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Are Used Appliances Worth The Savings?

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Executive Realty 91362

As we propel further into the future, financial savvy hasn't lost its appeal. Quite the contrary, it has become more integral to our lives than ever before.

One key area where you can apply such thriftiness is in the realm of home appliances. Buying used goods has emerged as a planet-friendly and budget-saving solution. But is it a worthy bargain, or are you compromising essential features for a fleeting discount?

We will take an enlightening exploration of the advantages and drawbacks of purchasing used appliances. You'll discover whether they represent a worthwhile saving or mask hidden pitfalls.

Buying used appliances has pros, such as cost savings, potential for negotiation, and broader selection.

However, there are also cons to consider, including unknown treatment and maintenance history, lack of manufacturer warranty, lower durability, and energy efficiency, risk of limited lifespan and repairs, uncertain quality and responsibility from sellers, and potential for scams.

It's crucial to thoroughly inspect the appliance and conduct research before purchasing.

From many years of experience in the real estate industry, many home sellers will ask where they can sell their used appliances. It is not uncommon for buyers to have appliances coming with them from a previous sale or the desire to buy new models.

Asking is more prevalent among first-time sellers who have no selling experience to draw upon.

Maximum Real Estate Exposure shares some helpful tips on where you can buy used appliances at a significant discount.

Advantages of Purchasing Used Appliances

Appliances are one of the most significant purchases when furnishing your home.

Whether it's a refrigerator, washing machine, or oven, these items come with a hefty price tag.

However, buying used appliances could be an opportunity to save money while still getting what you need. Let's take a closer look at some advantages of purchasing used appliances.

Significant Cost Savings

One of the most appealing aspects of buying used appliances is their cost. The average cost of an appliance for a house is $250 to $1,300, and high-end fridges or wall ovens can cost up to $5,000.

Purchasing a used appliance can be 30-50% less expensive than buying a new one. A used refrigerator that may have been purchased for $2k originally can be quickly sold for under $1k now.

If you're on a tight budget or struggling with high debt levels, saving cash could go a long way - especially if you have other commitments like student loans or mortgages.

For example, many students just moved out of college and didn't have enough saved up for brand-new appliances for their apartments. They purchase used ones instead and achieve much-needed savings on their limited budget while still having the necessary amenities at home.

It's also worth noting that buying refurbished goods can help contribute to greener living by reducing e-waste that harms the environment.

Interesting Studies

  • According to a report by Consumer Reports, purchasing used appliances can save buyers up to 60% compared to buying new ones.
  • A survey done in 2019 indicated that about 25% of respondents had purchased second-hand appliances. This highlights their growing popularity.
  • Another study found that used refrigerators consume up to 40% more energy than newer models. It underscores one of the potential downsides of buying such items.

Wide Range of Options

Searching for good-quality used appliances might seem daunting, but it can be gratifying. Many people often dispose of their appliances due to cosmetic issues or slight defects in functionality.

Sometimes, these issues are minor and easy to fix. However, people often opt for new appliances. This decision is usually made with the belief that continuing to use or repair slightly broken appliances will lead to high maintenance costs, even if upfront costs are lower.

For instance, imagine a person who has a high-end dishwasher that's been functioning well for six years now. They've recently decided to move out of the country and cannot take the appliance.

They are willing to sell it for much less than its original price. If you're in the market for a high-end dishwasher and come across this deal, it could save you a lot of money while giving you the desired luxury features.

In such scenarios, purchasing used appliances could result in huge savings while ensuring excellent quality.

More Advantages

Another benefit of buying used appliances is having a much more comprehensive selection of options than when purchasing new ones from showrooms or different outlets offering limited options.

With used appliances, there is no set table of contents. Collection varies per seller.

Similarly, just walking down an alleyway filled with antique shops will give you multiple options from which to choose from various styles and eras. Searching for used appliances will provide several options with unique attributes compared to newly manufactured models.

Hence, searching second-hand marketplaces like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace can increase your chances of finding what you're looking for at an affordable price. These resources make finding older models with currently tricky or impossible functionalities easier.

However, despite the previously outlined benefits, specific cons are still associated with buying second-hand appliances.

Drawbacks of Purchasing Used Appliances

Potential Repair and Maintenance Hassles

While purchasing used appliances might feel like you're getting an excellent deal, there are potential drawbacks. Understanding the disadvantages is just as important as understanding the benefits of such a purchase.

One of the most significant drawbacks to purchasing used appliances is the potential for increased repair and maintenance hassles that buyers may encounter.

This risk can leave buyers spending more long-term than they initially saved by purchasing a used appliance.

