A Buyers Guide to Used Appliances
Most people shop for used appliances because they want to save money; and who doesn’t? But buy the wrong machine, or purchase from the wrong seller, and saving money will be the last thing you do. Buying the wrong refrigerator could cost you hundreds in lost groceries, and the wrong washer could flood your house. A poorly serviced or un-serviced dryer could burn your house down. These are worst case scenarios of course and all can be avoided with just a little know how.
When you shop for a used appliance be sure to ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the appliance come with a warranty? If the appliance runs good and has been serviced properly, this should not be an issue. You may pay more for an appliance that comes with a warranty verses one that comes from a driveway, but you’ll also be able to sleep at night knowing that you’ve bought from someone who cares if you’re fridge makes it through the night.
- Does the Seller have a shop and/or strong web-presence? Shops and good quality websites mean that the seller is not going anywhere for a while. This means that their future and their reputation are dependent on your satisfaction. It’s now easier than ever before to tell the world when you’ve had a bad experience with a company, and store owners know this. They know how damaging a bad review can be, and go to great lengths to avoid getting them.
- Cleanliness of Staff, Store, and Product. This seems like common sense, but it’s hard to find in the used appliance business. And as you might expect, the dealers who take the time to clean the appliances they sell inside and out, are the ones who spend the extra time testing and servicing the machines they sell.
- Knowledge of Staff or owner. Used appliances don’t come with manuals. It’s for this reason that the knowledge of the sales person (or seller) is critical. There are washing machines with tubs that you can’t fill to the top because they’ll break if you do. There are other brands of washers that must remain upright during transport or they’ll make a loud slamming noise when you get home. Some used appliances are less expensive to buy because they’re more expensive to fix. A knowledgeable seller will know all of these things and obviously save you time money and headaches.
Sometimes we just don’t have the money to buy new appliances or used appliances from dealers, and we must buy from the driveway. If this is you today, just beware of the seller who says “It works, but…” This statement is your queue to run! After all, there’s a reason they bought a new one. What they should really be saying is “It works, but I did some research, and the cost of repair was going to be more than a new one so I bought a new one and I’m passing the problems on to you.” But they won’t. If you must buy from a private party I’d like to offer an invaluable piece of advice. There are a good number of people selling their perfectly good used kitchen appliances so they can buy stainless. And there are more people still throwing out perfectly good washers and dryers just so they can buy front-loaders. When you call on appliances ask questions. If you hear either of these two reasons given by a seller you’re chances of getting good working units are probably as good as their going to get.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a little extra money to buy from a dealer, just ask yourself the questions listed above and you’ll save money and find great used appliances that will last for years to come.