How to purchase the right home appliance the first time

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stainless-steel-refrigerator-applianceOWNING A HOME COMES WITH A PRICE TAG


Major appliances are a costly home purchase so when they go on the blitz it’s important to make sure you have emergency savings in the budget or potentially be left without until you can afford new or second-hand.

My family has been shopping in the appliance market this last month and while it has been an interesting experience for all of us, I have a learned a few things to keep in mind for future purchases.

Being my first time as part of the decision-making process while shopping for a new fridge and stove, I think I did pretty well. Buying new appliances should be easy right?

While purchasing the appliances for my home was a fairly smooth process, what my mom endured while buying a new fridge for her kitchen was not so much.

 Even after a minor shipping fiasco I am 100% satisfied with the customer service I received and the purchases made. Both my fridge and stove were to be delivered together but somehow they ended up on separate delivery trucks.

After originally being told I would have to wait until the following day for my fridge to be located and delivered, the company went through hoops to get it to me as promised. A truck was sent out to meet the other truck and pick up my fridge once it was finally located and they still delivered it same day.


Seek out knowledgeable customer service associates


If an in-store associate sounds like they aren’t quite sure what they are talking about then it is highly likely that they don’t know enough about the product to help you make the best decision.

Getting a second opinion from another associate in that same store if available or visiting an entirely different appliance store with more knowledgeable staff will make your shopping experience more successful.

A month ago my mother was in store dealing with a young associate who provided information to her regarding this particular fridge that had caught my mom’s eye based on the specification sheets as to what the height of the fridge was.

The only thing she failed to mention was that some new refrigerators are designed differently from previous models and that there was a slight curve on the top of the fridge to accommodate for the new design.

After waiting a month to the day exactly and not knowing about this modification my mother’s new fridge was delivered only for her to find out that it did not fit in her kitchen as nicely as planned.

Back to the store the fridge has to go because it simply does not fit, end of story.

After a month of waiting for it to arrive she now had to return to the store to begin the entire process of buying a new fridge all over again. Knowing this little bit of information in the beginning would have saved her a lot of unnecessary frustration, unfortunately though the sales person did not inform her of this.

How much information should the homeowner know and what questions should a homeowner come prepared to answer when appliance shopping is very important.

Now a week after the original fridge that she ordered was delivered and a second trip to the store a much more knowledgeable sales person had helped her pick out a model that will fit in her kitchen.

Thankfully there is a secondary fridge in their home as her kitchen is still fridge-less as she waits for the proper fridge to be delivered.


Simple is better…and cheaper


With all the technology in our world many kitchen gadgets and appliances including toasters and refrigerators with all of their digital screens and pretty blue lights make a kitchen look like a spaceship ready to launch off into outer space. I just want my fridge to keep my food cold not fly me to the moon.

All the fancy extras such as the ice and water dispensers and flashy controls not only hike up the price but then you also have more things that may possibly break down potentially increasing the amount of repairs that you may face in the future. These extras may be appealing to some but by skipping these extras you will find a cheaper a price tag guaranteed.


Power consumption  



Our Canadian government has recently announced that energy rates are expected to increase by 42% over the next 5 years. All new appliances come with an Energuide rating stating the expected yearly amount of energy the appliance will consume. Not only do you they provide the consumption amount for the particular model you are looking at but also where it sits in range from high to low consumption compared to similar models.

This is where doing some research and product comparison is beneficial to saving you even more money on your hydro bill after bringing your newly purchased appliance home.


Did you know that new homes also come with an Energuide rating?
According to Natural Resources Canada, ‘An EnerGuide rating shows a standard measure of your home’s energy performance. It shows you (and future buyers) exactly how energy-efficient your home is. The home’s energy efficiency level is rated on a scale of 0 to 100. A rating of 0 represents a home with major air leakage, no insulation and extremely high energy consumption. A rating of 100 represents a house that is airtight, well insulated, sufficiently ventilated and requires no purchased energy on an annual basis. For a brand new house, a rating of 80 or higher is excellent.


Scope out a floor model


Once a store has discontinued a particular appliance to make room for newer models they need to do something with the floor display model. In most cases there is nothing wrong with the appliance but because it sat open on the sales floor they generally knock a good amount off the cost to see it leave their store. I was able to find 2 floor models when looking for my new fridge, both were originally in the $1500 price range.

The reduced price of $998.00 of the one is what caught my eye though it was too tall to fit in my kitchen. The second was priced at $1097.00 and low and behold was the perfect height.

Both of these models had been sitting at marked down pricing for some time and since they were happy to see one go they took an additional $97.00 off the price and gave me free shipping. It was almost like a big thank you for taking it off their hands and I walked out with a big smile saving over $400.00 of the original price. Other than a couple minor scratches you really have to look for, I have a perfectly working new stainless steel fridge in my kitchen.


