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Buying a used Mouse

When buying a mouse, many people will choose to buy a used one rather than spending exorbitant amounts of money on a brand new model. However, there are many things you must consider when purchasing a mouse on the secondary market. The last thing you want is to be ripped off, with no warranty or help to assist your mouse woes.

Tip #1 – Make sure it works

Too many times have I bought a second-hand mouse, only to find that the previous owner had spilt coke in it, or broken the pins on the PS/2 connector. In short, even though the price may be cheaper, it’s not worth it to end up with a product that doesn’t work to the advertised potential. You can mitigate this risk with a “try before you buy” methodology. If you or someone you love has a laptop handy, bring it with you and try the mouse in question out. Many mice you will examine will have a simple USB interface connection, so most laptops will be able to quickly judge whether you’re purchasing a highly-advanced computer input device, or a paperweight.

Tip #2 – Check for Quality

Even amongst new mice, there are those that will break or become dysfunctional after limited periods of use. Because of this, the secondary market is often flooded with people who realize what a mistake it was to but that mouse in the first place. When inspecting a secondhand mouse, make sure all the buttons work well, and ensure that it has a good feel to it. If you plan on using your computer a lot (and who doesn’t these days), a non-ergonomic mouse can not only lead to discomfort while computing, but more serious conditions such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Make sure that the cord is long enough to give you room to navigate the surface where it will be in major use. Even though you’re buying second hand, you should make sure you’re getting enough bang for your buck.

Tip #3 – See Through the Extra Features

If you don’t plan on using any of the extra features of a mouse (such as advanced buttons for gaming), you should beware of such mice that come cheap. Oftentimes, unscrupulous vendors will heavily promote the features and ignore the basic compatibility. Say you have a really cool looking mouse, but the seller neglected to tell you that there is no current driver to support it. Remembering the first and foremost purpose of your mouse (to move and navigate the GUI of your computer) is key to making a smart purchase.

Next time you find yourself in need of a mouse, be a smart shopper, and use the above tips to ensure that your computer using experience will be a pleasant one.