How to buy/obtain a used laptop?

I’ve received some feedback that suggests my laptop is probably dying, or the display is anyway. So, likely I’ll need to replace it. I don’t want or need a brand new machine. A used one is fine. With luck a friend or friend of friend will be discarding a suitable one soon. But, if that fails, is there a safe way to do this through a third party? Are there good online sources for used laptops? Does this market exist?

My specs are:

  • Laptop (not that picky about size, weight)
  • XP
  • Some version of MS Office installed
  • WiFi ready
  • USB port
  • CD drive
  • > 1GB RAM
  • Not insanely slow to start up, multitask

This last bullet is vague. I don’t know how to spec that better. I’m guessing the RAM requirement pretty much does it. This is a know-it-when-you-see it spec. Basically, I want the machine to start up in under a minute or so and be able to handle running the Chrome browser, Word, and iTunes simultaneously without trouble.

Just because it is convenient for me, here’s a list of software I use on my laptop:

  • Chrome browser
  • iTunes
  • FileZilla
  • ScreenHunter
  • Malwarebytes
  • MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • Adobe
  • 7-Zip

That’s it. Other than the Office software, it’s all free stuff.

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