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Hobbes's avatar

Should I sell my laptop?

Asked by Hobbes (7355points) December 6th, 2011

I have a small income, but at the moment I am completely broke. I’ll be leaving school for break soon, which will mean no income and no money whatsoever. Craigslisting this laptop would help with that, and would also force me to limit my Internet time. I’d like to read, exercise, and meditate more, but it’s so hard to resist the computer when it’s always available. Between Fluther, Reddit, Wimp, StumbleUpon and Netflix I can spend every waking hour hypnotized by this thing.

This campus has many public computers, and when I’m at home there’s a library a short walk from my house, so I wouldn’t be completely cut off. Still, it would mean a long time without a personal computer of any kind, something I haven’t experienced since before high school.

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31 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

Keep the computer; get a job (or even better, make one) and generate some income.

Hobbes's avatar

Like I said, I have a little income, just not much. I suppose I could find one over break, but it’s only a month long.

gailcalled's avatar

If you lived around here, you could wash windows, clean garages, paint a few rooms, clean gutters, remove blow-down from recent hurricanes. We would climb over each other to hire you at $20/hour.

jaytkay's avatar

You make great arguments for selling it – you want to DO something rather than just watching a screen. Sell it.

marinelife's avatar

What do you think you should do?

nikipedia's avatar

I think you might find it an impediment to your schoolwork. Even if there are public computers available, it takes a lot more motivation to drag yourself out to one to get an assignment done that you don’t even feel like doing than to just pull out your laptop and get one done.

Your cashflow problems are a short term problem. Not having a laptop will be a long term impediment. And it would be very expensive to replace if you changed your mind after selling it.

tedd's avatar

You could do without it from the sounds of it.

But weigh that decision carefully based on what you will get from the laptop by selling it (they depreciate faster than cars), and how much you will have to spend for a new one when you return to needing it.

Hobbes's avatar


I’m sure I could make some money from odd jobs like that, but it would still be great to already have some when I get home.


True, but it’s also easier to get shit done on a public computer in some ways, since it’s harder to distract yourself with TV and other procrastinators, and because you’re surrounded by other people.


I’d probably get $400—$500 for it. A new laptop would be much more expensive, which why I’m wary about this. Selling it would mean I wouldn’t have a PC for quite some time. Months, at least. However, I’m not sure how much longer it would last anyway.

gailcalled's avatar

Can the people at your home (family, relatives, friends?) rustle up some employment?

Where do you live? If it is near me, (NE US) I will hire you to wash my windows.

Hobbes's avatar

In the Midwest, sorry =( I might be able to make some money, but I’d be starting from zero unless I do this.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Before you do, put your important files up on Google Docs or some other service.
Make sure to have copies of your resume up there. Fill up a USB stick, too.

GladysMensch's avatar

I’ll give you $20. C’mon, that’s like two whole pizzas. No wait, that’s like six, maybe seven pizzas from the grocery store. That could feed you for a week, maybe more. I’ll even throw in a pizza cutter. You ain’t gonna do better’n that.

Hobbes's avatar


Yeah, I’ll definitely do that.

By the way, for anybody who cares: I think that my potential need for a replacement computer in the future may match up with my need for a new phone and the release of the iPhone 5. Especially with the advent of the cloud, It seems like it would be possible to do everything I’d need to do on such a handy little device. Does anybody think that would work?

gravity's avatar

I think it would be hard to type up a paper on an iPhone. Keep the computer… not having one in college would be difficult these days. Discipline to limit your time surfing can be hard but not having one would be even an even harder time for me. Maybe you can figure out a way to generate some income online?

lillycoyote's avatar

I would suggest you find some other way to get some money. It will cost you a lot more to eventually replace your computer than you will get selling a used one. As to the iPhone, like all phones, they are small, of course. You can pretty much do anything you can do on a computer but do you really want to rely just on your phone?

Hobbes's avatar


I mean for after college. The idea being that I can use the college’s public computers to write papers while I’m still in school (I graduate after this coming semester).


