Appliance Shopping Guide
By Steven De Nazareth
Household appliances are mostly large pieces of equipment which cost quite a lot of money. Most homeowners use their appliances until they break down, which is usually a span of 10 – 20 years. However, if you don’t practice caution or do adequate research, you may end up buying a product that does not suit your needs, which causes both financial loss and frustration.
While planning a purchase in advance helps you find the lowest price, it may not always be possible. If your AC breaks down during summer when the heat and the AC unit prices are high you will not have a choice.
Step 1: Analyze your needs
You could be someone who is either needing an appliance urgently or you could be someone who expects a certain appliance to crash soon and is looking for replacement. In the first case, you will rush to the closest store or look up online to find one that suits your needs. While doing this, you may ?tend to get sidetracked and forget your actual needs.
Some people buy appliances because they are visually appealing or if it comes at a very low price or if it has attractive freebies. All of this leads to you ending up with an appliance that does not suit your requirements. You’ll probably regret your purchase immediately.
To avoid this, before you start to shop, analyze your requirements. Make a list of the following-
- What specifications do you need – energy efficient, CFC free etc
- Decide the size range of the appliance
- How much are you going to use it
- Do you want a brand new one or a second hand one
- What is your budget
Write down the answers on a paper and keep it with you while you shop. If you are merely looking for an exact replacement, write down the model no. and manufacturer’s name and pay a visit to your closest appliance store.
Step 2: Measure the space
Imagine the horror if you buy an appliance and bring it home only to find out that it doesn’t fit where you wanted it to?
To avoid that, measure the space where you plan to keep the appliance. Do it twice to avoid minor errors. Keep the measurements with you while you shop. Once you visit a store, select appliances that match your measurements.
However, if you feel that appliances that come in the size you need do not have the features you require, it’s best to either make space for a larger one or find out if there are used variants of the model you need.
Step 3: Browse several stores
If you wish to get the best price, don’t expect to find it in the first store you look. Visit several shops or websites, if you are purchasing the appliance online and compare prices. Don’t get swayed by the freebies. Most e-commerce websites and shops provide great deals during festive seasons. If you are planning your purchase in advance, Black Friday sales are the best time to buy appliances (or most things, for that matter).
If the requirement is urgent, you’ll have to make do with whatever’s available. Once you zero in on a model, look up online to see who offers the best price.
Step 5: Warranty
It might be a good idea to look an appliance that comes with a warranty. Most products come with a manufacturer’s warranty, but some stores do sell extended warranties for products they sell.
Some stores like, Home Depot and Lowe’s also offer extended warranty for specific appliances. Extended warranties are different from home warranties and are ideal if you need coverage only for a certain appliance which is no longer covered by it’s manufacturer’s warranty.
Step 6: Things to remember while buying used goods
If you are planning to purchase an used appliance, you need to be extra careful. Find out why the appliance is being sold – is it because the owner upgraded or is it because the appliance sustained major breakdowns?
Examine the appliance thoroughly before you make the buy. Also ask for warranty papers and bills. Buying one without the relevant papers may not be a wise step.
The final word
Appliance purchases cost substantial amounts of money. Buying the wrong product will leave you troubled. Make the purchase only after you are convinced that it is the best option.
Hope you enjoyed the article, happy shopping!
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