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Home Renovations and Interior Design

How to purchase the right home appliance the first time

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  

 

appliance-energuide

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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