When it comes to appliances, these are things that are must haves in our current society, not want to haves. Just because we must have them in our day to day lives, doesn’t mean that we must spend a fortune on them. Appliances are like cars in my mind. We need them but we don’t need all of the extra stuff they are trying to get us to buy. Not only that but certain brands perform longer and stronger than others. Since we have to have them, then why not save money on the initial purchase of a good product to save even more in the long run?
Narrow It Down
Beginning the search for a replacement appliance can be extremely daunting, but everybody has to start somewhere. The place I usually start is Consumer Reports, just to get the run down as to which appliances have been consistently performing well and why. I can tell you that we just had to do this for our refrigerator and it was a process.
The seller of our current home left the refrigerator, but it is not a brand that I have ever purchased, nor will I. This particular model was made by LG. Even though they make some great electronics, their appliance game is severely lacking. Samsung falls into this same category, unfortunately. When it comes to the best brands, here are my go-to’s:
The logic here is that these companies have been around a while and have consistently performed well, with little to no maintenance costs. If you are like us, we don’t want to have to think about our refrigerator after it gets installed. We want it to perform its intended function well, and for many years, and we don’t want to have to do anything to it other than stock it with food.
Although, not everybody has the same mindset, in that some prefer more about how it looks and all of the fancy gadgets instead. That is completely fine, but those appliances usually end up requiring more maintenance overall. This is because the more electronics something has the higher the probability that something will go wrong.
Either way, make the best decision for your household and narrow down the brands you are interested in before you start the actual hunt.
Hunting for appliances
Once you have chosen which brand(s) you are leaning towards, then the real hunt begins. As much as I prefer to stay away from box stores, sometimes they are able to get me the better deal, so I don’t discount them right away. There are a few different ways to get the best deal and most of it comes down to timing and negotiation. Here are the best avenues that I have found, and the pros and cons associated with each:
- Pros: More room for negotiation; local sellers can make it easier to get the product faster; sometimes there is nothing wrong with it but the seller was just upgrading.
- Cons: May not be exactly what you want; may have damage; will probably have to pick it up and install it yourself, so you will need the appropriate manpower; seller may never actually respond to you or sell it out from under you.
- Buy/Sell/Trade Facebook Groups
- Pros: May be a neighbor or good friend; more willing to make a deal; can get a better idea of how the product operates and any flaws or issues; may be able to get it delivered in certain cases.
- Cons: Might have damage; might not be able to get it delivered; first come first serve basis, so if you have limited availability this could be problematic.
- Non Profit Stores
- Pros: Much more cost effective; usually willing to negotiate; helping out local non profit agencies.
- Cons: Limited selection, if any at all; most don’t have an online listing of products, so you’ll have to physically go there to look; used appliances; will probably have to pick it up and install it yourself.
- Used Appliance Stores
- Pros: Very wide selection; are in good operating order; open to negotiation in most cases; some may deliver.
- Cons: May have some scratches and/or dents; may be missing some racks or trays; may have to pick it up and install it yourself.
- Big Box Stores (Scratch and Dent Section)
- Pros: Brand new appliances; open to negotiation; will deliver and install; will haul away old refrigerator for a minimal cost.
- Cons: Hard to find; usually have to go around to each store to see what they have in this category (although Best Buy is an exception, as they have a section for this in the online store and will tell you which location has what you are looking for).
I ended up trying each of these options and wound up with the last option being the winner. Although, I prefer smaller local stores, none of them had what we needed this particular time. In my last house, I bought a Whirlpool for $100 from the American Veteran Way and it lasted for 13 years!
I can’t say that my deal was as grand this time, but it was still pretty good. I was able to get a brand new Whirlpool side by side, with an ice and water dispenser, delivered with a 5 year warranty for a little over $800. After looking through everything, that ended up being a really sweet deal! We won’t go into debt with this purchase, but that is because we put the work into finding the best deal for us. Sometimes it all comes down to patience and persistence.