Whether you can get a refund on a broken second-hand laptop will depend on whether you've bought it from a trader or a private individual.
The screen is smashed
If you bought a second-hand laptop and the screen is broken, you should be able to get a refund under most circumstances.
If you bought the laptop from an online retailer or trader, then under the Consumer Contracts Regulations, your right to cancel an order for goods starts the moment you place your order and ends 14 days from the day you receive your goods.
You should get a refund within 14 days of either the trader getting the goods back, or you providing evidence of having returned the goods (for example, a proof of postage receipt from the post office), whichever is the sooner.
If you bought from a trader or retailer after 1 October 2015, then you're protected by the Consumer Rights Act and the laptop must be as described, of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose.
If you bought from a trader or retailer before 1 October 2015, then you're protected by the Sale of Goods Act and the same rules apply.
You can send a letter to the retailer asking for a repair or replacement in the same way you would with a new laptop.
Buying from a private seller
If you bought your laptop from a private individual, then buyer beware. Private individuals don't have to draw attention to defects or faults.
As long as the laptop is as it's described by the private seller, then you're not automatically entitled to a refund.
For example, if the advert just said 'Apple laptop' and you receive an Apple laptop, then its condition is irrelevant.
If however, the laptop was described as fully functional and the screen is broken when you receive it, then you'd be entitled to a refund.
- Second-hand goods bought online are covered by the Consumer Contracts Regulations
- If you buy a second-hand laptop from a retailer you're also covered by the Consumer Rights Act
- Buyer beware buying a second-hand laptop from a private seller - they don't have to draw attention to defects
The laptop is scratched
You’re unlikely to be able to get a refund or a repair for a second-hand laptop which shows superficial scratches.
Second-hand goods sold by retailers and traders need to be of satisfactory quality but you must take into account that the laptop is second-hand, so signs of wear and tear are acceptable.
A major scratch that affected the working of the laptop, for example across the screen, would however be eligible for a repair or a refund from a trader or retailer.
The laptop doesn’t work
As with the broken screen, whether you’re entitled to a refund depends on how and who you bought the laptop from.
If you bought the laptop from a private individual and they didn't specify that it was working, then you may be out of luck.
If you bought the laptop from a retailer or trader, then you should be able to reject the laptop and get a refund within 30 days.
After this time, you may be able to claim for a repair or a replacement but remember with second-hand goods ‘satisfactory quality’ must take into account that the laptop is not new.
Faulty factory reconditioned laptop
As with new goods, if you’ve bought a factory reconditioned laptop from a retailer, your Consumer Rights Act rights still stand and your laptop should be of a satisfactory quality and fit for purpose.
If it's faulty, you can claim for a refund or replacement in the same way you would if it was new.
However, as the laptop is not brand new, you should make allowances for cosmetic damage, and general wear and tear.