It always feels as if your oven, washing machine, refrigerator or other major appliance knows when you have visitors staying with you or a major bill to pay. That’s the moment they break down, sending you scrambling for a replacement. When you rush to buy a new major appliance, it’s easy to overspend. And even when you have a few days or weeks to shop you might not know the strategies to avoid paying top dollar. Consider these seven ways to score the best new appliances for less money.
1. Breathe … and then research
Before you run out to showrooms, check product reviews on free sites including CNet, TheSweetHome and Reviewed.com. Don’t stop there. Post a message on social media asking your friends and acquaintances for recommendations. Such posts have led me to terrific brands I would not have otherwise considered.
2. List your requirements
When shopping for a car, many people create a “must-have” list. If you or other family members can’t drive a standard, an automatic transmission is on your must-have list. This approach is useful when shopping for appliances, too. Decide in advance what you absolutely must have (quiet dishwasher, cool-top stove) so you can narrow your search and stave off the temptation to pay for extra bells and whistles.
3. Don’t fixate on a certain brand
When I shopped for a dishwasher last month I had a certain brand in mind. I chose it after I read multiple reviews of various models and brands and spoke to friends about the pros and cons of the models they bought. When I arrived at the store I found a knowledgeable salesperson who patiently explained the benefits and features of the models made by the brand I had chosen. But I also asked the salesperson for recommendations. He led me to choose a brand and model that I had also read about but hadn’t seriously considered until he explained the features to me. It was less expensive than the one I had originally planned to buy, too. Appliances salespeople spend all day talking about appliances. Tap into their expertise.
4. Consider living with flaws
I had a boss who refused to accept any appliance unless it was absolutely perfect — no dings, dents or scratches. But if you are willing to live with, say, a floor model that has a blemish, you may get a top-of-the-line appliance for a deep discount. You may not want to buy a refrigerator with a huge scratch on the front but what about one with a ding on the side that no one will see? Being able to live with it could save you hundreds.
5. Do as millennials do
Millennial-aged shoppers often pause negotiations at a retail store, pull out their phones, and text or call another retailer to see if they will offer a lower price. Don’t be shy about doing that. If you’re not that bold, at least tell salespeople about comparable appliances that are lower priced at other stores. They may well meet that price.
On a big-ticket item like this one, use the strategies described here: “13 Tips For Success in Any Negotiation.”
6. Bundle with another appliance you need?
When I shopped for our dishwasher, I also discussed a new garbage disposal with the salesperson. That resulted in me receiving a discount on the disposal plus free delivery and installation. I knew that saved me hundreds because I had researched delivery and installation costs before I shopped.
7. And one more thing …
Even when you think you’ve scored your best deal at a retailer don’t be afraid to ask for more, such as free disposal of your old appliance, before the sale is finalized. Appliance retailers know they are in a competitive business and will work to keep your business.
What is your experience buying major appliances? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.