It requested prices for five laptops, including a Dell Studio 15 and a HP Pavilion dv3505ea. The highest price it received for the Dell laptop, which costs £649 brand new, was just £104, from LaptopTrade-in.co.uk. Prices of ten reach twice that amount on eBay.
The same company also offered the highest price for the HP Pavilion, but it was only £90. The laptop costs £650 b rand new. WeBuyAnyLaptop offered the lowest prices - just £55 for the Dell Studio 15 and £57 for the HP Pavilion.
Websites that buy old laptops tend to work in the same way. First, you enter details about the machine, such as model, processor, memory, screen and hard-disk size. The site then sends you an offer. If you accept this, the site will post you a padded box in which to send your laptop.
However, you don't always receive the money you're offered. Once you send a laptop, the site checks that it matches your descript ion. If it doesn't, you may be offered a lower price. If you reject this price, the site will pay to return the laptop to you.
How safe is it to sell old laptops?
One of the main concerns you might have when selling an old laptop is that it could contain personal data. All five websites in Which?'s test said that they wipe the machines before selling them on, but none of the websites accept responsibility for accidentally leaving personal data on machines that they have sold. Which? criticized the lack of information provided: "We think that a clearer explanation, published on their websites, of how files are wiped, when and what software is used... would inspire more confidence."