The time has finally come. Your oven is sparking. Your washing machine is shaking with an alarming ferocity reminiscent of a person possessed. The lights have gone out in your fridge for the last time. If your appliance has finally given up the ghost, you’re now faced with the task of finding a new one for a good price. But appliances can be rather pricey, especially when bought brand spanking new. If you’re not prepared, you could end up with a sizeable hole in your savings. Fortunately, there are other ways of getting a new appliance without breaking the bank. You can find good second hand appliances easily, at a much lower cost than buying new.
As with anything second hand of course you are taking more of a risk than buying new. With than in mind, here are the three things you need to look for when buying a used or refurbished appliance, to ensure you’re getting a deal instead of a dud.
How Much Are You Actually Saving?
Finding a cheap, second-hand appliance when you’re short on cash can seem like a godsend. But before you start shelling out those notes, take some time to determine whether you’re actually getting a good deal or not.
First, whip out your smartphone and do a little googling to see how much that exact model is worth new. If the seller has only knocked off a few pounds, it might not be worth your while when you take into account depreciation, age and repairs.
Use this calculation to work out the cost of depreciation of the appliance:
Take the cost of buying the appliance new and divide it by how many years you expect it to work without requiring repairs. This equals the estimated annual depreciation value. For example, if a washing machine is £400 brand new and is expected to last 10 years repair free, the annual depreciation value is £40. A five year old version is therefore only worth £200 (half the original price). Don’t be conned into paying more than the appliance is truly worth.
Choose Trusted Brands
Do your research to find the best brands. When it comes to buying used, choose brands that are trusted, well known and reliable. Sure, this appliance from an unknown manufacturer is way cheaper, but if a part needs replacing and you discover that the part is only available in three stores in southern China, you might rethink your decision.
Check online reviews, not just for the brands themselves, but for the specific appliance you need. The brand you had your eye on might manufacture top of the range fridges, but their dishwashers may fall short.
Look at Parts and Repair
Another reason for choosing a well known brand is that replacement parts and repair guides will be easier to come by than an unknown brand. So, should it need repairs down the line, you won’t be left stuck with an appliance you can’t fix.
If you know the model number of the appliance you are looking to buy, take a look online to see how easy it is to find replacement parts. If the appliance has common parts, replacement parts will be more readily available.
Check the components of the appliance you are looking at buying. If the parts are thin, flimsy plastic that are glued on, it will be harder to fix. If parts are made of sturdier materials like metal and can be unscrewed and replaced, the appliance is more likely to be worth the investment. It’s easy to be wowed by appliances with tons of fancy features, but an appliance with fewer parts has a better life expectancy than one with lots of complicated bells and whistles!
By doing your research, you can determine the types of repairs that the particular model is likely to need in future. You should also, if possible, learn the product’s repair history. This will help you when trying to decide if it’s worth buying. If you’re buying from a person or store, see if you can test the appliance first, taking note of the sturdiness of any buttons, knobs and handles to make sure they can withstand constant use.
You can save hundreds of pounds buying a second hand appliance. As long as you shop smart and do your research, you’ll be on your way to a fantastic deal.