Buying Secondhand Appliances

A home can be expensive, but there are several ways you can reduce your spending if you want to save money at home.

Buying secondhand appliances rather than new ones is one simple way to do this, but many homeowners wonder if buying a used appliance is worth it. This is understandable, as used appliances generally come without warranty, and you have no way of being certain about the item’s condition.

Still, you may be surprised to learn there are many home appliances, such as dishwashers, televisions and garbage disposals, you can find in prime condition secondhand. Buying the right secondhand appliances for your home can also be a great way of getting more items than you would be able to afford new. The resources below will help you better understand the advantages of disadvantages of purchasing secondhand appliances and the considerations you must take to avoid making a mistake.

Advantages of Buying Secondhand Appliances

The most obvious advantage of buying a secondhand appliance is it will cost less than a new appliance. However, you do not want to purchase a home appliance on its last legs. If it stops working after a couple of months, you will have to buy another, which means the appliance will likely have cost you more than if you had just purchased a new one. Most people want to save some money at home, so buying secondhand appliances is a good idea for almost anyone, as long as you buy the right one.

When it comes to used appliances, there are some great deals to be had. For example, items like full-sized refrigerators tend to last for about 20 years without any maintenance being required. Many people replace their refrigerators every few years, which means there are still plenty of refrigerators in perfect working order that you can buy secondhand for a bargain price.

Here are some advantages of buying secondhand appliances for your home:

  • Some used appliances are almost new: You will find plenty of secondhand appliances for sale that have barely been used. Smaller appliances like juicers and blenders that have hardly been touched are especially common. This is because people are given these types of appliances as gifts and they are put in the back of a pantry and forgotten. You will often find the warranty is still valid too. Therefore, there is little difference between those appliances and ones you would buy new.
  • The price is negotiable: If you buy a secondhand appliance from an individual, either from an independent store or from a home, you will be able to haggle. This is something you are unable to do in big stores because they have restrictions on what prices they are allowed to sell things for. Secondhand appliances will already be less expensive than new items because they are used, but if you negotiate, you can get the items even cheaper.
  • Buying used products helps the local economy: By buying secondhand appliances from local neighbors and tradespeople, you are keeping the money in your local area, rather than giving it to big businesses. Buying from thrift stores that give to local charities is also another way to help the local population.

Disadvantages of Buying Secondhand Appliances

Now you know the benefits of buying secondhand appliances, you need to be aware of the disadvantages. You can then weigh up the pros and cons before you start searching for the used items you want. Here are some of the disadvantages of purchasing secondhand appliances:

  • Your appliance will usually have no warranty: Sometimes you can find appliances that still have a guarantee, but it is more likely the warranty will have expired on a used appliance. If something goes wrong with the item after you have bought it, there is nothing you can do. There are no safety nets with secondhand appliances. Some used appliance stores will offer their own warranties, but these are often poor substitutes for manufacturer warranties because they offer less protection for a shorter time.
  • Secondhand appliances may not last very long: This is especially true of appliances with delicate electronics, such as microwaves. Other appliances with many moving parts may also have short life spans. Additionally, secondhand appliances may not be as energy-efficient, which will hurt if you are trying to save money on your electric bill.
  • You will usually have to arrange your own delivery: When buying something from a big store, you know it can usually be delivered to your door without any hassle. With secondhand appliances, you will usually have to organize the transport. This is an important thing to remember, especially when it comes to buying large appliances like washing machines and dishwashers. You do not want to buy a bargain only to find you have no way of getting it home and it will not fit in a car. The last thing you want is to have to pay a delivery service to deliver it for you, which could end up costing as much as the appliance would be brand-new.
  • Your appliances will not match: If you are a proud homeowner who likes to have a matching range of kitchen appliances, for example, you may find it difficult to find the exact same make, model and color of an appliance to match your other items.

Which appliances are best to buy secondhand?

The general rule of thumb is to buy products that have a long life. It is also best to purchase appliances by well-known brands as, generally, known brands have better quality products than unknown brands. If you can, you should always check that an appliance is in good working order. If you are buying direct from a private owner at her or his home, ask if you can plug the appliance in to make sure it is working correctly. The same applies to buying products from used appliance stores and thrift stores.

If you are unable to check the item at the time of purchase, because you may be buying the item online for instance, make sure you have confirmation that the appliance can be returned if it is not functioning as advertised.

Generally, it is also best to buy secondhand products that are as new as possible. Buying a television or a dishwasher that is only a couple of years old means it should last for a long time, as long as it is still in pretty good condition. Check for any dents or scratches. That is not just for cosmetic purposes. Seeing a large dent in the side of a dishwasher may indicate the interior workings have been damaged.

As long as you remember the general rules for buying used appliances, almost any appliance can be a good secondhand purchase. Remember, the longer the life expectancy an appliance has, the longer it should generally remain in good working order. Here are some general life expectancies for different home appliances to help you know which appliances are best to buy used:

  • Dehumidifiers: eight years.
  • Humidifiers: eight years.
  • Dishwashers: nine years.
  • Washing machines: 10 years.
  • Air conditioners for a room: 10 years.
  • Freezers: 11 years.
  • Garbage disposers: 12 years.
  • Refrigerators: 20 years.
  • LED televisions: up to 45 years.

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