RECENTLY, I purchased a laptop to retire my aging 2012-model Macbook Pro. I had a specific set of specifications for the laptop and wanted it to be as cheap as possible. Buying a brand new one is out of the question because, for one, I don't like the new model Macbook Pros with the touch thingy above the keyboard. And two, I just didn't have the budget for it.

And so the hunt began. Online.

I started by checking Apple's refurbished laptop section only to be disappointed. The options were too limiting. Also, the specs were not up to my speed.

So off I went to the next best option - online selling sites.

A few quick searches and I found a seller with the right Macbook Pro I was looking for and at the right price. In fact, I was able to negotiate to bring down the price a bit. Suffice to say that a couple of days after, I already bought the laptop.

If you're in the market for an upgrade for your laptop, I suggest not biting the bullet right away with a brand new one. I'm sure you'd be able to score a good one after some patient searches.

Specs wise, it will really depend on how you'll use your laptop. If you're the multimedia/creative kind, make sure you bump up to the max your RAM, processor speed and hard drive space. Bump it up as far as your budget can go.

On the other side, if you're just the casual user, find a mid-spec laptop. That should be more than enough to satiate your needs for word processing, browsing and the casual photo editing of your beach trips.

The second-hand laptop market isn't such a bad place to hunt for one. It's a bit intimidating, yes. But with a little patience and all, you'll do fine. There's no need really to rush into getting righ away the first laptop that fits your needs. Dig a little deeper and it's most likely that you'll find a gem.