Most of the cheaper laptops that can be purchased are going to be found online from a few different websites. The first idea for finding the best bargain you possibly can is to check out Craigslist. This website is essentially a free classifieds platform and has a section for pretty much every location in the world. It is a nice option because you can deal locally and get matched up with a local seller of a used laptop and end up inspecting the merchandise before you buy it. That way it is much harder to get scammed by buying junk and having it shipped to you. This is also a cheaper route to go because most people will take a more expensive laptop and sell it instead on eBay, whereas they will try to get rid of a cheaper model locally on Craigslist because the fees for selling it are so much lower. With eBay the seller has to pay a number of different fees just for the privelege of selling the device and then shipping it using the eBay market. Therefore you will be getting a cheaper laptop through Craigslist but you will also be getting a reduced price on it based on less fees and costs that need to be recouped by the seller.

Of course Craigslist is a bit of a limited market so if you are not finding what you want in your area then you might move on to eBay to see about finding the cheapest laptops. With eBay you have the luxury of a much bigger market and so you can pretty much specify what brand and even what model of laptop you want to buy. This is where doing your homework and research beforehand can really pay off later. For example, depending on your needs in a laptop, you might be able to choose a reliable brand such as IBM or Lenovo and simply buy an older model at a steep discount. You can buy fairly confidently knowing that the machine is well built and the brand is reliable. Most of us do not need the latest and greatest computer chip in our new laptop and can easily get away with speeds from a generation or two ago. You are likely doing word processing, office applications, and internet surfing on your machine, so why spend thousands of dollars? Do your homework and find a good deal on a used machine that is a few years old and you will be happy with the purchase.

Now if you are really hard up for cash then you could check out a website called Freecycle and see if there are any free laptops available in your area. This is of course a long shot and certainly if you do find one listed for free then it is not going to be anything great. In fact it will probably be so old that it has little to no market value, anything else being given away for free will simply be a rare occurrence that you really can't count on happening. But people do use Freecycle and they do give stuff away every day, so it might pay off to look if you are really in a bad financial position.

Finally, you might look into the idea of simply buying the cheapest netbook that you can find. These are the tiny laptops that are relatively cheap and have recently flooded the market. If you look around you can usually find one for under 200 dollars, and that is for a brand new one. Think of the deals you can find on these if they are used as well.