Black Friday — and the entire holiday shopping season — is a great time to get deals on some big purchases — like appliances.
So how do you know when a ‘deal’ is really a good deal? You should never pay full price for an appliance in November. And now that Black Friday has turned into weeks of deals, there are already plenty of discounts available. But before you start your shopping, here’s what you need to know to make sure that ‘discount’ is really worth it.
How to get a good deal on appliances this holiday shopping season
1. Don’t stick to one brand for all appliances
Consumer Reports’ tests have found that it’s better to buy appliances across different brands — since most don’t offer top performing products in every category. And while you may be tempted by special holiday offers and rebates on appliance ‘suites,’ which may include things like a refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave, it may be better for your wallet to shop different brands for each type of appliance. It may look like a good deal, but each appliance in a brand’s suite may not be a top-performer in its category, so it’s important to do some research on what’s available in each appliance category and make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck on each product.
2. Don’t buy a large appliance based on the brand
Like most products, a brand can just be a name, so you need to make sure you’re getting the best product quality for your money. CR says to be cautious if you’re ‘brand loyal,’ because ‘not all models from one manufacturer are created equal.’ For example, according to CR’s tests, ‘We tested two Kenmore 3-door French-door refrigerators with comparable prices. Our top performer, the Kenmore Elite 74093, $2,800, was aces at temperature control and energy efficiency. Its brandmate, the Kenmore 73063, $3,000, had very good temperature control and energy use but was one of the noisiest models in our tests.’ Consumer Reports then found the same refrigerator at Sears for $1,899.
3. Don’t forget to bargain
Even if you find a great deal, it doesn’t mean you can’t get an even better deal! In a national survey conducted by Consumer Reports, ‘89% of those who negotiated for a better price were rewarded for their efforts at least once in the past few years.’ And people shopping for appliance who haggled saved about $100 on major appliances and $40 on smaller ones — and every little bit of savings helps!
To get a better deal, CR suggests asking if you can pay less for a floor model or one that’s slightly blemished — maybe it has a dent or flaw in a spot that won’t show, like on the back of the product.
4. Research online
People are doing a lot more shopping online these days, and that includes buying big ticket items — like appliances. You may want to check out the product in a store first, to get a feel for its features, the look etc., but then doing some research online could end up saving you big bucks. If you buy online, you’ll likely get free shipping, and if you want to haggle, try calling the customer service department of the company or brand.
When you’re shopping online, don’t forget to look for specific online coupon codes and offers. If the deal doesn’t include free shipping, there’s likely a coupon code out there that will. Check out sites like RetailMeNot, FreeShipping.org, and BargainJack for online coupons.
Also, check out our Online Shopping Guide for tips to find the best price possible when doing your shopping online.
5. Get free extras
According to Consumer Reports, even if you can’t get a big price drop on an appliance, there are other ways to save.
- Ask the retailer to waive shipping or delivery fees.
- Ask if the retailer can include picking up your old appliances for the same total price.
- Ask if installation is included.
More tips for buying appliances
According to deals aggregator DealNews, the holiday shopping season is a great time to get deals on big ticket home purchases, including:
- Washing machines
- Power tools
- Kitchen appliances
So where do you look for deals on these items? Below are the retailers that DealNews suggests you check out for each category, plus some deals that are already available and more tips to help you get the best prices on the best appliances for you.
Read more: A look at Walmart’s best holiday deals
Home & Garden:
Vacuums: Last year, Walmart had some Dyson vacuums starting at $199. So that’s a great place to start this year. Check out this deal on a Dyson that’s already available.
Dishwashers: Consumer Reports says you’ll save more on a new dishwasher by passing on the hidden controls and stainless steel tub. Targeted spray jets, adjustable racks, and other features designed to improve loading and washing performance will also increase the price of many dishwashers, but you can still find products with those feature for less money.
Here are some holiday deals available now:
- Best Buy: Whirlpool – 24′ Tall Tub Built-In Dishwasher for only $299 (originally $499).
- Sears: Kenmore 4.3 cu. ft. Top Load Washer w/ Exclusive Triple® Action Impelle for $399.99 (originally $719).
- Sears: Kenmore 24′ Built-In Dishwasher w/ SmartWash® HE Cycle – Stainless Steel for $349.99 (originally $699).
- Sears: Kenmore 24′ Built-In Dishwasher – White for $249.99 (originally $399.99)â€‹
Check out Consumer Reports’ full list of dishwasher ratings here.
Refrigerators: CR says when it comes to refrigerators, even with all the new fancy technology available, it’s still the day-to-day performance that matters most — things like temperature control, noise, and energy efficiency.
- Sears: Kenmore 25 cu. ft. Side-by-Side Refrigerator – Stainless Steel for $799.99 (originally $1,339.99).
- Sears: Kenmore 27.6 cu. ft. French Door Refrigerator – Stainless Steel for $1,099.99 (originally $1,999.99).
- Sears: Kenmore 19 cu. ft. Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator – Stainless Steel for $699.99 (originally $1,299.99).
- Sears outlet: Frigidaire 18 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator – Stainless Steel starting at $467.99 (Originally $779.99).
See Consumer Reports’ full list of refrigerator ratings here.
Washing machines: Washers can range from $400 to $1,900, depending on features. While some features add convenience, they’re usually not worth the added cost if you’re looking to save.
Here are the two types of washing machines and Consumer Reports’ breakdown of each:
- Top-load: Load and unload from the top of the machine
- Agitator models: Cost less and are faster than top-loaders without an agitator — known as high-efficiency (HE).
- High-efficiency models: Typically better at cleaning, gentler on fabrics, use less water, and have larger capacities. HE machines also spin faster, removing more water and cutting dryer time (although the spinning can tangle clothing).
- Front-load: Load and unload from the front of the machine — typically the more expensive option.
- According to CR, the best front-load machines clean better and are gentler than the best HE top-load machines, plus they use less water. They do take longer than HE top-loaders, but the faster spinning cuts dryer time.
Consumer Reports suggests picking a top-performing washer in your budget, and then consider features that provide convenience or save time, such as:
- Automatic dispenser
- Automatic temperature control
- Extra rinse cycle
- Stainless steel tub
- End-of-cycle signal
Here are some deals available on some of CR’s top-rated washers:
- Home Depot: Maytag 3.6 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer for $399.00 (originally $549.00).
Sears: Kenmore 3.5 cu. ft. Top-Load Washer w/ Traditional Agitator for $379.99 (originally $649.99).
Lowe’s: GE 3.8-cu ft Top-Load Washer for $629.00 (originally $699.00).
Sears: Kenmore Elite 4.5 cu. ft. Front-Load Washer w/Steam & Accela Wash for $899.99 (originally $1,409.99).
Check out more Black Friday deals on washers here.
According to DealNews, if you’re looking for kitchen goods, keep an eye out for brands that are typically more expensive, like KitchenAid and Pyrex.
- Home Depot
We already spotted a great deal on a cordless saw for 85% off. Check it out here.
Check out more Black Friday deals on appliances here.