Scratch and dent deals


appliance-stainless-steel-stovMany appliance companies have a separate location where you can purchase ‘Scratch and Dent’ products. The extent of these damaged appliances can vary although you may find a fridge or stove for example with huge discounts from the retail selling price because of a slight dent or noticeable scratch. If you are lucky enough you may find one that based on it’s position you may never see these marks once it is in your home.

If a wall is going to hide a major scratch I am perfectly okay with paying a lot less for it.


Don’t be pressured by warranties


Extended warranties are a great way for companies to profit from more of your hard-earned money and become void if you do not take the appropriate steps when having repairs made. While I stated in a previous post how I will never be caught without cell phone insurance ever again, I was not as eager to say yes to the extended warranty when purchasing large appliances.  Most large appliances will outlive any extended warranty although a small home appliance may not I still probably wouldn’t bother with the warranty.

On the same day that my new fridge and stove were to arrive, I also had a service call scheduled for my washing machine. My dad (and my landlord) being quite the handy man was hoping to be able to just get a diagnosis and then he would purchase the parts and do the work himself.

I mentioned this to the repair man who’s response to me was ‘yes he would save a little money but you would lose your warranty’ My washing machine is 5 years old, my warranty that was paid for at the time of purchase has expired so this warranty he was referring to applied to the new parts that need to presently be replaced.

The costs of the appliance parts needed are $80.00 and $13.00 for a grand total of $93.00 plus tax. He quoted me approximately $200.00 total with labour. I have yet to give this man the bad news as I am waiting to hear when the parts will be available but we will not paying $200.00 so that we have a warranty on $93.00 of parts, my dad can easily do the installation and ‘if’ they need to be replaced again in the future we are looking at the same cost at another, making it the same amount we would pay to have him fix them to just have a warranty on them. Again I said IF they need to be replaced.

I do not recommend making all repairs on your own but these are 2 very basic repairs that really even I could do myself.

Purchasing large appliances makes for an expensive shopping trip regardless of any deals you may find. If you qualify for a store credit card that offers for example ‘12 months No Payments, No Interest’ make sure you pay off the total amount owing before those 12 months are up.

Paying interest is simply a waste of money and if you don’t have to, why would you. While these store cards may provide an affordable way to buy large appliances, if not paid in full  the accrued interest charges will make it a significantly more expensive purchase.

Saving money in your budget for projected expenses is another way to pay in cash especially if you know your appliance are on their last legs.

How do you save money when purchasing large appliances for your home?



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  1. I always love the extended warranty provided by home appliance companies but many times it happens that the warranty doesn’t cover the exact issue which consumer is facing. This ultimately frustrates the consumer and many times they leave bad review for the appliance company and not making the warranty thing clear!
    What are your views on this @Katrina

  2. We bought all new appliances when we bought this house 21 years ago. The stove has been replaced once, the washer twice, the dryer once, the fridge is still going. I remember back when we had a Kenmore washer and in the instruction booklet was a list of parts with order numbers. I used that a few times to order any needed parts. Hubby did the work.The pump crapped out a couple of times and the timer went once. They don’t do that any more…… Darn!!
    I did get the insurance for the stove when I got the current stove as the one it replaced had issues with the ignitor which crapped out a few times and was over $100.00 just for the bloody part!!! I did get that floor model and it had a couple of chips on it(there are more chips now!!Lol!!), plus the sales rep told me that it was coming up on a 2 day sale and when!! So I saved enough between the sale price, clearance and the second sale to pay the tax, the delivery, the installation(it’s a gas stove) and the added protection and still come out ahead!!!!
    I need to start saving for a new fridge as this one is getting old, What I have is an all refrigerator and I hope I can get the same again. I have 2 chest freezers so I really don’t need one with the fridge. I’m hoping I can get white again too….not that fussy on the stainless steel look. But that’s me…
    Super article Katrina!!!

  3. I bought an LG washer in January of 2012. The first one was a dud. I waited for a month for the new washing machine which arrived February 24th 2012. I had the option of buying an extended warranty which I did in October 2012. The machine broke yesterday. It is not even 2 years old. I am thankful I got the extended warranty. In my case it was needed.

  4. Great tips! I think our appliances are on their last legs, so we’ll be shopping for some soon. A lot of stores also offer Price Protection – if the price drops usually 14 or 30 days after you bought it, or you find someone else selling it for cheaper, you can go back in armed with your receipt and get some cash back. If they don’t offer Price Protection, you can always refund your purchase and buy it back at the sale price 🙂 (of course it has to be within the refund period and this won’t work with floor or scratch-and-dent models). Good on you for weighing the costs of warranty vs. fixing it yourself! II rarely find warranties are worth your money.

  5. We’re big believers in buying scratch and dent appliances as it can knock a lot of money off the price. We did that with our purchase of our washer & dryer a few years ago. They both had very small scratches on the side, which you can’t even see as they’re up against each other and we saved several hundred dollars because of it.

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