The best time and place to buy appliances

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Buying new appliances for your home can be an exhausting job. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your old appliances or buying them for a new place, there are a lot of factors involved.

Knowing when to buy to get the best prices and where to buy to get the best deal are often just as important as what models you select.

We’ve talked to some experts on appliances and appliance deals to get their advice on how to make the best appliance purchases for your money. Read on for their advice!

Table of contents: The best time and place to buy appliances

When is the best time to buy appliances?

Money expert Clark Howard says that ideally consumers should be looking for good deals on appliances before theirs goes kaput.

“Usually people will buy something when it breaks.” he says. “It’s a reactive purchase, it’s not a proactive purchase probably 95% of the time. They do very little comparison shopping, they just buy,” he says.

But that can lead to a rushed purchase and expensive regret — something you don’t want to have. If you know your appliances are aging and might need to be replaced soon, you can be strategic about your purchase. Senior Deals Editor Charis Brown says the best time to find deals on appliances is typically around retail holidays like Black Friday, as well as Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

“Since companies are going all out in discounting during the holidays, you may find even more savings in the form of rebates or bundle offers during the Black Friday season,” she says.

Still, if a major appliance in your home dies and needs to be replaced immediately, you may not have the luxury of waiting for a major sale. In that case, Clark has some key advice:

“The most important thing is that even though the situation feels urgent and immediate, take the time to check Consumer Reports.”

Clark says CR is an excellent resource because you can look up the model name and number of the appliance you’re considering and read reviews.

If you don’t have a Consumer Reports subscription, you can sign up for a month use for $7.95. Considering what you’ll pay for a new appliance, that’s well worth it for the peace of mind!


Where is the best place to buy appliances?

Once you’ve identified your purchase timeline and educated yourself on your appliance options “it’s so easy because you can shop multiple local and national retailers online for an item and put them in a price competition with each other,” Clark says.

Buying appliances online vs. in-store

So, should you buy your appliance online or in-store? Most U.S. consumers still overwhelmingly prefer to buy in a store even if they do their shopping online, according to research on the subject.

But technology has made the transactional path between reading reviews and purchasing much shorter, says Tim McLain, a digital marketing expert at Netsertive, a marketing technology company.

“Consumers used to visit up to six stores before buying a new appliance, according to research by Google. Today, they visit 1.6 on average.”

If you’re in the market for a new appliance, you may want to bookmark sales and prices in your web browser, but nothing beats going to the store to see your appliance in person.

“Appliance retailers today are operating in a click-to-brick economy,” McLain says.

“The Internet is now the primary research tool buyers use to evaluate the right product and brand, as well as finding the best price — that’s the click. When they walk into a store, they know what they want to buy — that’s the brick. They tend to buy from the first store they walk into, unless they have a bad experience.”

4 ways to save on appliances online and in-store

1. Use tools to comparison shop: “To save the most money — especially if you need to buy an appliance soon — always comparison shop by using a tool like Google Shopping,” Charis says. “ShopZilla is another good one, she adds.

2. Check out Costco: One advantage of buying a major appliance from Costco is that with the store’s Concierge Services, your manufacturer’s warranty is extended two years.

And if you have a card_name, you get an additional two years extended warranty from the date the Costco Concierge Warranty expires.

3. Shop during the holidays: There are deals to be had around retail holidays like Cyber Monday and Spring Black Friday. See more ways to save on appliances.

4. Skip the extended warranty: “Never get an extended warranty on an appliance,” Clark says. “Salespeople will tell you that an extended warranty ‘protects your investment.’ But a TV, a washer or a DVD player is not an investment.”

Don’t forget about scratch-and-dent!

If price is a sticking point for you, consider scratch-and-dent appliances.

“I’m a big fan of buying scratch-and-dent, especially washers and dryers,” Clark says.
Don’t assume that something is wrong with an appliance that has been returned, he says.

“Often there will be something that someone had delivered and just didn’t like, so they’ll return it.

In other instances, “the trucking company will damage something and the retailer rejects it,” he says.
If you’re willing to buy scratch and dent, there are these companies around the country that specialize in things like that,” Clark says in his podcast. He particularly likes ApplianceSmart for scratch-and-dent deals.

Final thought

Because buying an appliance is major purchase, keep these key points in mind:

  • Buy around the major shopping holidays if you can help it: Obviously you’ll have to replace your appliance if it breaks, but if you can wait for the holidays, you could score big savings.
  • Do your homework before you buy: This can’t be stressed enough. Research the product you’re looking for before you venture to see it in the store.
  • Shop both online and in-store to get the best deal: Even if you’re more comfortable buying from a brick-and-mortar story you can still price compare online and put retailers in competition with each other for your business.
  • Never buy an extended warranty: Clark says it’s a waste of money.
  • Consider scratch and dent: How many people ever even see your washer and dryer? You could save big buck on an appliance with minor cosmetic damage.

Have you been appliance shopping recently? Tell us about your experience — good or bad — in the comments below!

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