By: Tricia Romano

The word “used” has negative connotations; people don’t want a used computer or a used phone, do they? There must be something wrong with it, right?

Actually, no. Especially in the world of gadgets, used products — dubbed “refurbished”– often represent great deals. The product might have had a small defect — a scratch in the screen, or a faulty computer chip — that prompted the original customer to send it back under warranty to get a new model. But in the meantime, that damaged product is refurbished, restored to factory-new conditions, and shipped complete with the same warranty offered for a brand new product.

But before you jump willy-nilly on the refurbished train, there are a few products to avoid. Three tech items that CNet warns against buying refurbished:

  1. TVs, because new ones are often just as cheap
  2. Printers, because printers are just bad products to start off with, and
  3. Hard drives, because you don’t want to mess with that

As you can imagine, buying refurbished is a great way to get the latest in tech at a fraction of the cost, but many people don’t even think to look in the refurbished section.  At Apple, for instance, you can find special deals for nearly all their products — iPads, Macs, and iPods, and more — and get big discounts. For instance, a 27-inch mega Mac with 3.4 GHZ quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of memory and a massive terabyte hard drive from September 2013 sells for $1,609. The current version, where most specs are the same, but has a “Retina Display,” is over $300 more. Unless you are a graphic designer or film editor, it is not necessary to have that feature. For basic computing, you will be just fine.

Now, you can get a coveted Macbook Air, which used to sell for $2,000, for under $1,000. A March 2015 release of a 11.6 inch Air, with 1.6GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5 and 4GB of RAM, 128GB flash storage is $759—15 percent off the regular price. Oh, but it’s used!  Apple’s certified refurbished products are covered under warranty for one year (just like their new products), and you get free shipping and free returns if it doesn’t work out.

Refurbished Tech Offers Savings and Quality

Buying refurbished tech is a great way to score the latest gadgets at a fraction of the cost

Not a Mac fan? You can buy refurbished from Best Buy, too. Called “Open Box,” they are like-new products that were returned under warranty. The refurbished and pre-owned products (the former includes those that didn’t have anything wrong with them, but were returned because customers changed their mind) are covered under warranty from 90-days to a year. You can get everything from Xbox Consoles to touchscreen laptops, to Microsoft Surfaces, smart watches and cell phones.

The savings are steep: a Samsung smartwatch goes for $174.99 – $125 less than the brand new product. Save $150 on a rehabbed Microsoft Surface Pro 3, nabbing it for $849. A 10.5-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab sells for $359.99 – $140 less than a brand new one. Still feeling reluctant about “used” items? Didn’t think so. Pile Cashback from DubLi on top of the huge refurbished tech savings for even more of a discount. Shop through DubLi now and receive 1% Cashback for free members and 7% for V.I.P.’s!

Over at Walmart you can save on refurbished items, including refurbished air conditioners (!) that can net you savings up to $70. A refurbished HP laptop sells for $120 less than a new one ($279).  Shop through DubLi and save up to 6.6% Cashback for V.I.P. Members!

Refurbished HP Black Licorice 15.6” Laptop, $279 | Photo by Walmart

Refurbished HP Black Licorice 15.6” Laptop, $279 | Photo by Walmart

Newegg, a great online retailer for electronics, has a massive refurbished section to satisfy every need. You can get video gaming cards, iRobots, desktop PCs, tablets and more at a fraction of the cost. For instance, you can get your hands on a HP Elitebook laptop with Intel Core i5 chip for less than $250, a 38% savings from the listed price tag! Shop through DubLi and save up to 6.5% Cashback for V.I.P. Members!

HP EliteBook 2560P Notebook Intel Core i5 2.60GHz, $249.99 |Photo by Newegg

HP EliteBook 2560P Notebook Intel Core i5 2.60GHz, $249.99 |Photo by Newegg

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