Are used appliances worth it?

What you need to know before buying appliances second hand

Buying used appliances: key tips to remember

  • A used appliance isn’t necessarily even used
  • A used appliance could even have warranty coverage
  • You can save a lot of money buying used appliances
  • Be cautious when shopping for appliances on online marketplaces
  • Visit your reputable local appliance dealer or Habitat ReStore

Are used appliances worth it? Your short answer is a resounding yes, but please read our tips before jumping right into one of many used-appliance marketplaces. Wondering whether it’s worth it to repair a 10-year-old refrigerator? It depends on multiple factors. Used appliances can save you plenty of money, but you may need to spend significantly more time looking for the perfect deal. You should be patient, determined and willing to visit used-appliance dealers. Buying a used washer and dryer has its own challenges, as does buying used washer and dryer parts. If you find yourself shopping for parts, we recommend buying them new and OEM, which are more reliable. For more on buying used appliances and what you should know, read on!

Buying used appliances: pros

After verifying whether a home warranty covers appliances, you may be more excited about the possibilities for used ones. If you’re willing to put in a little time and effort, chances are good that you can find a great deal on nearly new appliances that will serve you well for many years.

  • Saving money: Once the word “new” no longer applies, appliance prices tend to drop off a cliff — and this can mean only a tiny scratch, dent or merely an open box. Getting over the idea that appliances must be “new” can save you some serious cash.
  • Negotiating prices: It won’t work at Best Buy or Home Depot, but a big part of shopping for used appliances is going to local, used-appliance dealers and lower-cost alternative sellers like Habitat for Humanity ReStore. At these places, a little haggling is normal.
  • Nearly new: Just because it isn’t new doesn’t mean it’s actually used. Used can simply mean it’s been out on the floor for a while, or perhaps delivered and promptly returned. Ask questions, and you may find that a used appliance has barely been used at all.
  • Local experts: Your local appliance expert is an untapped resource that could be just down the road from your home. They know what to look for and can inspect used appliances for you. They often replace parts that might fail ahead of time before selling.
  • Warranties: Many household appliances have warranties that can last a decade or more, so buying one that’s been used for a year or two can still result in a machine that will last for years to come. Consider adding a home warranty for your washer and dryer

Buying used appliances: cons

Deciding not to buy new appliances can sometimes have a downside, so it’s worth looking into the possibilities before you commit to your approach when outfitting your home. New appliances are one of your home’s biggest investments, so knowing what you’re in for is important.

  • Warranties: The years remaining in a lengthy warranty, such as in the scenario we just mentioned, are not always guaranteed. Not all manufacturers’ warranties are transferable when the appliance is sold, so your coverage at purchase may be limited.
  • Mismatched kitchen: If you’re dedicated to shopping for used appliances to find the best deal, you’ll need to be flexible in your design aspirations. You might find only one item at a time, so you may need to accept a dishwasher that doesn’t match your fridge.
  • Delivery: Buying from a big-box store usually includes the ease of delivery and the pickup of an old appliance that you’re replacing. But when you shop elsewhere for used appliances, delivery is not always offered, so you may need to grab a truck and a friend.
  • Online headaches: If you’re shopping for used appliances at sites like Craigslist, eBay or Facebook Marketplace, you’re somewhat at the mercy of the seller, forced to trust a stranger to tell a reliable story about the item. Always ask questions and bring a friend. 

Best places to shop

Speaking of where to shop… Sure, there are deals to be had at various online marketplaces like the ones we just listed, but in general, we recommend those we first mentioned. Look to your local appliance dealership and places like Habitat for Humanity ReStore for quality used appliances. Not only will you still avoid the sticker shock of new appliances at the big-box store, but you’ll also retain other positive aspects of that experience, like a decent selection, well-informed sales professionals and service technicians, and the possibility of delivery, installation and takeaway services. Some even refurbish used items before selling and offer used-item warranties. 

What to look for in a dealer

Depending on the size of your city, you may have multiple local dealers to choose from when it comes to deciding where to buy used appliances. Start by perusing online reviews of the business you’re considering. Ask friends who have lived in the area for a recommendation. A solid reputation with significant experience can make all the difference here. A business that centers on reselling used appliances should be working hard to prove itself to its community with excellent customer service that keeps people coming back. 

In summary

When thinking of buying used appliances, the most expensive items, like ranges, refrigerators, washers and dryers, are usually the best ones to consider. They are the appliances most likely to last, with longer life spans and fewer maintenance requirements. Many are returned to stores because the buyer doesn’t like the fit or the look once it’s in the home, rendering these models “used” and earning them a significant markdown. Watch out for general online marketplaces, and look for experienced local appliance dealerships with great reputations. While you’re at it, if you’d like to know more about coverage, savings and peace of mind for all your home’s major appliances, read all about home warranty coverage from Cinch.

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.

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