UAE | General

Half-price laptops in Sharjah

If you're looking at bargains on notebooks and computers head straight to the GNP Roundabout in Sharjah

  • By Faisal Masudi, Staff reporter
  • Published: 00:00 December 16, 2010
  • XPRESS

The used-laptop market offers unbeatable prices and variety for latest technology computers
  • Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/XPRESS
  • The used-laptop market offers unbeatable prices and variety for latest technology computers.

 

Sharjah: Fancy a sleek Intel Core i7 processor laptop for just Dh2,500? Or how about other latest-technology laptops and computers going at half price?

If you're looking at deals like this, look no further than the used notebooks market near "GNP Roundabout" in Sharjah's Industrial Area II.

This dusty corner - home to possibly the biggest used notebooks market in the UAE and which traders believe is the largest in Asia - boasts over 200 storefronts and warehouses in one location.

No-frills shop

These no-frills shops offer bargain prices on a mind-boggling variety of second-hand computers. Here you can find the latest technology laptops and netbooks as well as bulkier IBM models from a few decades back - all going at bargain prices.

The small shops quickly fill up with potential buyers - teenagers, executives, international wholesalers - from across the UAE and beyond. Anywhere between 50 and 100 people walk in at any given store each day, and roughly a quarter of them end up making a purchase, shopkeepers said.

While there are no fixed prices, customers can haggle for discounts, even on the smaller Dh700 netbooks.

All major brands are represented, including lesser known Japanese varieties with Japanese and English typefaces. Most laptops already have Microsoft or Linux operating systems installed; some include extra software applications.

Customers can also trade in their laptops or sell them for cash. There are also many computer repair shops in the area.

A market researcher from Ajman, who wished to remain anonymous, said he is a regular customer at the Sharjah bazaar. The businessman bought two pre-owned Dell Pentium II laptops for his father and wife for just Dh2,000.

"Why buy new? These ones work just as well, have free software installed usually, and cost a fraction," he reasoned.

"I can find any specification I want here. So what if it doesn't come in a fancy package or a bag, or if it's a bit used?"

For those who prefer add-ons, sellers even offer bags and accessories in a "package deal" that costs a little bit extra. Not only that, they also issue warranties for anywhere between three months to a year depending on the laptop type and condition.

The notebooks come from all over the world.

Many of them are "refurbished" or "reconditioned", meaning the manufacturer or a middleman has modified the original system following "minor quality-control issues", a shopkeeper explained.

Some are also "open box" varieties - millions of pieces returned to shops each year. A store manager said many businesses, especially in North America, return laptops after hosting large conferences. These are then exported to global distributors, many of them based in Sharjah.

"They come in container loads, just laptops and their chargers. We stack them up and sell them onwards - to individuals, re-exporters and even labourers. Everyone wants a laptop these days," the manager added.

The manager said: "You'll see all kinds of people here. Look at their car licence plates - from Oman, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.

"Why didn't they drive to Dubai? It's because GNP is famous all over the world.

"Traders in Southall, in London, know us; we're talked about as far away as Okinawa (Japan)."

XPRESS
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