It is no secret that Apple products tend to be among the pricier products on the market. That being said, they also have a good track record of stability, performance, and longer life than their competitors. If you want the quality of Apple, but not necessarily the price tag, you can actually save a great deal of money buying refurbished Apple products. There are some caveats to this, however, so here are three tips to buying refurbished Apple products.

Make sure they are genuinely refurbished and not just used
Where you are purchasing your “refurbished” Apple products can make a big difference in the quality of the product you are buying. Apple sells refurbished products on its own website that come with the same warranties and guarantees that their new products do. In addition, you can trust that any refurbished products that come from Apple have been carefully and rigorously tested before being resold. There are other reputable stores and sites that resell Apple products, but don’t assume just because something is listed as “refurbished” it means it has actually been tested thoroughly.

Check any warranties or guarantees carefully
Before buying any refurbished product, you want to make sure you know exactly what your return options are if there turn out to be any problems. This is particularly true if you are buying a product online since you will not be able to test the product before paying for it. If you buy from sites like Amazon or eBay, they offer certain guarantees that can protect you if the product arrives damaged in any way, doesn’t work properly or doesn’t power on. That being said, it doesn’t do you a whole lot of good if the product works for 30 days and then dies.

Always buy from a trusted source
There is no doubt you can get great deals on sites like Craigslist, but you’re also taking a much higher risk. Just because a product powers up and seems to work just fine at first blush, doesn’t mean it can’t quickly develop problems. For instance, a battery may turn out to only hold a charge for 15 minutes or less or a screen may have been replaced with an inferior product that quickly becomes cracked or damaged. Since Apple offers refurbished products on their own website at a discount, that is always the best place to buy.