How to sell dead laptop fairly?
February 20, 2006 2:51 PM   Subscribe

Help me sell (ebay?) my dead laptop, or its working parts, fairly but safely.

My Dell Inspiron 9100 died and I am pretty sure it's the mother board that's dead. I took out everything except the mb and the cpu and it wouldn't POST, then I tried a different cpu with the same result. I decided it would not be worth it to buy a new mb; I'd rather put that money towards a new laptop.

The problem is what to do with all the still working parts in the dead laptop. The cpu (a regular p4), screen and video card were upgraded over the default options, and I had recently replaced a couple parts that were prone to breaking on that machine - headphone jack ($15), AC Adapter ($50).

My first concern is how to go about selling these parts. Would it be better to try selling the parts individually or sell the whole thing as a "fixer uper?" I'm thinking ebay, but I'm open to other options.

More importantly though, I want to be fair about this without being taken advantage of. I'm fairly sure it's the mb that's bad, but I don't have any way to test the other parts. I'd like to tell sellers that if a part is DOA they can ship it back for a refund, but I'm afraid people will buy my part, and ship back their broken part. I seem to remember Gord ( used to mark games with a blacklight marker, so I was thinking something like that might work.

So in short, I'd like recommendations on whether I should sell it in parts or whole, and more importantly, how I can sell it fairly without being ripped off myself.
posted by chndrcks to Shopping (3 answers total)
I've sold dead electronics on Ebay before, and so long as you are forthright and explicit in your description, you should have no problem. It also helps if you have a good feedback score.
You never know what people will want to buy. I would just be honest and as descriptive as possible in the listing. I would sell it as a whole laptop.
As for not getting ripped off--don't accept returns, don't accept cashier's checks and don't accept any money orders. It's ok to be picky about who buys from you. You can even make the purchaser buy insurance so they can get their money back in the event the package is mangled by the UPS truck.
Good luck!
posted by FergieBelle at 4:25 PM on February 20, 2006

I've parted out a laptop with some broken parts on Ebay successfully (actually very successfully -- it was a Powerbook Wallstreet and all together its working parts sold for quite a bit more than the whole laptop would have gone for had it been entirely functional, but that is largely due to how expensive it is to get old macs properly fixed I think).

I made it very clear in the auction that these were the functional parts from a machine that had had a specific part go bad, but that I don't have the equipment to test everything beyond a reasonable doubt, so everything was sold as-is. I did not offer to let people return parts in the auction, but I made a decision that I would in fact let them do that without argument if they were dissatisfied. I took very detailed photos of the parts so I would have a chance of recognizing if someone was trying to put one over on me, but I also didn't expect to get scammed. In the end, everything sold, one part was returned (the HD didn't fit in a guy's keyboard), and I got good (unsolicited) feedback from all parties. YMMV.

I think that investigating the blacklight marker approach is a great idea, but I would still hesitate to advertise a willingness to take returns (even if you are, like me, willing to), because even if you detect that someone is trying to put one over on you, you still have the unrewarding task of trying to make a thief set things right (they are going to leave you horrible feedback because you caught them, and Ebay is going to do exactly nothing -- or worse than nothing in the event that the thief convinces them that you are unfairly withholding a refund -- to help you).

In short, be ethical but don't do anything special to attract jerks.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 5:11 PM on February 20, 2006

two words: AS IS
posted by k8t at 3:39 AM on February 21, 2006

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