As I mentioned Wednesday, I was a little off my game last week with a house guest, and life in general, but I am happy to return this Friday to our regularly scheduled Financially Savvy Fridays. We are (fingers crossed) weeks away from moving into our new house. We built it, and while we bought our current townhouse as new construction, building a standalone, custom house from the ground up is a whole new ball game – it has been over a year in the making, from floor plan design to contract negotiation through actual construction, and frankly, nearly a full-time job in and of itself! As part of the process, we had to buy appliances for the new house – a complete kitchen and laundry room… and if you think replacing one appliance is costly, try buying 10 at once! Needless to say, I was highly motivated to find the best deals on kitchen appliances out there.
Best Deals on Kitchen Appliances
Seeking out the best deals on kitchen appliances is an option available to anyone in the market for an appliance, even if it is just one and not a full house worth. Follow our steps for making sure you get a good deal!
You don’t always control timing when it comes to replacing a dead appliance – when your refrigerator or washing machine dies, you pretty much urgently need a new one. However, if you are furnishing a new kitchen or remodeling and replacing all your existing appliances, you can definitely work to time your purchase to get the optimal deal. First, appliance deals are best in the Fall. Just like with cars, appliance manufacturers roll out new models and both manufacturers, as well as retailers, are eager to move the old inventory.
Second, if you miss the Fall, come the new year, any lingering old inventory will be steeply marked down in January. Last but not least, almost all major retailers have sales on big holiday weekends – President’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, giving you a shot at a sale in every season.
Don’t let your project timing totally constrict your purchase timing. Especially if you are buying a large package of appliances, most retailers will be willing to hold delivery for you until you are ready to receive them. They won’t hold them forever, but a couple months is typically doable.
2. Set a Budget
It will be impossible to know exactly what you are going to spend until you start pricing out all the different appliances, but you will significantly streamline your process if you have a general idea of what you are looking for. If your household appliance budget is $10,000, don’t bother looking at Viking ranges and Sub-Zero refrigerators. Similarly, if your total budget is $5,000, GE Profile is probably out of reach. Do some preliminary research online to get a sense of appliances you will need, what specifically you want (brand, finish, style), and more importantly, what you can afford. This will also help you determine where to go for Step 3.
3. Shop Around
Once you have set your budget, and have a general idea of what you are looking for, then go check out appliances in person. Open doors, inquire about features. Understand what moving from the GE to GE Profile or Monogram models actually gets you, or what features an increase in price provides – do you want them or even care? Do you really care if the dishwasher talks to you, the control panel is hidden in the top, it has built in bottle-washers? Do you want to give up space in your refrigerator door for a water, ice dispenser? Do you need a dual-fuel stove or are you better off with a gas range and electric wall oven?
Ask every appliance sales person what they recommend at your price point. They will be fairly honest and open about what brands are most reliable. As always, don’t trust just one person’s opinion, but when 3 different people recommend the same under counter mini-fridge, and it’s less expensive than the one you thought you wanted, you can probably bet they are right.
Once you fine tune what you want down to specific item numbers, shop around again. Create a spreadsheet with all the appliances and item numbers down the left, and all the different retailers across the top to keep track of the different pricing packages. Hand the list of item numbers to a sales person and ask them to price out a package deal for you. Any decent retailer should be more than willing to deal with you and give you decent discounts for buying multiple appliances from them at once. Check the item numbers online and know what the best available price out there actually is vs. the package prices you have been offered. Make sure you understand the total price, including any delivery, warehousing and installation charges (if you will be responsible for installation).
4. Don’t Discount the Little Guy
While Big Box retailers may have run lots of local stores out of business, the local appliance store is still alive and well… and definitely worth a visit. Most independent, local retailers belong to larger buying co-operatives, that allow them to pool their sales volumes with the large manufacturers and remain competitive and even beat the national chain retailers on price. From personal experience, the knowledge and expertise of their sales teams is dramatically better, their customer service far superior, and if you are looking at higher-end products (GE Profile or Monogram, Wolf, Viking, Sub-Zero, etc.), they will actually have product on display for you to check out, unlike many of the Big Box stores. Their sales people will also have greater authorization to deal with you on your purchase.
5. Inquire About Rebates
A good appliance salesman will include the benefit of any available rebates in your package pricing, but be sure to ask if they don’t… and make sure you understand all the timing requirements to actually get the rebate. If a rebate is part of the pricing deal, know that you will be outlaying more upfront at the time of purchase, and submitting a copy of your invoice and unit numbers once delivered to the manufacturer and/or buying co-operative to obtain your rebate, often weeks or months after your purchase. That being said, the hassle can be well worth it, with rebates totaling $100s or even over $1,000.
6. Inspect and Sign Off on Delivery
Be sure to be present for and inspect all appliances upon delivery. Even if they are not immediately being installed, you should have the delivery team remove all the packaging, and inspect the appliances for any visible dents, dings and scratches (unless you got a deal for buying a dented washing machine, you don’t have to accept damaged goods). If your contractor is not immediately installing them, ask the delivery team to put the boxes back on.
Keep all manufacturer documentation, including warranty details and your purchase invoice. Make a binder with clear page protector sheets to keep each of them in nice and neatly, for easy storage and access. We made several warranty calls on brand new appliances when we moved into our current home – we had a fridge that didn’t work from the day we moved in. After attempting to replace the motor once, GE ultimately just sent us a brand new unit. We also had a washing machine repaired under warranty.
Following all the above steps, we ended up purchasing all our appliances from an independent, local appliance store a few towns over from us, who we also purchased all our appliances from for our current house nearly 8 years ago. They must be doing something right! If you are in the market for appliances and live in Southern Connecticut, be sure to visit Marsilio’s TV and Appliance in Fairfield, CT and ask for Dave, Jr.!
What was the last appliance you bought? Where did you buy it? Do you think you got a good deal? If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out all our Financially Savvy posts here and on our like-named board on Pinterest!