You can save a lot of money by purchasing second hand appliances from used appliance stores. My DH and I purchased a stove, refrigerator, washer, and dryer at a fraction of the price of what they would cost brand new.
One day we went appliance shopping and learned that the older model appliances were made better than the new ones coming off the assembly lines. We've been very fortunate because our four appliances have not needed any service repairs.
By Marge W. from Sanborn, NY
Editor's Note: Older appliances may be built better but may also be less energy efficient. Find out the energy rating of any appliance before you buy.
Last spring when I was shopping for a new washer and dryer, I stopped at a shop owned by a man who had sold me my refrigerator years earlier. His parents owned an appliance store and he sold all his life. I figured that my refrigerator would go out soon, so I might as well look at those too. After telling him the model I had bought off of him years earlier, he told me that the most foolish thing I could do was replace it at this time. He said that it was built to last at least 24-30 years, and a comparable one would cost so much that the money saved on utilities wouldn't come close to the money spent on a new purchase. He went on to explain that if he was me, he'd keep using the one I had for another 10 years and reconsider at that time. While the new ones looked nice, they weren't made nearly as well. The model I had was extremely energy efficient, and even though I might save utility money on a newer model, they are now built to last a specific number of years, which: 1)does not always make them cost effective, 2)adds to landfills, and 3)uses more resources during the construction process. Even though he talked himself out of a sale, I appreciated his honesty, and it gave me some info to think about.
He also talked me out of the top of the line washer that I'd been looking at. His wife told me that they were considering it too, and gave me the reasons they decided against it. Apparently, the second in line was just as energy efficient and cost lots less. So much less, that it would have to last me 25-30 years to make up the difference in cost. The top of the line had some added features, but they were ones I doubted that I'd ever use.
He also gave me lots of valuable information about the different makes and models, people I knew who had them so I could call and get opinions, and let me go home and make up my mind on what I wanted, no pressure. His info gave me decisive questions to ask sales people while shopping at other places too. After I made up my mind on what I wanted and got the best price, I went back to him and he beat the best offer made elsewhere to get my business. I almost didn't go to his store, since I didn't believe he could beat larger chain's prices. He explained that several small stores now buy together to get the same or better prices as the larger chains--that's how they stay in business and stay competitive. I almost lost big time by not stopping there! (09/22/2007)
I applaud you for your thriftiness. You've done a good thing and recycled a major appliance. You've saved a large appliance from ending up in a landfill.
We always bought used washing machines when our children were little. I had good experiences with doing that. It is a good savings over renting appliances like people do in our area of the country. Also, I think it's better than going to the laundromat!
Right now I have appliances that I bought new. I've replaced everything except for my stove. Because I bought the cheapest Lowe's sold, they don't have all the bells and whistles my used appliances had, but I think they are more saving on energy.
I must tell you my daughter bought a top of the line washing machine from Sears, who is known for their good appliances. She uses hers a little more than I use mine, but she is having trouble with her machine. She got the extended warranty (which I've been told one never should do), and it's good because she has needed it.
I wanted to let you know I think you did the right thing for yourself. I saw the editors note and worried you may be discouraged about that. I understand. You did the right thing for your circumstances. Don't feel badly about it in any way. (smile)
Best of luck! (09/23/2007)
By Carol in PA
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