Risk of Limited Warranty

When purchasing used appliances, it's crucial to consider the likelihood of repairs and maintenance. Used appliances' age and treatment history can heavily impact their durability, energy efficiency, functionality, and overall condition.

If previous owners did not maintain or clean these appliances properly, repairs may become so frequent that buying new might be less expensive than continuing with ongoing repair costs.

Less Efficient

Old or poorly maintained machines often have lower energy efficiency than newer models. It leads to higher utility bills in the long run.

Buying a used appliance can be compared to buying a used car. It may work well initially but needs more care and maintenance than new ones as wear and tear increases.

There are significant advantages to energy-efficient appliances.

Lack of Parts

Additionally, missing parts and broken components can be a considerable obstacle when trying to fix appliances bought second-hand.

In cases where parts are scarce or no longer manufactured, repairs can become overly expensive or even next to impossible without significant construction, ultimately affecting lifespan.

Overall, while buying used appliances presents an opportunity for cost savings, buyers must weigh each pro against potential cons. Budgeting for repair costs can be costly.

Navigating the Used Appliance Market

One of the most significant drawbacks when purchasing used appliances is the risk of limited or no warranty.

Used appliances may have already experienced a considerable amount of wear and tear, and there's a chance that they will break down faster than a new appliance would.

Since warranties are often only valid for a certain period, purchasing used means that you may have little recourse if something goes wrong.

For instance, imagine you've just purchased a washing machine from an individual seller, but months later, it breaks down.

Since it was sold "as-is," you won't be able to get reimbursement or repair unless the seller explicitly states in writing that they provide guarantees. It's similar to selling a house as-is. The owner is stating that upfront, there will be no selling concessions.

Remember that warranty coverage may be essential in your decision-making process when buying used appliances.

Essential Tips for Purchasing Used Appliances

Purchasing used appliances can feel overwhelming and risky if you're unfamiliar with the market. However, suppose you take necessary precautions while navigating this space.

Research is crucial when buying used appliances. This ensures you understand pricing ranges for various models and can negotiate with sellers more effectively.

When shopping online or through classified ads, be cautious about potential scams and cross-check seller reviews beforehand.

Moreover, inspecting the appliance before buying is essential in checking its condition and ensuring its compatibility with your home's electrical systems.

For instance, adaptations may need to be made if the voltage in your home differs from what the appliance requires. You should also pay attention to seals and gaskets and ensure that burner grates are in good condition.

Professional installation of used appliances is generally recommended since a paid installer will know how to handle gas lines/vents correctly and ensure everything works efficiently.

Think of it as buying a used car. Purchasing a vehicle without proper inspection or verification can be an expensive disaster. However, you can get a well-functioning vehicle without breaking the bank through adequate research and careful inspection.

Determining the Value: Are the Savings Worth It?

Buying used appliances is not as straightforward as walking into a store and picking the first one on display. It requires thorough research and diligence.

Here are some essential tips to keep in mind while shopping for used appliances:

  • Inspect thoroughly: Always inspect the appliance before purchasing, paying close attention to obvious signs of wear and tear.
  • Do your research: Look for reviews, ask around, and consult professionals in the industry who can provide valuable insights into what to look for when investing in used appliances.
  • Check expected lifespan: Some appliances last longer than others, so it's essential to check the expected lifespan before buying a used item and consider how long it has already been used.
  • Know where to find them: Reliable sources for used appliances are thrift stores, garage sales, and online marketplaces like eBay or Offerup. Be wary of suspiciously low prices indicating stolen goods or poor-quality items.
  • Proper maintenance: Proper maintenance is paramount to making your appliance last longer. If you're not handy with repairs, take extra care to ensure all seals and gaskets are checked regularly, burner grates and surfaces cleaned often, and never overload your machine.

Conclusion

Before buying, weigh the pros and cons of new vs used carefully. Always do your research, and don't make hasty decisions.

Posted by

With three decades of experience, Bill Gassett is an authority in the real estate sector. Bill writes informative articles for numerous prestigious real estate sites to help buyers, sellers, and fellow real estate agents. His work has been featured on RIS Media, the National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester, Realty Biz News, Credit Sesame, and his own authority resource, Maximum Real Estate Exposure. Reach out to Bill Gassett for his real estate, mortgage, and financial expertise.

Comments(2)

Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Bill,
Buying use anything is a risk. It may be working fine but who knows for how long. About the only safe price to pay is "free". 🤣  That's why I give away my used appliances when I replace them. My intentions are always honorable but I can't make any guarantees.

Jan 26, 2024 08:34 AM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Hello Bill Gassett very valuable helpful report about are used appliances worth the saving. 

Jan 26, 2024 08:15 PM