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7 Super-Smart Appliance Buying Tips
Does your kitchen need an appliance rejuvenation? Has your washing machine washed its last pair of pants? If you’re in the market for new appliances, there are some things you should know before you hand over your hard-earned dough. Here’s how to be the most informed and inspired shopper in the appliance store:
Know what you really need. If you love to be in the kitchen and dream of being a famous chef, then maybe a top-of-the-line oven is for you. But if you don’t need all the bells and whistles, why pay for them? To keep your budget under control, buy what you need for who you are, not necessarily what you see on TV. Ask yourself if you really need to see what’s inside your refrigerator from your smartphone.
Measure. Twice. There’s nothing more frustrating than bringing home your favorite oven only to realize it’s never going to fit, no matter how hard you try to squeeze it in. Always measure, and then measure again. And don’t forget about doorways, hallways and stairwells. It’s much less expensive to buy the right-sized appliance than it is to remove an entire wall.
Do your research. A little shopper’s knowledge will help you avoid the dreaded impulse buy. And a quick Google search is an excellent place to start. Check out competitive brand prices, make a list of must-haves and explore the latest technologies. When you’re done online, check out your friends’ kitchens. Ask them what they think of their fancy new fridge. The more info you gather, the more prepared your purchase will be.
Don’t judge an appliance by its pretty cover. A great appliance is more than just a pretty face. Don’t get fooled by all the fancy colors. Look for the features you need and the quality you deserve. Yes, your appliances need to look good and match the rest of your décor, but if a great-looking machine doesn’t perform, it’s just a big hunk of handsome metal.
Buy at the best times. There’s a season for every appliance. And when it comes to getting the best deals, timing is everything. New models are rolled out in September, October and January. This is when retailers need you more than you need them. The last few days of the month are smart times to shop, too. This is when stores are pushing to meet monthly quotas and more likely to come down on price.
Skip the extended warranties. That extended warranty they try to sell you — you don’t need it. According to Consumer Reports, the manufacturer’s warranty on most major appliances is almost always good enough. If your brand new appliance is going to break down, it probably won’t happen during the warranty period. And if it does, the average cost of repair isn’t much more than the average price of the extended warranty. So skip it and save. You might also considered adding Equipment Breakdown coverage to your existing homeowners or renters policy to protect your big purchase from unexpected events.
Don’t be afraid to haggle. You know what you want, you’ve done your homework on price, and you’re ready to buy. The next step: ask for the very best deal — because there’s almost always some wiggle room. Consumer Reports estimates that 75% of hagglers receive an average discount of $100. If there’s no budge on price, ask for free delivery and installation. You’ll never know if you don’t ask!
Now get out there and shop smarter! That washer and dryer set you’ve been checking out online is patiently waiting for a new home.