Why do people buy laptops places other than craigslist?
Because of the hassle of having to meet up with people at odd times and places, and place trust strangers who assure you the unit is either "lightly used," or "broken but only to the degree of 'x'," or "not stolen." There are decent deals to be had, but there are always tradeoffs in getting them. When I was under-employed for a few years I was able to spend a lot of time trolling CL and eBay and then strategizing how to best obtain an item, and at what price, based on my estimation of whether I could use it for my own projects or repair/recondition it for resale. Given my current employment, I don't have the time for that, and it can actually be cheaper to buy something new, and have a place to return it if it breaks or doesn't perform as advertised.