As gravity pointed out, the inability to write long passages is the main thing that worries me. Other than that, the size would mean I couldn’t spend hours surfing, which is probably a good thing.

gravity's avatar

I don’t know about the “couldn’t spend hours surfing” part, I have a co-worker that spends hours (at work) surfing on his droid. lol I can also spend hours hours on my iTouch if I don’t have my laptop available. I just can’t imagine not having a laptop or iPad or personal computer after you have gotten used to having it. But, maybe like Sheryl Crow stated, “A change could do you good”...

It can also be a very handy tool for job searching for after college!

GracieT's avatar

@Hobbes, I have an iPhone 4S. It has the ability to do so much that my laptop can do, and I love working on it and surfing the web. The problem is that it is JUST a phone, and so it is limited. While I have internet access, email, and a calendar, it is not a computer. I need a larger screen to look at some of the sites, and enlarging a piece at a time does not work. Also, many of the apps are small limited versions of websites, and do not give actual access. I love my iPhone and I love my iPad, but I really do need access to a computer. If you don’t actually have a reason (job, class requirement) to have a computer, my vote goes in the sell it column. You can get a good idea of what is on the web but when you get a chance you can go to the library and use theirs.

jaytkay's avatar

The Motorola Atrix phone has “lapdock” which gives it a bigger screen and a keyboard.

I haven’t tried it, I can’t say it would be a viable writing machine, but @Hobbes, you should look at it if you are interested in phones replacing laptops.

AshlynM's avatar

Only two problems with selling your laptop.

Typing a paper on an iPhone would be nearly impossible. Also, printing anything would be a serious problem as well.

Other than that, you can pretty much do anything on an iPhone you can do on a computer.

Going to the public library or using your school’s computers is not the same as having your own laptop. It wouldn’t be as convenient.

If I were you, I’d wait. Perhaps there’s something else of value you can sell in the meantime.

perspicacious's avatar

Keep your computer and discipline yourself. Very good exercise in self control.

rooeytoo's avatar

Ohhhhhh Hobbsie, I truly would love to meet you in person to see who you really are. From everything that you put in fluther, it seems to me as if you would do anything to avoid real actual honest to goodness WORK. Now you want to sell your lappy, omg! I would so miss your questions about the perfect world where all is provided for us and you wouldn’t be in this hellish position.

I can’t tell you what to do, but I would rather do most anything to avoid selling my laptop, it is my life’s filing cabinet. Without it, how would I know when I last had my teeth cleaned or when it was time for my dogs to have their jabs. I don’t know how you can even consider an action so drastic!

gailcalled's avatar

As a naive user of peripheral gadgets, I have to ask whether anyone would actually type a term paper on an iPhone?

tedd's avatar

@gailcalled You could, but it would be extremely tedious and take way longer than any computer. It would also be far easier to accidentally erase it mid-typing.

Hobbes's avatar


Maybe you missed me saying this, but I do have a job that gives me a small income. The problem is that right at the moment I have absolutely no money. I’ll get a little more in the next couple of weeks, but not much. I might be able to make some money over break, but there’s no guarantee. Selling the laptop would take the pressure off.

But really, the idea is to make it less convenient to use the Internet. I wouldn’t drop off fluther, or any of the other websites I like, but the idea is that not having a personal computer would make it a lot easier to resist the temptation to spend hours and hours on them.

rooeytoo's avatar

I saw you said that Hobbsie, I just couldn’t believe it, I thought you were joking!)

I think @perspicacious has the right answer, if you don’t have to sell it, don’t, just use some self control.

Hobbes's avatar

You are being awfully patronizing.

CWOTUS's avatar

If you enjoy earning just enough to get by – sort of a subsistence-student existence, and if you have zero self-control when it comes to making good choices as to how to use your time, then by all means sell the laptop.

I still think that it’s not very hard to generate “some” extra income, especially when you’re starting from such a low base, have time and some intelligence – and any drive at all. If you’re lacking one or more of those attributes, then maybe it’s not so easy, but still possible.

My choice would be to not sell the laptop; not to sell anything that I frequently use or want to use and which is in decent repair. I’d try to sell something (repeatedly) that I could “do”: in most cases, I guess I’d consider (at your age, anyway) additional part-time casual employment to generate extra income.

jaytkay's avatar

anything that I frequently use or want to use

You’re missing the point, there.

rooeytoo's avatar

No more than usual.

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