New technology is expensive, and buying new tech gear can be a daunting task, so it’s important to do thorough research on whatever it is you’re considering buying. Especially if you don’t know what it means to buy a refurbished product.

If you haven’t read our other posts about the benefits of refurbished, we definitely recommend you check them out and learn a bit more about the advantages of buying refurbished. In short, refurbished products are pre-owned devices that have be restored to their full working functionality without any defects, and are completely tested and cleaned.

Tablets were a revolution in the tech market, especially since the launch of the iPad in 2010. They are more portable and usually more interactive than laptops while still being bigger and often more practical to use than a smartphone. They’re the perfect medium. But, now that they’re getting more popular, more and more brands, types and styles are on the market.

We created this guide to help you make the best decision on your next tablet purchase.

1. Decide which tablet is for you

We think it is always best to make a list of the things you absolutely need in your tablet. For example, a camera, 32GB of storage, and a large screen. So if a tablet is missing one of these features, don’t even consider it. Then you are ready to start looking at tablets.

First, look at the physical properties of the tablet. What are the weight and dimensions? Are you looking for something that’s ultra-portable, or something that is big and durable?

Next, check out the technical specifications. Decide what storage is right for you, if having HD graphics are important, and then into more technical things like processor speed. One rule of thumb with tech specs: usually, if you don’t know what a specification is, it probably doesn’t matter too much to you.

Then, check out the data options. There are tablets that run on just WiFi and others that can run both WiFi and cellular data. You have to pay more for the cellular-enabled models, as well as paying monthly for the cellular carrier data charges, but this gives you the freedom to use your device online, wherever you are, without having to find WiFi.

Now that you’ve got an idea of what new product you’re interested in, it’s time to learn about how you can get it for cheaper.

Refurbished tablets are pre-owned devices that have been tested, restored, cleaned and have passed an intensive quality check. Essentially they are as good as new, without being brand new, and so they are sold at great discounts.

When you buy a refurbished item from RefurbMe, you have the confidence in knowing it’s certified refurbished. This means that the item has been fully tested, and verified that it works perfectly. It’s not brand new, but it’s very close as any components that had defects will have been replaced with new components to ensure the whole device is 100% functional.

2. Double-check the source of your product

If you are not buying from RefurbMe, then the product may not be certified refurbished. This means that you need to be extra careful when buying. You always need to ensure that what you’re getting is the real deal. Look for information that it’s certified refurbished, and not just a repackaged item. Repackaged would mean that it’s just being sold in a different package than originally, and it hasn’t been tested and verified to be in perfect condition – yes this really does happen! Thankfully, we vet all of our refurbishers, to ensure that only certified refurbished products are listed on our website.

As soon as you are sure of the kind of tablet you want, and where you can find only certified refurbished tablets, you are ready to progress. Here are a bunch more things to consider when buying a refurbished tablet…

3. Customer reviews

When it comes to technology, consumers have no problem voicing their opinions – especially on the internet where they can say exactly how they feel from behind a keyboard. Look up reviews, both for the product itself and for the company you’re buying from. Try to find common trends that you think might be an issue for you.

For example, if people complain that the tablet is very heavy, and having a light and portable device is important to you, then maybe this isn’t the right device for you. Reviews enable you to uncover information that descriptions and tech specs cannot tell you. Continuing with our example, looking at the numerical weight of the device may make it very hard to really grasp if it is heavy or not. But listening to customers that have used it, you’ll be able to grasp how it feels during real life usage.

4. Price

This one is a little less obvious than you may think. Naturally, you want to spend the least amount possible. But, you need to take care in how you think about pricing.

It’s important to compare the price of the refurbished item with the original retail price of the item. Once you’ve done this, you can better determine whether buying a specific tablet refurbished is worth saving the money.

For example, if you’ll only be saving $5-10, you’re better off buying direct from the manufacturer for the full retail price.

You should also compare the discounts between different refurbishers. This is kind of hard to do unless you open up every refurbisher’s website and compare each product. On RefurbMe, we find you the best deals from a range of retailers in one search. We’d say that you can expect to save 15-40% on most tablets.

5. Battery

Running your new tech is going to be hard without power! That’s why it’s important to verify that the refurbished item you’re getting actually comes with a battery. Most of them do, but it’s certainly not unheard of for companies to sell refurbished items without batteries. Batteries can be expensive, and so some consumers try to find models that don’t come with batteries so that they can use the one they already have and save even more money. A word of caution: if your existing device isn’t working because of a battery issue, that battery is unlikely to work in another product!

6. Warranty

Depending on where you get it from, your refurbished item may or may not have some kind of warranty with it. Another issue is that if you’re buying a refurbished tablet that somebody else once owned, it’s possible that the only warranty you’ll get is what was left of theirs. This isn’t common, but it sometimes happens.

We recommend you only ever buy refurbished tablets that come with a warranty, because if the refurbisher is confident in offering a warranty, them you can be confident that the product is of a good quality. Here at RefurbMe, we only list products that come with warranties, so you can be sure that you are buying quality products with the protection you need.

As you can see, there’s a lot of things that you need to consider when buying refurbished. Go ahead and apply these tricks and check out what refurbished items we have in stock – we’re confident you’ll be happy with what you see.