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Question #4: Does it have to be new?

"As good as new" may sound like a marketing catchphrase, yet it's increasingly accurate when it comes to used items, from tablets to mountain bikes. And while none of us want to commit to a big purchase that isn't high quality, says DealNews features editor Benjamin Glaser, he adds that buying used can be great if you shop from a reputable dealer, such as Amazon's Warehouse Deals store, which sells "open-box" and pre-owned items at considerable discounts (for instance, we found a used color printer for $1,100, versus the new one that costs $1,700)—after checking everything by hand to make sure it functions properly. Glaser also suggests going straight to the manufacturer to purchase a refurbished item. For example, high-end blender brand Vitamix sells "reconditioned" products with a five-year warrantee; we found a $379 model for $249.