Do we really need the newest and greatest electronic "gadget" that is out there?  Would you stand in line at the crack of dawn to get the latest and greatest?  Yeah, me neither.  You can join the frenzy for something new or you can buy secondhand.

Zoonar

No one will be making a fuss over your particular smartphone or tablet or laptop but often, it will do the job just fine and will save you substantial money.  If you are wondering if this is the way to go.  Here is what the experts are saying;

Learn the lingo! "refurbished" or "certified pre-owned" products are repaired and restored to "like new" condition by the manufacturer or a third party and include a warranty.  According to Donald Bell, senior editor at the CNET.com, they've been tested and inspected.  "Used" items are sold "as is" usually without a warranty and no return.  Donald says "favor refurbished over used." A refurbished product is as good as new and typically includes the manufacturer's original warranty.

Purchase from a reputable seller:  "Look for a trusted source" according to Matt Wiles, Sprint's manager of reverse logistics (the process of recycling used devices).  If you answer an ad on Craigslist or a newspaper's classified section, you never know who's at the other end. All the experts agree you're least likely to get scammed if you purchase directly from the manufacturer.

Look for buyback programs and trade-in incentives: Don't rule out online market places such as Amazon or eBay, where you can check feedback on sellers and get intervention should you have a problem. But if you can, buy in a store.  Make sure you have detailed information on the product's condition, warranty and factory certification before purchasing.

Choose wisely: I love the laptop I am using right now.  It's about 3 years old but I don't think I would hunt down the same model.  It is already difficult to find accessories or replacement parts for it (i.e. battery packs, electrical plugs, etc.)  It is best to choose a recent product, one that is no more than 2 years old.  Sarah Gilbert editor at Engadget.com says "Picking a relatively new laptop, phone or tablet will also make it easier to get tech support, as retailers are more likely to be familiar with the product."

With a little research you can save some serious money by buying something that is previously loved and refurbished.