Saving with Scratch and Dent Appliances
How to Save on Appliances
7 Essential Appliances
Dear Dollar Stretcher,
I'm looking to replace some appliances in my kitchen. Mine are old and on their last legs. The trouble is that I really can't afford new appliances and I don't want to put them on my credit card. I've heard that you can get great deals on 'scratch and dent' appliances. But, I don't know where to look for them or what to look for once I've found the appliance. Can you help me find scratch and dent appliance dealers near me?
Baffled in Buffalo
BB is right. Often you can find great deals on brand new appliances at scratch and dent sales. The trick is first finding a store that sells scratch and dent and then finding an appliance with flaws that won't affect your use. Let's see what we can do to help.
Finding scratch 'n' dent appliance stores isn't that difficult although it will take a little digging. If you're still using the yellow pages, you can look under "appliances". You may find a "scratch and dent" subsection. Also check under "outlet stores" and "warehouse stores."
Call the new appliance outlets listed and ask if they sell scratch and dent items or if they have a clearance center that does. If they do sell scratch and dent tell them what you're looking for. Within a minute or two they'll tell you if they have anything that matches.
You can also search online. Use the same terms but add the name of your town or the nearest big city. Again, make some calls to see what's available.
Talk with the salespeople in the stores you visit. Their inventory changes all the time. If you let them know what you're looking for and leave your phone number you might be surprised what they'll find for you.
Expect to save 25 to 40% depending on the damage. Many times the problem will be a tiny dent in a side panel or a scratch in the paint.
Look any prospective purchase over carefully. Check to make sure that all knobs, racks, shelves, etc are with the appliance. Often parts are scavenged from a scratch and dent unit.
And remember just because you found one problem doesn't mean that there aren't others. The time to find the scratches and dents is while you're in the store. Ideally you'll find something that will be hidden by a wall or cabinet in your kitchen.
Many times these items are sold 'as is'. Make sure that the appliance works. Find out what, if any, warrantee you get with it.
Don't hesitate to bargain with the salesperson. Especially if the item is last year's model. The worst that can happen is that they refuse your offer.
Not all scratch and dent appliance stores offer delivery. Make sure that you know whether delivery is available and whether you'll be charged for it.
Don't forget to consider other alternatives. Stores that rent or lease furniture and appliances often have used units available for sale. One plus is that often these appliances still have the balance of their factory warrantee available. Call ahead to ask what they have.
Also, many people report good experiences buying from used appliance centers. Some even often a six month or one year warrantee on their appliances.
Naturally you'll have a better chance if you don't need to buy the appliance today for delivery tomorrow. But, even if you do need it now, it can't hurt to spend an hour or two looking for a scrach and dent appliance bargain. That little bit of effort could save you hundreds or allow you to buy the upgraded appliance you've always wanted.
Gary Foreman is a former financial planner and purchasing manager who currently edits The Dollar Stretcher.com website and newsletters. He's been featured in MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Fox Business, The Nightly Business Report and he's a regular contributor to US News Money and CreditCards.com. You can follow Gary on Twitter or visit Gary Foreman on Google+.
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