Getting the Most of Warranties

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A file cabinet with manila folders and papers filed neatly.Nearly everything that is manufactured has some sort of warranty, although the length can vary greatly. Sellers can also offer extended warranties and credit card purchases may have additional protection as well. But these do you no good if you cannot utilize them before they expire. Here are some tips for making sure you get your money's worth from new purchases.


Credit Cards

Purchase with a credit card instead of paying cash or using a debit account. This will give you extra protection for no extra money. Plus, the credit card company will reimburse you for fraud from an online seller or identity theft. Your bank or credit union will usually do the same but it make take more time and leave you with an overdrawn account until it is fixed.

Extended Warranties

Extended warranties for products, especially electronics, are offered at the point of sale but can be an unnecessary expense in many cases. However, if the purchase is for a child or teen, the extended warranty can be very helpful, especially if it covers accidental damage and replacement.

Extended home and auto warranties are usually only available right at the time of purchase but these can be very helpful over time. A home warranty usually covers all the appliances in your residence and will ensure that small problems can be repaired at no additional cost to you. It can save you big over the years you live in your home.

Auto Repairs Under Warranty

It is recommended to take your car to the dealer's service department for maintenance and repair until after the warranty has expired. They will ensure that everything is done to spec and will keep track of all necessary information. And if something goes wrong, there is no worry that it won't be covered because of an out of network mechanic or some other loophole.

Lifetime Warranties

Many higher end home goods and furniture offer a lifetime warranty but this sometimes comes with a catch. A good example of this is Le Creseut. Their cast iron enamel cookware has a lifetime warranty for replacement. But you must ship the heavy cookware to the nearest location which is an added expense. And if the company determines the piece was damaged through inappropriate care, there will be an additional charge for replacement. This still might be less than buying a new one but it all adds up.

Keeping Track

Be sure to save receipts long enough to ensure a return or exchange. Most stores will accept returns for about a month, although games and electronics can have a shorter return time or special requirements. Be cautious when purchasing early presents as the return window could be over before the gift is unwrapped.

For larger purchases, be sure to staple the receipt to the owner's manual and file it away. If the receipt is on thermal paper, it would be wise to take a photo or scan to protect against fading. Some receipts can become entirely blank in a short amount of time and it can be hard to prove when and where you bought a specific device. If you have the receipt emailed to you, you can print it on demand.

Fill out any warranty or registration cards. This will help you in case the original reciept is unavailable and will also allow the manufacturer to contact you in case of a product recall or update.

Write the warranty expiration date on your calendar, with a reminder a month or two before it ends. This is especially important for large purchases; like autos, appliances or home repairs. Nothing is more disappointing than to have something fixed only to find out that the warranty has already ended. And watch your new car's mileage too as it can often end a warranty months before

Please share any warranty tips or stories with us in the comments below.


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July 19, 20190 found this helpful

Everything you've listed is excellent advice Jess, thank you.

I know I wished I'd of realized how easily ink fades over time to being "blank" on receipts, because I've got a few-blank receipts that is. Never again though, I'll take a picture of them from now on.

This is very valuable info, thank you . :)

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
July 24, 20191 found this helpful

So glad you liked it. :)

It's really helpful to get an emailed receipt when possible. Then you can save it in a folder in your email and print it whenever you need. (added to article)

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July 19, 20191 found this helpful

I staple my receipt to the user manual.

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