Save Money – New vs Used Appliances

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Documenting our personal financial journey.

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I have a perpetual problem: I’m constantly pulled between wanting to save money buying used and hating the fact someone else already used it. Appliances are a major expense, but at the end of the day the truth is there are ways to save money on them. Besides the peace of mind that comes with buying appliances new, buying used is typically the answer for most Millennial pocketbooks. Used appliances can be a great way to save money, and in my experience they work just as well as new ones.

Here are some tips to save money buying used appliances:

  • Shop around. There are a number of places where you can buy used appliances, including online marketplaces, thrift stores, and used appliance stores. Compare prices from different sellers to get the best deal. Craigslist and Kijiji aren’t as commonly used anymore but neighborhood apps, Restore, refurbished appliance shops, and the marketplace can be great resources to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
  • Inspect the appliances carefully. When you’re inspecting used appliances, look for signs of damage or wear and tear. Make sure the appliances are in good working order before you buy them. Sometimes testing them is not an option and you’ll need to decide if you can afford to repair it if it happens to not work or if you should skip it and keep looking.
  • Be prepared to negotiate. The seller may be willing to negotiate on the price, especially if you’re buying multiple appliances. Just know when to walk away! No deal is worth stressing or fighting over.

When we sold the house, I negotiated the offer up 5k AND let them keep the washer/dryer. Unfortunately that meant that once we moved, we found ourselves without these appliances in a rental home with hookups.

After compromising on purchasing used, we found a relatively new washer/dryer set for $600 on the marketplace. It was a town over and in a storage unit since the owner hadn’t used it for a while. Had we bought the newest models of that series, we would have paid over $1200. We were able to save money by buying used, but I did have one issue.

The dryer wouldn’t start.

It would turn on but not initiate a cycle. After running diagnostics came up with the error F4 E4. Easy enough to fix right? I knew it had to do with the door latching but the little door switch never crossed my mind. So I replaced the latch because it appeared minorly damaged but lo-and-behold, it didn’t work.

We called an appliance repairman to come and diagnose the problem. The repairman determined that the door switch was broken. The door switch was a relatively inexpensive part, but after it was all said and done, the fix cost $200.

Overall, replacing these two appliances cost us $800. Still much cheaper than purchasing!

We also learned valuable lessons from this experience. My husband learned to be more careful of fragile parts while I learned to better identify broken parts to replace myself. If I had been able to identify the issue properly, I could have replaced it myself for $12 and 15 minutes of my time. Future me will only benefit from this.

Overall, I’m happy with my decision to buy them used. We were able to save a significant amount of money, and the appliances are working great!


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