This is one of the questions I get asked the most and although the formula doesn’t work for everyone here are some suggestions I have used myself over the years to buy any major appliance for my own home.
First a foremost find the model that best fits your needs. Window shop several stores or get a copy of Consumer Reports and compare models.
Only choose Energy Star appliances as they have the best performance using the least amount of energy.
Skip the latest and greatest with all the bells and whistles on them you will probably never use those features. Stick to the basics.
Although those no-name brands are much cheaper, google to see if they have any reviews out there on them. My experience has been that they don’t have a great track record of reliability and their warranty sucks. However, do the research and see. I like to stick with name brand appliances like GE, LG, Maytag, Bosch who have all been around for decades. Stay clear of Whirlpool their customer service and repairs are not the best. I made the mistake of buying an Ikea dishwasher because it was the only one I could find that had a matching front panel to my cabinets. Big mistake – Whirlpool makes Ikea’s appliances and I’ve had nothing but issues with these people. I’m about to pull the dishwasher out and replace it with another. Thankfully I live with a plumber and it won’t cost me for labor.
Scratch and Dent – if you don’t mind a little imperfection in a spot that won’t show then try a scratch and dent store like Sears Outlets. Now again I caution you to check your prices. If all you are going to save is $25 or $50 then I would say it’s not worth it. Generally the full warranty is intact on these scratch and dent appliances but make sure before you buy it. Get it in writing. I purchased a refrigerator from Lowes when I first moved to this house. They sent out 4 yes 4 and they were all damaged. I was desperate we needed a refrigerator so I called and asked what they could do for me. The manager told me that the warehouse had zero stock of that particular model (and that was really the one I wanted.) He told me that if I was willing to take one of the damaged ones he would knock off $500.00 from the price I had paid. I told him that since the refrigerator was pierced on the side, as long as GE would come out and assure me that nothing internal was damaged on the refrigerator, I would accept his offer. He agreed and said that if GE stated there was something wrong with the unit he would come out and pick it up and give me a full refund. That refrigerator is still in my kitchen 20 years later.
Negotiate – I tell people all the time don’t be afraid to negotiate a price. What is the worst they can say “no” and you haven’t lost anything. When I purchased my new washer and dryer last year at Best Buy I asked the sales person if he could do any better on the price if I bought both at the same time. He said sure I can take off $100.00 from the set. A few days after I purchased them I went to the Best Buy website to check on my delivery date and low and behold not only was my LG set on sale but there was a rebate on them as well. All in all I wind up saving almost $500.00 just by staying on top of things. Just because you are going to a store that has set prices you can still try to negotiate a deal. Remember most stores will honor a sale price up to 14 days after you make your purchase. Meaning this, if you find that the store you purchased from has lowered the price call them for a refund. If you find it at another store for less call them and ask them to “match the price” the other store. Most stores already have this policy in place but as always check each individual store’s policy.
Price Match – Most stores will price match any store or internet (you have to check that particular store’s policy) store dollar for dollar. Meaning if you find the exact same model at another store places like Lowes, Best Buy, Sears and others will price match the lowest price you find. Home Depot will match that price and give you another 10% off. Don’t be afraid to tell the sales person that you got a better deal at (name the store) and the if he can beat that price he has the sale. Some stores will be glad to do this just to gain your business. I’m not sure if Lowe’s still offers the 10% coupon for first time home buyers but it’s worth checking. They used to put them in the “Moving Kit” at the post office but I have been told they no longer do so. However, always check on their website to see if they decide to bring this back. It’s a one time coupon but 10% is 10%!
Best Time To Buy – Consumer Reports states the best time to buy an appliance is in September and October each year. The reason is the stores are trying to move out all of that year’s left overs and make room for the new models that come out at that time. So if it’s not an emergency and you can wait do so for the best deal.
Rebates – check with your local municipality to see if they are offering any type of rebate. Check with your gas or electric company as well. I was able to get a $50 rebate from my electric company for purchasing Energy Star appliances (washer and dryer.) Check the manufacturer’s website and/or ask the sales person if there are any current rebates on the appliance.
Extended Warranties – don’t make yourself poor buying extended warranties for appliances. I did this when I first got married and I cannot even recall using the extended warranties one time. Today the lifespan of an appliance is about 5 years. I know I almost threw up when I heard that. When the LG repairman came out to check the temperature on my new dryer he said that they call them “disposable” appliances today. No more getting 20+ years out of a washer (God bless those old Kenmore washers, mine lasted me over 20 years!) it just doesn’t happen anymore. We pay more for new appliances and they last less time. I cannot tell you with certainty you won’t need your “extended warranty” but most are not cheap and I for one don’t purchase them.
The only exception to this rule is the heater service repair contract that most gas companies offer to their customers. My husband has been a master plumber for over 40 years and although we obviously don’t need this at our house he advises everyone to take it because it covers most major malfunctions on your existing heating system. However, be sure to read the policy to see what you are getting for your money. One service call could be almost as much as the entire policy therefore it is a great deal.
I hope this information will help you make an informed decision and get the best price possible the next time you need to purchase an appliance.