How to Buy a Used Calculator

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How to Buy a Used Calculator

Calculators are essential tools for performing mathematics and arithmetic tasks. These electronic devices are great timesaving tools for completing quick number-based sums, which often cannot be performed in the user’s head without a pen and paper.

To cater for differences in individual tastes and preferences, there are many different types of calculators currently for sale on the market, and in a variety of different styles, sizes, designs and colours.

The purpose of this guide is to inform the reader all about calculators and to explain how to purchase used calculators safely and efficiently from globally renowned auction-based website, eBay.


A calculator is an electronic device that is used to perform both basic and complex operations of arithmetic. Calculators typically have Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD), which have generally replaced the vacuum fluorescent display technology that has been so widely used in the past production of electronics, such as microwaves and car stereos.

A typical electronic calculator features a screen, a keyboard with buttons for digits/numbers and most often come with a case to keep the calculator in to keep it protected whilst it’s not being used.

Types of Calculator

There are typically three different types of calculators on the current market: handheld, scientific and graphic calculators.

Generally speaking, the price of the calculator often increases as the number of functions it can perform also increases- this is why it’s so important to identify which calculator matches your needs suitably so you can get the best possible purchase for your money.

For students, especially those still at school, it is very important to check which calculators are allowed to be used at school, particularly in exams, as some assessments do not allow the use of graphic calculators, because they offer an advantage over the students using other calculator types.

For the most suitable calculator and best purchase possible, use the following descriptions to establish which type of calculator you will need:

Handheld Calculator

The first and most basic type of calculator is the handheld calculator. This type is suitable for general use around the home and for children of primary school age. These calculators perform all the basic functions (add, subtract, divide, multiply, work out percentages and square roots) and host a simple memory function, a way of saving and recalling values/numbers. Handheld calculators may also be referred to as ‘pocket calculators’, because their small size can often fits into a trouser or blazer pocket.

Scientific Calculator

The second type of calculator is the scientific calculator. These calculators are specialised and are more advanced than conventional handheld calculators. Besides undertaking simple arithmetic commands, scientific calculators can perform a wide range of tasks, from trigonometry and fractions to regression and standard deviation.

Scientific calculators are used by secondary school, college and university students, as well as any working professionals in a mathematic, scientific or engineering field.

Graphic Calculator

The key function of these calculator types is the ability to plot complex graphs and solve simultaneous equations. Also known as ‘graphing calculators’, they can perform an extensive range of tasks, from angle measurements and distribution tests to graphing and statistical calculations.

These calculator types are suitable for secondary school children although they aren’t typically required in education at that age. Those who work within the field of mechanics and engineering generally use graphic calculators.

Another type of calculator is the financial calculator, which, as the name suggests, is purely for financial purposes. These calculators can perform compound interest and time-value-money calculations, cost sell margin and day calculations and many more financial-based tasks. Financial students or those who work within the finance field typically use financial calculators.

Why Buy a Used Calculator?

Both scientific and graphing calculators are specialised gadgets and can be quite costly, especially when bought brand new. That’s why it is often a good idea to consider purchasing a used (second hand) calculator to save money.

Choosing to buy a used calculator over a brand new one is also a form of recycling and is therefore a more environmentally friendly option. Another benefit of purchasing a used calculator is knowing that you’re getting a great product (and for a great price) because someone has already used it and it is still in good enough condition to be re-sold for someone else to enjoy for many years to come.

How to Buy a Used Calculator on eBay

The choice of used calculators online greatly outnumber those that can be found on the high street, and numerous amounts can be reviewed and analysed next to each other, aligned with the buyer’s individual requirements and preferences. In this sense, eBay is brilliant for presenting a quick and easy route into searching for used calculators on the Internet.

For the most successful purchase on eBay, please use the following advice for efficient and safe shopping on the website:

  • Search: In order to start a search on the website, enter ‘calculator’ into the search toolbar. Then, using the menu on the left side of the screen, select ‘Electronics’ followed by ‘Calculators’. To narrow the search results down to solely used calculators, simply tick the box labelled ‘Used’, under the subcategory ‘Condition’, which is found on the left-hand side menu.
  • Brand: Some people may have a preference over manufacturer or brand when it comes to electronics. Should this be the case, eBay stocks a wealthy range of calculators produced by highly reputable electronics manufacturers, such as Canon, Casio, Sharp, Hewlett Packard and Texas Instruments to name only a few.
  • Shop Safely: To ensure the most successful purchase on eBay, always read the product description thoroughly (so that you know exactly what is being purchased), review the postage details and payment options prior to purchase.  And remember, you can always contact the seller if you are unsure about any part of the transaction. This function can also be used if you would like to ask the seller a question about the item or you would simply like more information about the product.
  • Use PayPal: PayPal is the safest way to pay for goods online, as it allows buyers to send payments quickly and safely online, using a credit card, debit card or bank account. Although eBay accepts a range of payment methods, PayPal is generally considered the easiest and safest method of payment. For more information about how eBay and PayPal work together to keep you safe whilst shopping online, please visit the ‘About PayPal’ section on the website.
  • eBay Deals – Don’t forget to check out the latest deals on calculators by looking in the ‘Electronics’ section. Many great additional discounts can be found here, along with free postage costs.


There are many issues to consider and factors to take into account when purchasing a used calculator. However, with the important information and careful considerations outlined as part of this guide, coupled with eBay’s highly detailed and user friendly website, buying a used calculator is quick, easy and painless.

Buying on eBay should be considered not only due to the potential of finding a good deal, but due to the extensive choice of used calculators that the website presents. Remember always to keep your personal information and banking details safe and secure by using payment authority PayPal to complete transactions between yourself and the seller.

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