Buying refurbished computers, smartphones, tablets, and other electronics can be a great way to save money. In some cases, you can find discounts of as much as 50 percent when you buy refurbished electronics. A refurbished device is one that was purchased before, found to be defective, returned, and repaired by the manufacturer. It can’t be sold as a new device, but it has been looked over by the people who built it, so you can be reasonably sure that it will work like new. We can understand if you’re hesitant to buy something that was technically defective before, but you can use these tips to make sure that what you are buying will work as advertised.

Stick With Trusted Brands
The best way to determine if the refurbished device you have will actually work is to stick with stores and brands that you trust. Look for descriptions such as “manufacturer refurbished” that indicate that the company that manufactures the device is responsible for refurbishing defective merchandise.

Always Get a Warranty
Most refurbished devices come with a warranty that can protect you if the device is still defective. If there is no warranty, don’t make the purchase. You’re better off spending more money to buy something new.

Know What Devices to Buy
Some electronics can be refurbished more easily than others. For example, laptops and game consoles are usually a safe bet as long as you know where the refurbished devices are coming from. Smartphones are usually a safe bet as well, but phones that have already seen heavy use might have older batteries that won’t last as long. Tablets are a safer bet than smartphones since they have larger batteries that tend to last longer. New tablets don’t have a very predictable release schedule, though, so it’s tough to know whether or not you’re getting a relatively new tablet or something that has been around for a few years. Meanwhile, refurbished TVs and printers should be avoided. Even though you might find a refurbished TV that might work fine, for now, it’s probably seen quite a bit of use already and could burn out sooner than a new model. As for printers, new ones are inexpensive enough that you can skip buying something that could wear out quickly without breaking the bank.

We can understand why buying a refurbished device might seem intimidating, but it is perfectly safe as long as you know what to look for. The next time you need an inexpensive device that will be as good as new, consider buying something that has been refurbished and repaired by the manufacturer.