How to Buy High-Quality Appliances Without Going Over Budget
When buying appliances, it’s can be hard to get the features and functionality you need while staying within your budget. But by getting the best value for your money, you may not have to sacrifice quality for cost.
This buyer’s guide includes tips and strategies for buying appliances, including finding the perfect balance between quality and cost. It also serves as a comprehensive guide to the appliance buying process, including options for financing.
Research before you buy
Before you start shopping, take some time to research the different types of appliances available and determine the features that are most important to you. Look for reviews and ratings from other customers and compare prices from various retailers. This will give you a better idea of what to expect in terms of quality and cost and help you narrow down your options.
Also consider the warranty and service policy of the product you are interested in, as it can help you determine the overall cost of the product in the long run.
Here are the top five things to look for to help you get the appliances you need and want.
1. Keep appliance features in mind
When looking for a new appliance, consider the following features:
Size and capacity. Does the appliance’s size and capacity meet the needs of your family? Does it fit through your doorway and in the intended space?
Energy efficiency. Look for appliances with the Energy Star label, which ensures they meet energy efficiency standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These standards are designed to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and can help you save money on your utility bills.
When you see the Energy Star label on an appliance, you can be confident that it's been independently certified and faced rigorous testing and analysis to meet the energy efficiency standards of the EPA. An appliance with the Energy Star label will use less energy than similar products without the label and help you make a positive impact on the environment.
Smart-home compatibility. Consider smart appliances that give you personalized control by syncing traditional appliances with mobile apps or through voice commands. With Bluetooth integration, for example, you can preheat your oven or check the contents of a refrigerator from nearly anywhere.
Special functions. Are special functions, such as a self-cleaning oven or adjustable dishwasher racks, important to you? If so, look for appliances that have what you’re looking for.
Safety features. Some appliances come with child locks or overheat protection, which may sway your decision, especially if you have children in your home.
Brand reputation. Research the brand of the appliance and look for models with a good reputation for reliability and customer satisfaction.
Price and warranty. Ask about prices, warranties and return policies from various retailers. Some brands also offer extended warranty options.
Style, design and aesthetic. Consider the overall design, color, and finish of the appliance and how it will look in your home.
2. Consider refurbished or pre-owned models
Although refurbished or pre-owned appliances have been used, they should have been inspected and repaired to ensure they're in good working condition. They are often sold at a discounted price, but still may offer good quality.
Do your research and ask the seller about the condition of the product and warranty offered, if any. Consider buying from a reputable seller that specializes in selling refurbished or pre-owned appliances. Note that financing options, including lease-to-own financing, for used appliances may be limited.
When buying a refurbished or pre-owned appliance, look for the following:
- Condition of the appliance. Look for any physical damage, dents, scratches, and any signs of rust and excessive wear.
- Functionality. Test all features and functions to ensure everything is working properly.
- Warranty. Does the seller offer a limited warranty or none at all – and is it sufficient to cover any potential issues with the appliance?
- Service history. Ask if the appliance has been serviced frequently as it may be an indication of ongoing issues.
- Price comparison. Make sure you're not overpaying for a refurbished or pre-owned appliance.
- Original parts. If any parts are missing, not in good shape, or have been replaced, it can affect overall performance.
3. Don't be swayed by brand name alone
Lifespans for major appliances are generally from five to 15 years, depending on the appliance. Which brand you choose can impact that timeline, however. While it’s true some brands have a reputation for producing high-quality appliances, that doesn’t always mean their products are the best value for your money. Be open to considering other brands.
Consumer Report’s Appliance Reliability Guide is a good place to start. Look for appliances that have a good reputation for reliability and customer satisfaction, no matter their brand name. You may also consider newer brands that offer innovative features at a more affordable price.
4. Take advantage of sales and discounts
Many retailers offer sales and discounts on appliances at certain times of the year, so be sure to take advantage of these opportunities to save.
Sales and discounts can vary greatly depending on the retailer, brand, and location. Sign up for email alerts or newsletters from retailers to stay informed about upcoming sales and promotions. Check the websites of popular retailers and manufacturers for any ongoing deals and promotions.
The best time of year for appliance sales or discounts varies, depending on the retailer and the type of appliance. But generally speaking, these are good times to find savings.
- Spring, especially for outdoor appliances such as grills and patio heaters
- Back to school, especially for appliances for dorms or small apartments
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday for all appliances, from refrigerators to toasters
- September through December for deals on previous models
- Holidays, such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, Presidents Day, and Labor Day
5. Weigh your financing options
If you want or need to pay over time, here are a few of your available options.
In-house financing is provided by retailers or other firms at the point of sale. The better your credit score, the more likely you’ll be approved for in-house financing – and often with higher limits.
Unsecured personal loans are an option for financing an appliance, especially for those with good credit and strong financial histories. Unsecured loans are backed only by your promise to pay the debit and may come with higher interest rates than secured forms of debt.
Credit cards include cards that can be used anywhere the payment is accepted, and store cards offered by retailers and can only be used in one store or possibly other partner brands. Your spending limit, interest rate, and monthly payments will vary based on how much you borrow and your credit.
Lease-to-own financing enables customers to lease new merchandise, including appliances, and make payments over time. Customers typically have the option to buy the merchandise at any time. Lease-to-own financing for new merchandise is accessible to most customers, including those with challenging credit histories, through independent financing companies, such as Snap Finance.
Snap can help
By following these guidelines and doing your research, you'll be better able to buy the appliances you need without sacrificing on quality – and get the best value for your money.
And if less-than-perfect credit keeping you from getting what you need now, Snap Finance can help. Snap offers lease-to-own financing solutions for all credit types.¹ So when life happens, you can get what you need now and then make budget-friendly payments over time.
Learn how Snap can help you shop now and pay later.
The advertised service is a lease-to-own agreement provided by Snap RTO LLC. Lease-to-own financing is not available to residents of Minnesota, New Jersey and Wisconsin.
¹While no credit history is required, Snap obtains information from consumer reporting agencies in connection with the lease-to-own application. Not all applicants are approved.