Quick! My mom needs a no frills, used notebook

I have looked around a bit for used laptops for her aaat different refurb sites. All she needs is something that will travel well so she can type and send email. Nothing fancy. Does $400.00 to $500.00 sound about right? Any particular refurb site that is good?

Also, anyone trying to unload one? Not sure I trust any of you ne’er-do-wells, but you are at least as reliable as some random goob in Colorado. :)

Thanks.

EDIT: Again, she just needs a bare bones word processor, basically.

E-bay, but you have to be quick. I got a Dell P2 400 for about that price… Well, I almost got it. Someone out bid me at the very last second. Talk about pissed off.

For things like that, I recommend services like esnipe (www.esnipe.com). It’ll place a bid for you, 7 seconds before the auction ends, automatically.

Tyjenks, you also might want to watch Dell’s refurbs page (which generally are a little more expensive) or compgeeks.com – both of which generally have laptops pretty close to your price range. Compgeeks current has a whole gaggle of laptops in your price range, most of them seem to be Thinkpad Pentium IIs (see http://www.compgeeks.com/products.asp?cat=NBB). Note that, with Compgeeks, sometimes the exterior of the laptop might have some scratches, btu the machines themselves generally work fine.

Aleck

I don’t follow the auction sites, but I’m surprised that they haven’t implemented a system like this yet…

If a bid occurs within the last 15 minutes (the exact amount of time is negotiable) the Closing time is re-set to 15 minutes after the bid. For all subsequent bids, the Closing time is again re-set to 15 minutes after the bid until noone makes a bid for 15 minutes and then the auction closes.

The only problem I see with this system is that people who schedule their time around an auction closing time won’t know when the auction will close, but auction bots completely get around that problem by bidding for you.

The benefit is that these last-second spastic contests are eliminated.

Check eBay and the “Buy it now” selections. If she’s willing to spend $400-500, she can get a used Dell laptop, probably a P-300 to 400, for that kind of money. One thing the used laptops don’t guarantee is battery life, unfortunately. She may get a crappy battery, and the new ones are pricey. Tack another $100 on if she has to buy a battery.

She can also shop the sales at Best Buy, CompUSA, etc. I’ve seen new Toshibas for as little as $700 after rebate there. She could try to buy a floor model too.

If a bid occurs within the last 15 minutes (the exact amount of time is negotiable) the Closing time is re-set to 15 minutes after the bid. For all subsequent bids, the Closing time is again re-set to 15 minutes after the bid until noone makes a bid for 15 minutes and then the auction closes.

This way lies madness. Auctions would never end. Most people don’t get serious about bidding until the last 15 minutes.

Here’s a “buy it now” Dell that’s closing in about 30 minutes that she could purchase outright for $369, just to give you an example:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3430803827&category=31540

Dell Latitude CPI. PII 366 MHz.

  • 128 Megabytes of ram
  • 6.0 Gigabyte Hard Drive
  • 13.1" Active Screen
  • CD ROM

No OS and the battery isn’t guaranteed to hold a charge. The latter is standard for used laptops, though.

Thanks all. :) I’m on it.

From prior observation I think the mean number of bids in an auction is 8-10. Based on that and assuming an average of 7.5 minutes tacked on per bid AND assuming all bids occur in the final “15 minutes” that adds a little over an hour per auction. Not bad. OR if I’m wrong about the 8-10 just reduce the 15 minutes to 5 minutes.

Or were you trolling? ;)

What do you mean they’d never end? Eventually the price will get too high. You know, like a real auction.