On Your Side: What to ask before buying a used appliance

Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 4:56 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2022 at 5:16 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -Supply shortages and delivery delays are causing many of us to buy used appliances instead of new ones.

An excellent used appliance like a washer, dryer, or refrigerator is considered a big-ticket item. How can you spot a deal from a dud?

If you frequent a local reputable repair shop or used appliance store, you’ll save hundreds of dollars.

“You can save 75% by buying a used appliance,” said Perry Santanachote with Consumer Reports. “Some of them are practically new.”

Find out how old the appliance is so you can calculate how much life it has left and if it’s worth the price. A good rule of thumb is not to buy anything older than ten years old.

Is it sold as-is? Is there a warranty? What happens if it breaks down within thirty days? Understand the sale.

“That will help give peace of mind. You can bring it home and use it however long that warranty lasts. Know that it will work. If it doesn’t, then there will be a replacement for you,” said Santanachote.

Before you buy, plug in the machine. Look for any damage and rust. Check the buttons and knobs. Do a smell check for mold. Review the manual to make sure all the parts are included. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. You could end up saving even more!

CR’s reliability surveys show LG, GE, and Kenmore all earned a good or higher reliability rating for their fridges, ranges, washers, and dryers.

Consumer experts say skip used appliances at garage sales and online websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. You won’t get a warranty and might pay more than a used appliance store.

“They usually have some sort of personal connection to it. They put in a lot of money. They want to recoup some of that back,” said Santanachote.

Just like cars, you can buy used appliances that are under recall. Find the manufacturer sticker and check it for recalls. Get registered with the maker.

If the machine does not have a model number and serial sticker, skip it. It could have been recalled, scrapped, and illegally salvaged.

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