Save Money on Appliances at any Time of Year

By Linsey Knerl on 21 April 2010 (Updated 18 April 2011) 2 comments

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This article shares tips from the newest episode of Dealista, our podcast that'll help you get more for less.

Many of you will have tax refunds coming, and that may lead to you look into buying a replacement for that old fridge or dishwasher that’s been giving you grief. Before you run out and buy the first thing you see, however, take a minute to run through these tips. They could save you a bundle!

Hit the Holidays

While most retail experts concur that September and October are the best months to buy, many can’t wait until the biggest sales of the year to replace a worn-out appliance. The next best thing is to purchase during a holiday. While the major ones can offer huge discounts (Christmas and Fourth of July, most notably), the less celebrated weekends can be a good opportunity to score a great deal, as well. Snag sale flyers for the upcoming Mother’s and Memorial Days and use you price matching skills to get a super price, wherever you shop!

Less-Than-Perfect Equals “Perfect” Pricing

Just two weeks after my cherry red frontloading washer and dryer set were delivered to my home, my husband accidentally put a large scratch in the paint of one of them. Was I upset? Not really. The pair still work like a champ, and they look great in my otherwise drab laundry room. The lesson that I took away from the experience is that things get bumped, dented, and dinged. (And usually within just a few days from purchase, if you have a rowdy household like mine.) So why not buy something that’s already a bit scuffed up and score a 10-15% discount on it?

Not all stores as forthcoming about their “scratch and dent” sales, and others shout it from the mountains (only to present their buyers with prices that were inflated to begin with). Get to know the market value for your future purchase, and request that the discount accurately reflects it. Also, if you don’t see a section for “scratch and dents” at your local retailer, inquire about it. Sometimes, they are just hiding in the back for someone to claim them!

Save Big at Big Box Stores

We’ve already discussed how warehouse stores may or may not be a great deal for you. When it comes to appliances, however, they can surprise you with some occasional bargains that compete with traditional stores. Since they don’t usually honor price matches, what you see is often what you get. Don’t forget to shop online at the club website to see about using coupon codes and getting free shipping. The combination of both could be well worth it!

Skip Rental Stores

While it may seem appealing to pay just $20 a week for that new air-conditioner, what you may not be drawn to is the ridiculous amount of interest that rent-to-own stores charge their customers. Since these types of retailers thrive on purchasers that don’t have access to more traditional lines of credit (or even cash), they can get customers in with their low weekly rates (and sometimes an extra gift), before extracting a significant amount of interest over the life of the loan. Get the full amount (interest included) before you buy, or better yet…use more traditional lines of credit if you absolutely must charge it.

Use Craigslist

Yes, I love this site for just about everything, including appliances. We don’t just recommend it for used stuff, either. In fact, many times you can find low prices on brand new appliances by being a bit savvy in your search. Dealers sometimes put their overstocks on Craiglist (look for “dealer” notations to know if you’re working with a store and not a private seller), and realtors have been known to offer brand new appliance sets taken out of homes when they don’t match the new buyer’s tastes. Be prepared to haul your own for deeper discounts.

Look for Remodels

If you’re frustrated that your favorite Walmart, Target, or Sears has been tore up in anticipation of a remodel, don’t be! It might mean that many items will soon go on deep clearance, and appliances could be on that list. Since a remodel also often means that entire product lines will be replaced, the existing models (even floor models) will have to go — soon! Check back often at your remodeled store to watch prices fall, but don’t wait too long. (And remember the rule: One retailer in an area being remodeled may mean the others in the same chain will be, too. Call to find out when you can expect this to occur, and get their early before the good deals are gone!)

Dealista is a collaboration between Wise Bread and Quick and Dirty Tips, the producer of popular podcasts such as Grammar Girl, Money Girl, Winning Investor, and Mighty Mommy.

If you enjoyed these tips you can find more in our show's archive.

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HOW CAN I GET MONEY

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Raina

My boyfriend has been repairing appliances for over twenty years, and he swears that no one should ever buy a newer appliance. They just don't make them like they used to. The appliances that were made 15-20 years ago are often still chugging along if the owners didn't toss them out for something that looked nice and shiny. The newer appliances often need expensive repairs only a couple of years in. At his house, he has only older appliances.