The devices lasted for decades. But changing trends and features along with shorter appliance lifespans mean you’ll likely need to replace at least one or two dishwashers, ranges, refrigerators, and dryers in your lifetime.
When it comes time to buy new appliances, you want expert advice, fast, neat delivery, and hassle-free installation, all at a reasonable price. Unlike buying most other big ticket items, a lot can go wrong when shopping for home appliances. If your new tablet doesn’t work, you can simply return it and get a replacement. But you can’t easily return your defective new refrigerator to the store, and most consumers need help with delivery and installation.
Unfortunately, Delaware Valley Consumer Checkbook Magazine and Checkbook.org receive numerous reviews from local home appliance buyers that indicate delivery and installation are the most problematic parts of many transactions.
Delivery crews can damage floors and doors, and workers can cause water damage and even flooding by improperly installing dishwashers and washing machines. Mistakes in the installation of gas appliances are agonizing. To help you separate the good stores from the bad ones, through a special arrangement, Applicant Readers can access Checkbook reviews from local appliance stores for free until December 10 at Checkbook.org/Inquirer/Buying-Appliances.
Another important consideration: the price. Checkbook’s undercover price buyers found the highest price local retailers offered for a Maytag MFI2570FEZ stainless steel refrigerator to be $ 2,209; the lowest price was $ 1,530, a difference of $ 679.
For a Samsung WA50M7450AW washer in white, prices ranged from $ 639 to $ 1,043, a difference of $ 404.
Fortunately, Checkbook finds that high-rated stores often offer prices as low, if not lower, than their lower-rated competitors. In addition, Checkbook research shows that most stores use fake sale prices to trick customers into believing that they are getting special offers when, in fact, home appliances are on constant sale and in the Most stores, buyers pay too much.
The only way to be sure you’re getting a good deal is to shop around. Since manufacturers have minimum advertised pricing policies designed to stifle price competition, if you just rely on the advertisements or store websites, you will find the same prices across stores for the most part. most models.
But Checkbook researchers found that if they called or emailed stores and mentioned that they were collecting prices from multiple outlets for the models they were considering, it was often about discounts. important to earn their business.
In independent stores, Checkbook shoppers have found that letting sales staff know they were getting quotes from multiple stores often resulted in discounts, waivers of delivery and installation charges, or of them.
Making big chains flexible took a lot more effort, but if Checkbook researchers waited and waited on hold to talk to home appliances department sales managers, sometimes they got better deals. Call four or five retailers and ask to speak to someone who has the authority to offer discounted prices. Tell that person the brands and model numbers of the appliances you want, explain that you are calling multiple companies to solicit offers, make it clear that you will only ask each store for their best price once – and that you buy from the store that offers the best deal.
Do not hesitate to use this method. Be polite, serious, and let stores know you’re getting competitive deals every time you make large purchases. Most appliance sellers are used to offering discounted prices when asked.
Start by deciding which models you want to purchase. There are some great sources that provide independent buying advice. Consumer Reports regularly assesses appliances on a range of quality issues, including reliability, and offers expert advice on the pros and cons of configurations, designs, features, and options.
The Energy Star program of the US Department of Energy provides listings and data on the energy consumption of certified appliances. Salespeople can also be fantastic sources of buying advice, but only in stores that employ knowledgeable and helpful staff.
If you need delivery and installation services, determine the prices for that work as well as the prices for appliances. Be aware that some companies will not install a dishwasher and others will not connect appliances to gas lines.
Some delivery people do nothing other than set up the devices and plug them in.
If you are buying from a store that does not provide full installation services and you are not comfortable doing it yourself, you will need to hire a plumber or appliance repair service. Most reasonably priced plumbers charge around $ 100 to $ 150 to hook up washers, gas ranges, or dishwashers. When you compare the prices of household appliances, take these expenses into account.
It is reasonable for a store to require a small initial deposit. But making a big deposit robs you of the leverage you might need to make sure everything goes as planned. Whenever possible, pay by credit card. If you have a problem, you can dispute the charge with your credit card issuer.
Delaware Valley Consumers’ Checkbook magazine and Checkbook.org is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help consumers get the best service and the lowest prices. It is supported by consumers and does not take money from the service providers we review.