Reviewed by Jason Plante
Is your kitchen looking a bit down-at-the-heels? Do you notice that your dryer doesn’t seem to reach temperatures as high as it did in the past? In either case, new appliances may be the answer, but it can be a costly one.
Major appliances can expensive to replace; these big-ticket items can put a real dent in your savings. However, by planning ahead or doing your homework, you should never again pay full price for a major appliance.
Whether or not you currently own appliances, you should be able to take advantage of annual or holiday sales if you plan ahead. The website kiplinger, reports that September and October are the best months to buy major appliances, other than refrigerators or air-conditioners.
This is the time of year that new models are rolled out and stores need to clear out the older models to make display and storage space available. Regina Novickis, a consumer expert noted that discounts of 20 percent are generally available on washers, dryers, and stoves, although you may find clearance models for a discount of up to 90 percent.
Refrigerators are different. New models are presented in the spring, so sales are held in May, perhaps to coincide with Mother’s Day. Discounts of 50 per cent are common for old models.
Air-conditioners and gas grills, too, are subject to a different sales cycle. They are cheapest during the cooler months when most people are thinking about staying warm, not enjoying hot weather and keeping cool. Look for discounts from October through February.
When it comes to strategic purchasing, there are other avenues to discounts, too. Days, dates and times are not created equal, so be savvy about your shopping trips:
January: Once the calendar turns over, stores want old models out the door. They will offer deep discounts, but the selection may be limited.
Holiday Weekends: Statutory holidays are often excuses for sales and stores will drop prices on appliances.
Month’s End: Many major appliances are sold on commission and salespeople may be subject to monthly quotas. If you’re shopping when they need another sale or two, there should be room for negotiation.
Weekdays: Appliance retailers are flooded with shoppers on weekends, so arrange a shopping trip during the week, even if it means adjusting your work schedule. Salespeople will be eager to assist you and you may negotiate a better deal. If you shop on a weekend, you may feel rushed and make a decision that isn’t best for your wallet.
Online: Your store’s online branch will offer the same seasonal deals as its bricks-and-mortar cousin, but it will also usually offer deals year-round.
As people become more comfortable with online shopping, the range of items they’re prepared to order by computer or mobile device is expanding. Major appliance sales online are growing. If you do decide to buy a stove or washer/dryer online, here are some handy tips:
Don’t Forget Delivery: Factor in delivery costs to ensure that you aren’t paying a higher total cost for an appliance, despite the ostensible online savings.
Take a Test Run: Try before you buy is a good motto, whether purchasing online or at a store. Visit a store that sells the model you’re considering and see if it is easy to operate. If the store has a good enough price, you can also buy it there.
Rights and Returns: Check the return policy carefully, just in case, and read through the manufacturer’s warranty. Sometimes, online retailers try to limit your “implied warranty” rights, including a guarantee that the product is free of defects.
Disposal Deal: Many online outlets won’t dispose of your old appliance for you, so factor in those costs. Utility companies may assist as part of an energy efficiency effort. Local charities are also outlets for appliances that still work.
Compare and Contrast: Check out appliance deals using different browsers. Sometimes, you’ll find better discounts that way.
If you plan to replace appliances based on the product’s lifecycle, you should be able to schedule your shopping for a time when discounts are available. If a major appliance of yours fails and you need something during a non-sale period, there are other options:
Craigslist: You may get a used appliance at a great price from someone who is moving and needs to sell.
Refurbishing Centre: Consider selling your used appliance for refurbishment and putting the money toward an already refurbished model.
Scratches Sell: Some retailers sell scratched or dented models at a good discount. The cosmetic flaws don’t affect performance and you may get a wonderful deal.
Liquidation Centre: These businesses buy large lots of items that companies have overstocked or are selling when they go out of business. They often have good discounts.
The bottom line is this: don’t allow a major dent in your own bottom line without seeking out a discount and negotiating. There is no harm in asking if the deal you see is the best the salesperson can give you.
