How Long Should I Wait Before Reselling My Laptop?

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Laptop computers have been around for about two decades now and in such a short time they have grown in popularity, functionality and even portability. One could even argue that laptop computers have racked up the same hype as classic cars. And just like classic cars, or any car, resale value is important.

In this article, I will explore signs to know when it’s time to trade your laptop in for a new one and how to still get that sweet deal on your old one.

Let’s begin! When your computer starts to slow down or exhibits some other signs then you know the end is near, it's a little tempting to start searching for a quick replacement. However, there is a lot to evaluate when deciding on whether to upgrade your notebook.

Some questions come to mind when weighing the pros and cons of buying new laptops, including, "How long do laptops last?" and "What is the average laptop computer’s lifespan?" versus enduring just a bit longer before you take the plunge. Those two questions are arguably the most important questions you need answers to before you make any decision.

Also check out 5 Things To Do Before Reselling Your Laptop and 5 Mistakes To Avoid


How Long Do Computers Last?


The lifespan of a computer is an important concern for consumers. For desktop computers, the answer is more complicated. This is mostly because desktops offer a tremendous ability to customize its components than laptops do. For most stationary computers, an average three-year lifespan should be anticipated.

However, in reality, most desktops survive anywhere from between five to eight years, depending on the components. Maintenance is also crucial, as dust is very troublesome for PC components. You should routinely upgrade your software and protect your machines from debris and dust.


What Is The Lifetime Of A Laptop?


The above applies to laptops. Most professionals rate a laptop's lifespan to be somewhere between three and five years.

However, laptops may survive for much longer than that, but its functionality will be severely hampered as the components become less qualified of running certain advanced applications.

The main way to knowing if it is time to replace or sell a laptop is if its mode of use still matches up with its existing computing power. It is important to note that although some laptops can still run quite efficiently for longer than the standard five years, their capacity may be limited.

Laptops are also prone to more physical damage since they are being carried around and used outdoors. Check how you can protect your laptop from damage in this article.


When Is It Time To Resell Your Laptop?
Broken touch screen will set you back few hundred bucks


When considering reselling your computer, these key signs are what you should look out for:


  1. Shut down and start up become slow

If your laptop takes long time to boot up or shut down, it could be a sign that your laptop computer is on its last legs.


  1. Your computer has multitasking problems

If your laptop has difficulty running multiple applications simultaneously, it might just be time for a new machine. When you can't switch quickly between open applications, that's a sign that your laptop is reaching resale period. An identical issue could occur when you are shuffling among multiple tabs in a web browser.


  1. Your operating system is out of date

You can’t access or enjoy the latest version of the operating system. Make sure to upgrade it if possible.


  1. Hardware repairs just aren’t worth it

Some repairs may be close to or surpass the cost of a new laptop, depending on the particular hardware components being changed. If this is the case, you're only extending the unavoidable, and the smarter thing is to purchase a new device.

Small repairs like damaged DC jack are cheaper


  1. Starting applications take a long time

If applications take longer than normal to load on your old computer, it just might be time to trade it in. If you're running the latest version of an application, your old hardware may be unable to keep up.


  1. It’s cheaper to replace than to repair

Repairing a laptop is usually the most cost-effective method, instead of buying new hardware. However, the continual repairs also mean lost money, so it's especially important for you to think about additional support costs and lost productivity, compared to the cost of simply replacing your old laptop.


To upgrade memory you have to disassemble the laptop


  1. Your laptop is clunky and it’s time for more nimble hardware

Laptops have been getting smaller and smaller. There are many laptops in the Windows and Mac line that won't require you to carry around a behemoth of a machine. You may see some productivity gains if you feel like you can quickly open up your device, get a few tasks done, and move on to the next item on your list.


  1. Your laptop's fans are getting noisy

More often than not, the first issue to signal an aging laptop's looming demise is if the fan is operating loudly even when the laptop isn’t tackling intensive tasks. If you're running the latest version of an application or an operating system, these could be maxing out the hardware component of your computer, causing it to run louder and warmer than usual. First thing to check is if the fan isn't dirty and clogged up. If that's the case try to clean it. If it's clean and spins easily it might be a sign of an overheathing issue. Another part that will start making a noise before failing is a hard drive. Unfortunately newer solid state drives won't make any sound.

Failing fan and hard drive will first warn you with sound


  1. Your laptop's security is out of date

If your laptop's current hardware is incompatible with newer versions of an operating system, then it may be time to buy a new one. Check Windows and Mac compatibility to ensure the machines you use are eligible for updates. Also make sure to run good antivirus software.


  1. Upgrading your hardware leads to compatibility issues

Generally, upgrading your RAM or switching to a solid-state drive (SSD) is one of the first steps in improving a laptop's computing power. However, upgrading the machine's motherboard or the CPU is where you might run into compatibility issues.

Regular maintenance and replacing failing parts will extend your computer's useful life. Proper charging cycles will make your battery last longer. But there will be time when you will be better off giving up on your old machine that costs too much to in proper order and look into buying a new laptop. 


