Buying new major appliances seems to always be expensive because it usually is a non-planned purchase. You find yourself in the middle of a big clothes washing day and the unit all of the sudden won’t spin out the water. It seemed to work fine yesterday. I know it was working fine last week. In fact, I haven’t thought about it for years. But all of the sudden doing a load of laundry is impossible as I look into the fully loaded wash chamber completely filled with water. It fills, it churns, but it will not spin out the water... I’m hosed!!!
When this happened to us recently I decided to roll the dice and buy used instead of new. $700 just was not in the budget and I didn’t want to buy a new unit and have a non-matching dryer to go with the washer. My thought was that I could buy used, save current money, and then plan for a matched set upgrade down the road when the bank account allowed for the major purchase.
But be aware that buying used appliances has major associated risks, but it can also turn out really well. It works out best for those people who have a vehicle to transport the appliance and save the $50 delivery fee that most places charge for the service. It also works well for those who can do their own installations. The risk is that shortly after getting the used appliance home it too will stop working. The up side is that you might get several more years of service out of the unit.
KSL CLASSIFIEDS - Here in Northern Utah the biggest resource is to go online and visit the KSL classified ads. They have everything from duck decoys, to sailboats, to any and all home appliances. The listings are from both businesses as well as private parties. Private party purchases are a bigger gamble because there is little or no warranty. If the unit dies a week after you purchase. The upside to the private party purchase is that you can get some killer deals when you know what you are looking for. The key is to do your homework on site, test it out, and see if the seller’s story for selling is plausible.
USED DEALERS - A safer route is to purchase your used appliance from a used appliance dealer. They typically offer a short term warranty and you have some method of recourse when it stops working. But realize that it is still a gamble when you buy used because there is no way of really knowing how much service you will get out of the used unit.
APPLIANCE EXCHANGE OF UTAH - I decided to visit a newer business here in Orem, Utah called Appliance Exchange of Utah. They opened up about a year or two ago on the west side of the freeway about 500 South. I noticed them as I drove south on I-15 between the Center Street and University Parkway exits. Walking in the door the place was huge. They had rows and rows of refrigerators, ranges, washers and dryers. Prices started at $50 and ran up to several hundred dollars. The stock always changes and I walked the isles and found a perfect match to my failed appliance. The sales people applied no pressure and I was able to ask all of my questions and get the advice I needed. I ended up spending $135, loaded it up in the back of my Blazer and had it home and working in no time. I then loaded up my non-working unit and took it back to them and they gave me a discount coupon on my next purchase. My broken appliance was wheeled into their back area where they will make the needed repairs and then place it out on their floor for sale. If they can’t fix it, then it becomes a parts machine to fix other units that come in their doors. All in all it was a very good experience and the gamble has worked out very well for my family.
DISCLAIMER: Appliance Exchange of Utah turned out to be a Prince for me, but they might be a frog for you. Your decision to give them a kiss is completely up to you!
Best of luck if you decide to roll the dice and buy used.
Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah - www.TheHomeInspector.com - Michael Leavitt & Co Inspections, Inc.