Computer components are constantly getting smaller, more powerful, and more efficient. Every year new parts are released, and the top of the range is always prohibitively expensive for the average person.
One of the benefits of such a fast-moving marketplace is that older equipment quickly becomes much more affordable as it gets superseded. Even better, many parts are good for many years, so when people swap out old tech for new, many of them put those parts up for sale.
There are many bargains to be found out there for effective components that are no longer the shiniest bauble on the shelf. If you’re looking to upgrade your rig with some cut-price hardware, or have an older system that requires specialty parts that are no longer produced, this article has got you covered.
No longer just for books, Amazon is the go-to site for millions of shoppers every day, and with a good reason. They have a wide selection of used and refurbished parts. Once you’ve found the onethat you’re looking for, make sure to click on the ‘Used & New’ link to see the different prices for the part, and what condition it will be in.
BMI Surplus has been providing new, used, and refurbished equipment for over 33 years. They have a 20,000-square foot warehouse filled with computer parts, along with a wide range of scientific and industrial equipment. Despite being angled more towards colleges, research labs, and the like, they have an eclectic collection of many different computer parts from a number of manufacturers.
They test many of the components, though some are untested (and so cheaper – but they might not work). If you really need a part that hasn’t been tested, you can contact them and get it checked for a fee. They offer international shipping, or if you live in or near Massachusetts you can go directly to their warehouse to collect the parts yourself.
eBay is the home of used things. The world’s largest yard sale is one of the best places to find used computer components, and if you’re lucky you can snap up normally expensive hardware at bargain prices. If you want to make sure you’re just looking at used parts, then scroll down to the ‘Used’ checkbox on the left-hand side of your screen.
Remember to read the item description thoroughly, because parts sold by individuals are generally not going to be under a warranty, and they may be non-functional as well.
DreamHardware is one of the best places to shop for older, harder-to-find components. If you’re looking for something that’s no longer manufactured, or very specific, chances are you’ll find it here. They have a focus on quality and testing, and offer same day shipping on all orders made before 5pm MST.
They also have a good pedigree, having been around since before the internet was used to sell computer parts. Their online experience started along with the arrival of eBay, and these days they have over 20,000 parts in stock. If they don’t have the part you’re after, they’ll do their best to find something in stock that will work for you.
Craigslist has a constantly changing range of parts and hardware sold by people in your local area. The link we’ve provided will only show you parts in LA, but it’s easy to change the search location to something closer to home. Just click on the drop-down menu at the top left, and change it to where you are.
That said, if the part isn’t available locally, it might be worth your while to try searching other cities or states nearby, as the listings are separated geographically. While finding a part through Craigslist can be a bit more of a slog than other websites, you’ll never know when or where you’ll find an absurdly good price for the component that you’re after.
Considering how quickly computer parts are made obsolete by the relentless march of technology, it’s hardly a surprise that there’s a wealth of cheap used components out there to be found. Remember to read the descriptions carefully, and keep in mind that in most cases the parts probably won’t be covered by a warranty. Though if you’re cobbling together a high-performance system from bargain-priced used components, that’s probably not too much of a concern.
If you’ve got a favorite site that you use to source your used computer parts, why not let us know about it in the comments below?