• Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks

Why you should take advantage of this widely ignored part of Amazon to save money

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Whether you're a geek or not, you have to admit there's something satisfying about buying something that's brand new. Even if it's something that millions of people own, like a smartphone or TV, this one is yours.

It was for that reason, and a couple of others, that I was always wary of buying refurbished or open-box products — especially tech. Refurbished means it was broken, right? Isn't it just going to break again? Ditto for open-box products; if someone bought something and didn't like it, why should I?

Those questions, and the last one in particular started to become more flimsy the more I started thinking about them. Yes, something may have been broken once, but would a manufacturer go through the process of fixing and re-certifying it just to have it returned again? If someone I've never met and will never know returned a product, how could I know why they did it?

For example, I don't like bass heavy headphones. If you do and bought a more neutral-sounding pair, you might return them because they don't work for you. If I picked up the same pair you returned as an open-box item, I might be perfectly happy with them, and save some money. Money-saving became a big reason I started to think about buying used, refurbished, and open-box products, especially after realizing my arguments against them didn't hold up.

It also helped when I realized that retailers like Best Buy and Amazon sell open-box and refurbished items with the same return policy as their normal products. That means I wouldn't have a fight ahead of me if my former fears about used tech came true.

As it stands I haven't had a problem with any open-box or refurbished products I've bought either in-store online. The headphones, speakers, wireless router, and TV I've bought over the years all work exceptionally, and in each case, I've saved a fairly significant amount of money. My favorite place to shop for used tech is on Amazon. The company has an open box and refurbished products section on its site called "Warehouse Deals."

Besides the fact that all products sold as Warehouse Deals are Prime eligible, I like buying products there because Amazon is very up front and consistent about how they grade each products' overall condition. In some cases the only thing wrong with a product is its packaging, and while the discount in those cases isn't tremendous, it can add up over time.

To find out whether or not a particular product has a Warehouse Deal, go to its product page and hit "used" under its product description. In the case of this pair of Bang & Olufsen headphones, which retail for $299.99, there are two Amazon Warehouse Deals,the lowest of which is $223.86.

Amazon/Brandt RanjHow Warehouse Deals look

How seriously I take a product's condition under consideration before buying it varies. For headphones, I'm more likely to opt for "Like New", but on something like a WiFi router, I have no problem saving money by buying one in "Acceptable" condition. Who looks at their router anyway?

Because I mostly buy tech products, this article has had a tech slant, but this information applies to anything you can buy in store or on Amazon. If you've been holding off on taking advantage of these deals because of preconceived notions that refurbished or open-box products are going to break easily, I understand where you're coming from.

But getting over those fears continues to save me money, and unless I've found myself waiting a couple of months after a product's release to see if a Warehouse Deal has become available. It's an easy way to buy what you want, and save some money doing it.

You can check out Amazon's Warehouse Deals on air conditioners, cameras, watches, tablets, Kindles, and much, much more by clicking here.

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