Buying second hand is a great way to get your hands on a quality printer far cheaper than buying new.
When scanning the used printer listings you might see a printer being referred to as “refurbished”; this usually means the printer had an issue with it, and has been taken to a professional to be fixed. This type of printer is likely being sold by a person or company who buys and sells equipment for a living. The benefit of these types of used printers is that you know an expert has serviced it and ensured it works before selling.
Check that you can purchase printer cartridges, preferably from the manufacturer, for the second hand printer you plan on buying. If printer ink is not readily available you may end up having to spend extra sourcing your cartridges every time you run out of ink.
Check what cables and connectors are being sold with the printer or scanner. Many new printers and scanners don’t actually come with anything but a power cord, so you may have to find a cable from your local computer store.
Most printers also come with a CD including drivers when they are bought brand new. If your seller doesn’t have these, check on the manufacturers website that you can download a driver for the printer they are selling, and ensure it will work with the operating system your compuer us running
Types of second hand printer
Laser: Laser printers (or office printers) are good if you regularly need to print lots of pages in a short time. Laser printers tend to be more expensive brand new, however you can find cheaper used laser printers. Offices often sell their old laser printers online if they are upgrading, or if the company has closed. Be aware with laser printers that the ink can be quite expensive. Unless you are printing more than around 1000 pages per year, an inkjet will probably work out cheaper for you.
The quality of laser prints are inferior to an inkjet, which won’t be an issue unless you are hoping to use your printer for high quality photos prints.
Inkjet: Inkjets are the more popular type of domestic printer as they are usually the most versatile. Most standard inkjet printers can print in black and colour, as well as printing on standard, card and photo paper. As most inkjets have been designed for the home, they tend to be nice and compact.
Be wary about buying an inkjet printer that is too old. Generally speaking, many domestic inkjet printers aren’t designed to last and damage to the print heads are more common than with office printers.