EDISON - When buying expensive electronics such as computers or big-screen TVs, many consumers say they like to play it safe by buying them new.

However, experts at Consumer Reports say that their tests show that buying refurbished electronics has a lot of benefits.

“I do think people should be buying refurbished goods more often,” says Consumer Reports’ Patrick Austin. “It's better for the environment, it's better for your wallet, and you won't even know the difference 99 percent of the time.”

However, Austin warns that when buying refurbished items, there are a few things to keep in mind.

He says to make sure the items are actually refurbished and not just used. This means that the product has gone back to the factory to be reconditioned.

Consumers should also only buy from trusted brands. Austin says that buying from a questionable brand is risky enough when an item is new, let alone one that has been used before.

Austin also warns consumers to make sure they know about the product’s warranty.  Refurbished electronics usually have warranties, but they are often shorter.

Lastly, experts say that if consumers want purchase protection on the item through their credit card, they should double check it is available. Some credit cards providers only offer protection plans on new items.