There are times when you can't afford a new digital camera or a laptop computer. It is often difficult to decide if a used computer will be an option when you have limited budget. There is another aspect that can be considered. That has to do with  refurbished devices that have been patched up and with a few months of guarantee. Consequently, are refurbished electronic equipment really worth buying? What do you think?

I am not planning to purchase either a refurbished camera or laptop in the near future. I recently purchased within the last year a brand new Dell laptop that I needed when I started a new business with a friend of mine and I already had purchased within the last two years a good digital camera that is still working perfectly. I have purchased refurbished electronics in the past though as well as a refurbished computer and have had mostly good success with these and would not discount possibly purchasing either one of these two items refurbished in the future as well as other types of electronics. - West Palm Beach, California

I would buy a refurbished camera but not a refurbished laptop. I would be willing to pay up to 30% retail cost on a refurbished camera, preferably Canon. I would want to try the refurbished camera out before buying, and would want to know why it was refurbished and if it was still under warranty prior to buying it. I have gotten refurbished cell phones in the past so a camera doesn't sound too far fetched. That said, I will not pay more than $300 for any used electronic goods. - New England

Buying refurbished is a good way to get a great price on used merchandise. I pratically by any electric devices i purchase all used. I would buy a refurbished laptop any day because the probablity of a laptop breaking down can happen whether its new or used. Brands i would consider are apple, acer, and hewlett packard. My primary use for a laptop would be for the internet so im not really into a lot of features i just like to browse pages and chat with friends. If i bought a camera i would go with a nikon or sharp. As long as product is still in good working condition i have no problem buying. It was much needed way to save money in todays dire economy! - Florida

Buying refurbished - is it a good idea? Is it a good idea to buy a refurbished product? There are always risks with such purchases which is why you should always do a lot of research when considering such a purchase. Read reviews, look into any kind of consumer ratings, look into the company's customer service ratings. Is it hard to communicate with customer support if you have a problem? Try to find out if other consumers have had issues with a similar kind of product. Of course, if you're buying a computer, you should also know what kind of specs you want it to have. Does it have enough ram, how big is the hard drive, etc Ultimately if you've done your research, you could find a very good product and find a bargain at the same time! - Tulsa, OK

Buying refurbished laptop does not bother me and I would make the purchase easily. I have never considered buying a refurbished camera and I did not realize there is a market for refurbished cameras. If I were buying a refurbished laptop, brands I would consider purchasing are Hewlett Packard, Dell, or Apple. I would be willing to pay between 200 and 300 dollars for a refurbished laptop. I would consider the warranty and the hardware on the laptop before purchasing. If I were to purchase a refurbished camera, I would consider a Kodak, Canon, or Nikon camera. I would be willing to pay between 75 and 200 dollars depending on the quality of the camera i.e. resolution, storage, etc. I would consider how old the camera was, the condition, and whether or not a warranty was included. - San Bernardino, California

Buying a refurbished camera can be a great way to save money. Compared to a refurbished laptop, there are fewer things that can break. This means there are fewer things to worry about when purchasing a used product. With a camera, you want to examine the lens and view finder for any scratches. Testing out the camera by taking a photo is a great way see if everything is in working order. Be sure to check the photo for any irregularities or glitches, as these may reveal a problem with the device. Remember, always try before you buy! - Washington, DC

Buying refurbished is a great way to save money. I have personally bought a refurbished computer before (albeit a desktop), so I would definitely be willing to consider buying a refurbished laptop or digital camera, but only if doing so would offer significant savings – that is, at least $20 or so less than if I bought a comparable new product. I would be willing to buy any brand, what would matter to me is that the specific model has consistently positive customers reviews, and that the seller has a high approval rating indicating that the products they sell are reliable and satisfying to buyers. - Brooklyn, New York

Buying refurbished cameras or laptops is a difficult decision. If the discounted price was right, I might take the risk, but it would have to be a very good discount and have it documented that the piece of electronics was in solid working order. If I am going to pay several hundred dollars for a piece of electronics I want to make sure it works well and that it will last several years. For cameras I might go with a refurbished brand of Nikon, Canon or Kodak, and for laptop I might go for a Toshiba, HP, Dell or Apple MacBook computer. - Wilmington, DE