5 Things To Do Before Reselling Your Laptop


Image from Pixabay

Many people resell their laptops for different reasons, the most popular reason being to get a new laptop. Whatever the reason you have for wanting to sell your laptop is, there are some essential things you should do before selling making it happen.


  1. Backup your data: this is the first step to take before selling your laptop. This is done in order to keep your files after selling your laptop. You can do this using external storage such as a hard drive or back up your files such as photos, software, and other documents in the cloud using google drive, dropbox, OneDrive, or other related cloud storage platforms.


  1. Deauthorize software and deactivate browsers: `you should log out from every software on your laptop and retrieve their product keys. This is done to prevent the new user of the laptop from accessing software, which is meant to be personal and also contain personal information. Furthermore, deactivate your browsers by signing out and clearing browser data.


  1. Format the hard drive: after backing up all the necessary files, this is the next big thing as you want to ensure that the buyer does not gain access to your files. This process is most likely going to take a while, but it is worth the wait. Also, most buyers do not want to be saddled with your files; another reason why a hard drive format is necessary in order to present a new laptop to a prospective buyer.


  1. Reinstall operating system: formatting your hard drive clears the operating system (OS) of the laptop. Therefore, installing a new operating system is essential to make your laptop more presentable and navigable to the prospective buyer, or you may be benevolent and install the OS of the buyer’s liking.


  1. Clean up the computer: this can be considered the last step or thing to do before selling your laptop. You should clean the laptop thoroughly. Clean the screen, the keyboard, the body of the laptop as well as the ports. Ensure the laptop is looking new and presentable. Finally, optimize the speed of the laptop in order to make it run better. Be sure to maintain the laptop properly all its life so it doesn't have any unnecessary issues.This should serve as an excellent bargaining tool.


In conclusion, added to the above tips, getting the proof of purchase of your laptop ready is another critical thing to do. It also increases the credibility of your sale and the confidence of your buyer in making a purchase.


5 Mistakes To Avoid If You Plan To Resell Your Gadgets


Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Selling an electronic gadget is a lot different from selling a high-end sneaker or a Rolex watch. Watches and shoes don’t have personal info on them, and they can’t be hacked. That is why when it comes to selling your electronics, you have to be extra cautious not to leave any stone unturned.

There are many mistakes you as a seller can make, which can be either bad for you or bad for business.


Here are the things you should avoid doing when reselling your gadgets.

  • Back up your data

  • Log out of online accounts

  • Save important documents

  • Factory reset

  • Clean your device

  • Take pictures

Forgetting to back up your data

Whether it's your smartphone, laptop, or gaming console, we store different types of data on our gadgets some which we don’t mind losing and others which are very vital and confidential. Before selling, it is important you back up your important files, documents, and other information that you need or might need in the future.

You can make use of storage devices such as a flash drive or a hard drive. To make things easier, you can back them up on a cloud. By doing this, your data is safe, and you don’t have to worry about losing them or tracking the buyer to retrieve them.


Not Logging out of your accounts

For your safety, it is advisable that you log out of all your online accounts. You don’t want the new owner snooping around your confidential files and using it against your will. You could be selling your device to a hacker without knowing, and once he’s able to lay his hands on those accounts, your personal information can be breached.

Another reason why you should log out is that some accounts take for instance apps like photoshop limit a user to the number of devices an account can be registered on. Deauthorizing your device will allow you login to your accounts on your new device easily.


Losing vital documents

Documents such as receipts are valid proof of the authenticity of your device, which is why you should always keep them safe. Receipts also contain warranty info, and your device will sell faster if your buyer knows there’s still some warranty on the product, but how can you prove that if you have no receipt?

Losing valid documents can make you seem like a scammer and can put you in danger of being scammed too. So, don’t lose them.


Forgetting to factory reset your device

After backing up your device, this should be the next step. Most users manually delete the files they feel are confidential, leaving out a ton of other personal information about them. This could be dangerous, especially if these details land in the wrong hands. Before selling your smartphone or laptop, ensure that you properly erase all your data.

You can do this by factory resetting your device. A factory reset will completely wipe out all data on the system, keeping them beyond the reach of a third party.


Not cleaning your device

Many sellers make this mistake, and it costs them a few bucks. Cleaning your gadget properly before selling is a must. It makes the condition look better and helps you see any hidden faults which you might have skipped in your listing. Neat products are eye-catching and will attract buyers faster than a dusty gadget.


Not taking photos

This part is a big key to making a bigger and faster sale. Buyers want to see what they are spending their money on. They want to assess the condition to see if there are any major dents.

Taking a high-quality picture of every angle of your gadget will help buyers see what they are getting into before placing the order. It can also protect you from scammers who can swap your device for an identical but faulty one. Your pictures are proof of what you sold, so take photos of significant parts of your gadgets before sealing the deal.

When I sell my laptop or other gadget I always go over the list of steps to take in preparing the device and making sure that privacy is protected.

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