A few weeks ago, our washer started staining clothes. This was after our dryer had already started eating clothes!
More than a hundred dollars worth of dress shirts and slacks were ruined in minutes!
Both of these appliances were ten plus years old, so rather than repair them yet again, we decided to go shopping with our emergency funds.
I've had to do a lot of shopping for major appliances over the years, and with 5 kids, we've been forced to be pretty frugal. With only about an hour of work, I managed to bring home a new washer and dryer for more than $800 less than the sticker price at the first place I looked!
Maybe $800 doesn't mean that much to you, but for me, that could mean an extra vacation this year relaxing on the beach for a few days!
So how'd I do that?
Here's how, in 3 easy to follow steps that I've repeated every time I go shopping for a major appliance or other major item.
1. Shop Around
This first point probably goes without saying for many of you, but make sure to shop around! Ask about delivery and setup charges as those can add up quickly. Free delivery and setup versus $150 or more per appliance at some places is a huge difference!
The Internet has truly become a viable option for finding deals on major appliances, often offering prices hundreds of dollars less than you'll find in your local stores along with free delivery. Don't forget to check online!
My favorite sites for major appliance deals are Best Buy and Amazon, both of which have rating systems where you can see exactly what other people think about the products.
Check their appliance section out!
Amazon in particular has a lot of highly rated off brand appliances that can be purchased for a fraction of the price you'll find stuff in stores, and is incredibly easy to use. They also generally offer free shipping for large purchases.
2. Ask for a Better Price
We are so used to shopping in stores, that we often look at the sticker price and then assume that is the best price. For major purchases like appliances or cars, that is a very bad assumption!
Many times sales people and managers can be flexible, so when they ask if you need any help, say something like “I was looking at this washer, but it seems a bit high. I was wondering if you guys have any discounts available?”
If the answer is no, then ask them about delivery and setup charges and write it down, thank them for their time, and then go on to the next store to continue to compare prices. I often find that people will offer a better price as I walk away, and the vast majority of the time they do have some flexibility on price.
3. Look for Minor Damage
Let's be honest, that new washer and dryer is probably going to sit in your basement. No one other than you is going to care about a couple scratches!
The first store I walked into, I asked “Do you have any damaged washers or dryers or floor models that are on clearance?” My 16 year old daughter went beet red, until the sales representative led me to a hidden area with appliances that had minor scratches, many marked down up to 50% off retail! When she saw that, her jaw dropped, and she didn't say a word at the next store!
I repeated that at each store, and ultimately ended up landing a $850 washer for $370 because it had a few scratches on the front. I don't know about you, but for $500 I'm willing to deal with a few scratches!
If you are looking online, try using Refurbished as a key word to find some awesome deals. Often manufacturers will even sweeten the pot by increasing the standard warranty period to get these appliances that have been opened or have minor damage out of inventory quickly.
Here's another tip for free. If you really care about the look, for less than $5 you can get some appliance touch up spray to fix scratches and you won't be able to see them!
Those are my top 3 tips for saving on major appliances. Hope they help!
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About the Author
Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, is the founder of this site, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.
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