be beneficial to clean the keyboard before trying to sell it.

There’s a good chance there are more than a few years’ worth of food, drink, and dead skin stuck under the surface.

While cleaning the keyboard is anything but fun, it’s a must if you want to sell it. After all, do you want to purchase something that’s dirty?

Even if you plan to sell your broken laptop, you should still clean it. You will get more money for a device that appears clean – even if it is broken.

The Selling Process

Once you have completed the steps above, the next step is to begin the selling process. This also requires a few steps.

Take Quality, Detailed Pictures

If you plan to sell your used laptop online, you need quality pictures. Sometimes, this is a dreaded step for sellers; however, it’s essential.

A potential buyer is going to view the pictures before a written description. Also, people are going to pay more for a product that is professionally listed.

You don’t have to have an expensive or fancy camera to take quality pictures. In fact, your phone’s camera is fine.

The goal is to take pictures on a clean surface and make sure there is plenty of light. The goal is to make the product listing appear professional rather than show images of your dirty dining room table.

There’s no need to take a large number of pictures. Just make sure to get the basics.

  • The working display
  • Keyboard
  • Battery area

You should take a mix of close-up and wide shots, too. If damage is present, be sure it is shown in the pictures so potential buyers don’t think you are trying to hide the issues.

If you have accessories that go with the laptop, be sure they are included in the pictures, too. You want potential buyers to know everything they will receive. Also, the more accessories, the more you can ask for the device (in most cases).

Know the Specifications of the System

Before you try to write a description of your laptop, you need to know what you are trying to sell. You can find the model number on the bottom of the laptop’s housing.

There is also other information and the brand’s logo here too.

Having the model number is beneficial and will help you look it up online and know exactly what you are working with.

If you can’t find the model number and information is sparse online, you can find this on the device itself.

Click on the “Start” menu and then “System.” Navigate to “Device Specifications,” where you can find the processor and installed memory or RAM. Clicking on “Storage” will tell you the hard drive size.

Create Your Written Description

When selling a used laptop online, you don’t have to write an essay as your description. Instead, keep things as short and concise as you can.

While you want to let potential buyers know what you have, you don’t want to include so much information that the description is confusing or overwhelming.

For your laptop, some of the information you need to include is:

  • Full model number
  • RAM
  • Processing power
  • Internal storage

Make sure you list all flaws, damage, or other issues, even the cosmetic ones. Describe the accessories and extras that are being sold with your device, too.

If the device isn’t working or if something is broken, make sure to highlight what other components may be appealing. Some people buy old laptops for parts, so don’t give up just because the laptop isn’t working properly.

Determine the Right Selling Price

Now it’s time for the fun part of selling any used electronic device. You have to out the right price.

One way to determine a selling price is by seeing what the device sells for new. You can also look on sites like eBay to see what the same device has sold for in the past.

If you use the retail price as a guide, remember to cut it in half or more. You are selling something used, not new, after all.

The price matters. Also, if you don’t have any bites within a few days, it may be necessary to lower them.

Now You Know How to Sell Used Laptops

Knowing what to do and what to consider is a must if you are ready to sell used laptops. The tips and information here will walk you through the process to use and help ensure you get the best price possible for your old equipment.

While selling these laptops can be tricky, it’s not impossible. Just take your time and use the tips above.

If you are searching for other helpful information and resources, be sure to check out some of the other articles on our site. Our team is dedicated to helping you stay informed.


Hemant Kumar
Hemant Kumar is a project manager at Tridindia with more than nine years of commendable experience in writing about LMS, translation, and IT. His unmatched talent and passion for digital marketing gave him the opportunity to work as a multi-tasking project manager at TridIndia’s sister company, Link Building Corp. Today, he contributes to the world by imparting knowledge on SEO, link building and internet marketing etc., that helps business owners grow their online business.