Friday, November 03, 2006

The best deals on refrigerators

Q: I will need a refrigerator for my new house. Any suggestions for the best place to buy one?
A: You know I love Craig's List for appliances! I saw the expensive GE Profile model we bought for the old house listed for $200 a couple of years later. (Our buyer purchased ours along with the house.) We have bought appliances through the Sears Scratch and Dent place, as well, with mixed results. This house had very strange size opening for the fridge. After two weeks of living from a cooler while watching Craig's List, we bought a floor sample clearance from Lowe's, using a 10% off coupon. It was the most basic, energy efficient model we could find.

We have chosen to buy extended warranties, against conventional "frugal wisdom." Appliances made today are designed to break, especially icemakers. One moneysaver in favor of Lowe's was that their extended warranty cost only $89, where the comparable warranty at Sear's Scratch and Dent was over $250. That's the cost of one repair. I had to learn that lesson the hard way, even on my no-bells-and-whistles washer and dryer.

Readers, where have you found your best refrigerator deals?


Marsha said...

Ditto Craig's List - where we also snagged a nearly new dishwasher (Kitchen Aid) for $75 and clothes dryer for $30 and a $15 part. Our policy is to buy as good a brand as we can, for as little as possible keeping in mind a couple things:

You raise a good point about energy efficiency - sometimes it does no good to buy a "cheap" appliance only to pay higher energy costs on the back end through utility bills. Even when buying used, it makes sense to research the model and have a basic understanding of its expected energy usage. A once-over to make sure that it's clean and in good repair (except for minor fixes) will help ensure that the motor is reasonably efficient. I've often thought it a good idea, too, to build into our costs the expectation of replacing all belts and gaskets, just to be sure, but haven't done it. Belts and gaskets are the kinds of wearable parts that are easy to locate and simple to replace and which have a big impact on energy usage.

Anonymous said...

We've found a great deal a little over a year ago at Best Buy. There was a super sale on the LG refrigerators then, and they had the freezer on the bottom type that I've longed for. We shopped and compared everywhere and the Best Buy deal was far and away the winner.

About those extended warranties...we've always shunned those, but we're rethinking that policy. The LG fridge had a part break in 11 months (covered under the one year warranty), and our GE dryer needed a new motor (!!) just four months after purchase. While both of these repairs were covered under the standard one year warranty, we're a bit nervous about what the future holds. My mom's appliances lasted forever....I guess it's true, they don't make 'em like they used to.

Don't want to be a comment hog, but replacing older appliances every few years is a good idea because of the energy efficiency issues. The difference in electric bills can often pay for a new appliance.

Anonymous said...

Copper's Wife has an excellent point. Our electric bill dropped nearly $75.00 when we replaced our outdated refrigerator. Last month we replaced our condenser. Our bill dropped over $160.00.The AC place did mention that we would have a smaller electric bill, our old unit was over 20 years old. Boy, they weren't kidding.

Anonymous said...

Call local real estate offices and auctioneer offices. In real estate offices agents know if their sellers are wanting to get rid of appliances, sometimes nice, brand new ones!!! Great also for swingsets, lawncare items and more!

Birdie said...

Ironically, my husband works for Sears and we still got out new refrigerator from Lowe's. ;o)

3boysmama said...

We LOVE the Sears outlet! We have bought every single appliance there. 3 washer and dryers, 1 fridge, 1 dishwasher. Have never had any problems (knock on wood) with breakdowns. During a holiday weekend, they normally will have a sale with 30-40% off their already half off normal price!