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If you’re renovating your home, moving into a new one or looking for reliable assistance with your household chores, it may be time to consider new appliances. They form the backbone of the working home, so you want to be sure they meet your needs.
You’d undoubtedly like them to be reliable, affordable and attractive, with appealing features. Take note of these handy tips that will allow you to select the appliance most suitable for you, whether it’s a stove, a refrigerator, a dishwasher, a washer or a dryer:
Size does matter, and that means not only the length, width, and depth of the space where your appliance should fit, but the passageways and corners you’ll need to navigate as you install it in your abode. Buying an appliance that fits properly is much easier than buying one that’s too large to get through the doorway or nicks the walls as it’s carried in.
Also, when it comes to stoves, be sure to consider the space required to connect any pipes at the rear; with refrigerators, ensure that you account for the depth of the bulky door. Why go through the hassle of trying to exchange when you can get it right the first time?
The best way to learn about an individual appliance and its various brands is from people who own them. Ask your friends about their refrigerators and the pros and cons; take note of any horror stories.
Look online for reviews, too; most major retailers have reviews posted on their websites, and people aren’t shy about sharing their experiences. Consumer publications, such as Consumer Reports, can also be a good resource. If a certain brand of dryer is extremely noisy, you’ll want to know it, just as you’ll want to know that the ice maker on a particular refrigerator often needs repair.
Often, appliances go on sale during the fall, so plan ahead if you know you’ll need to replace older models.
Think about features that you’ll really need and use for each appliance. Sure, that glamorous stovetop is appealing, but if it’s only suited to copper pots, it may not be practical for your kitchen.
Don’t be seduced by mechanisms or design features that add cost but will sit idle or be a nuisance once the appliance is sitting in your home. Love at first sight fades quickly when the appliance doesn’t work properly or suit your lifestyle.
Research the various models that appeal to you and see where you can get them at the best price with the most service included. This may mean visiting retailers AND looking online. Generally, stores can only fit a certain number of models into their showrooms – sometimes the priciest – and you may be missing out on an item that is ideally suited to your needs.
You may also find better deals online, especially with promotional codes and flash sales.
If you’re concerned about the environment – and who isn’t these days? – compare Energy Star ratings for various models and brands and review the number of kilowatt hours they use and the cost in running them. If energy efficiency is important to you (and why wouldn’t it be), check out our guide to choosing energy efficient appliances.
Review the manual, including the fine print, before you sign up for complicated mechanisms or additions. Be sure you can understand the directions for working them or you’ll have wasted your hard-earned money.
Find out if you need additional parts or must make special adjustments in order for your appliance to work properly. Does it need a special hose? Will your fancy stovetop require a more powerful exhaust fan? Factor those into the cost and into your installation plans.
You can ask your retailer with installation help for your new appliances, but that’s a sure-fire road to additional expenses. Instead, consider doing it yourself – there are YouTube videos for all kinds of skills these days – or tap into the expertise of friends and family. It might cost you a meal or a case of beer, but you’ll enjoy the camaraderie and you’ll learn something valuable for the future.
Most retailers promise to match the competition’s price, but that often refers to in-store prices only. Nonetheless, it doesn’t hurt to negotiate the best deal you can. If you can’t lower the price, ask for some sweetener for the deal, such as an extended warranty or removal of your older model.
Ensure that your purchase includes free delivery; most retailers include delivery for sales over a specified dollar amount. In addition, have a plan for your old model, other than taking it to the landfill – the environment will be grateful. If it works, advertise it online, or sell it for scrap metal.
Even the best appliances can have hiccups over time. Be sure to ask your dealer for the names of some reliable repair people, so you have them on hand when a crisis occurs. Make sure you can have the appliance serviced locally; don’t buy a fancy foreign brand if there is no-one within 1,000 kilometers trained to fix it. Visit our helpful guide on maintaining your appliances.
It’s fun to own shiny new appliances with labor-saving features. Just make sure you get what you need and what you can handle!
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