Black Friday is right around the corner, and if you’re in the market for new appliances, this might be a great day to find a good deal, consumer expert Andrea Woroch says at Clark.com.
While it’s true that September and October are typically the best time to buy major appliances, Black Friday deals abound. Before you go shopping, know what you need, hone your negotiating skills, and get out there and save!
Do you really need ALL the bells and whistles?
So-called “smart” appliances are really cool, but do you really need a refrigerator that tells you when you’re running low on milk or keeps track of your shopping list? Doing without the high-tech and high-prices bells and whistles can save you a lot of money.
Do your homework
Before you shop, read up on the different models and read online reviews. This will help you determine what you really need and what you can live without.
Consider pre-owned appliances
If you followed our advice, you know exactly what you want. Why not check the used appliance stores in your area, Craigslist.org, or local online classifieds like SoMd.com to see if someone just happens to be selling the exact model you want?
Items on Craigslist may not work as described, so be sure to ask the owner for a demonstration to make sure that the appliance is in good working order. Some sellers may offer to deliver to your home, but most don’t, so factor in the cost of transportation, too.
It’s just a little dent
What does “open box” mean? It means that in some way, the appliance is not fit to be sold as “new.” These can be customer returns or appliances with cosmetic defects.
No matter what the reason is, the appliance will be discounted, sometimes as much as 50 percent off the regular price because of it. Display models are usually the least defective but are sold at a discount because they are “missing original packaging or instruction manuals,” according to Laura Harders at U.S. News & World Report.
To see what’s available as an “open box” special, you’ll need to drive store to store. Only a few dealers, like Best Buy or Sears Outlet, list their open-box inventory online.
Look for rebates
For Black Friday, many manufacturers offer rebates or special promotions. You can find out what each is offering at their websites. For example, GE Appliances lists their specials here and you’ll find Frigidaire’s specials and rebates here. In addition, Appliancesconnection.com offers a database of rebate offers by manufacturer.
Learn the art of the deal
Consumer Reports surveyed 2,000 adults and found that only 33 percent of them tried to bargain down the price of an appliance. Of those who did, 89 percent were successful.
One of the tactics that these hagglers use includes finding the item online or at another retailer for less and asking the store to price-match. If they won’t budge on price, ask for a free extended warranty, accessories (hoses, etc.), or complimentary delivery and setup.
Consider future costs
Woroch reminds us that often, the lowest-priced appliance won’t save you money over the long haul. Sure, you’ll pay more for an energy-efficient model, but the future savings may make up for the extra dollars spent now. Find out how much you can save each year with an energy-efficient model at energy.gov.
Skip the extended warranty
Consumer Reports cautions appliance shoppers not to pay for the extended warranty that will most likely be offered.
“Extended warranties can have many gotchas, relying on contract fine print to deny coverage for almost any reason,” they caution. “You’d be smarter to set aside the money you’d spend to cover repair costs yourself.”
There’s money in that old appliance
Craigslist and online classifieds aren’t just great places to buy items; they’re even better places to sell them! If your old appliance still works, consider selling it to offset the cost of your new appliance.
If it’s junk, consider parting it out to an appliance repair shop or sell it as scrap metal. Learn how much your appliance may be worth as scrap metal and how to sell it at recraigslist.com.
By the way, Consumer Reports offers a handy buying guide for Black Friday appliance shoppers.
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