Buy Used: Never Buy New Again (Save Money But Shop Smart)

Most of my technology has been refurbished, and bought from eBay as I see little need to buy something brand new when you can get “almost new” for a lot less.
When buying something used make sure you CAREFULLY read the fine print so you don’t get burned. For low cost items, like a $200 PDA it’s probably best to buy new as the price difference for a “good” used PDA is not going to be that much difference than a new one.
However, Many consumers remain wary of refurbs, despite manufacturers’ assurances that they have been carefully repaired and rigorously tested, or better yet, that they are “open box” items, returned by people who unsealed the package but never used the product. In offering refurbs to resellers, manufacturers typically describe them as “NTF,” for no trouble found, and “B stock,” for those requiring repair. writes the New York Times
To protect yourself the New York Times writes Mr. Guttery advises checking the manufacturer’s warranty for reconditioned items in advance, even when buying through a reseller. A reseller “is nothing but an agent,” said Mr. Guttery, adding that he once received a defective printer from RefurbDepot, but that Epson resolved the problem.
Judy Silver, a supervisor for RefurbDepot, confirmed that the responsibility for the goods lies with the manufacturers.
“The company takes it through a special examination,” Ms. Silver said. “Most of it comes to us in a package. We are just resellers.” She said her company refers customer complaints to the manufacturer, applying its 30-day return policy at its discretion if a manufacturer fails to resolve a problem. The policy is described on the section of the RefurbDepot site detailing terms and conditions.
A number of manufacturers, including Olympus and Pioneer, make their warranties for reconditioned products available on the Web. In many cases, the warranty applies only to goods sold through authorized resellers. Refurb customers can often buy extended warranties.