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Providing some tips on how, where to buy appliances

December 17, 2010

Question: Bob, we read almost all of your columns and get some very informative information. A few weeks past you wrote several articles concerning costs of fixing up foreclosures, fixer-uppers and even your own house. You researched places for floors, bathrooms and started talking about the buying of appliances but never finished that part.

We just bought a foreclosure that needed several things from appliances, etc. We are not lazy, but it would be easier if someone had already researched those items.

Do you still have any information on this subject?

- Janet & Tom B.

Answer: Hey guys, normally I get rid of research after around 5 days. However, since I had not finished that subject, I found some research and interviews.

My last column on the subject was in November and before that was during the summer.

Wow, it has been a while back that I wrote that column on cutting costs or simply re-modeling - thanks for the reminder.

In reference to appliances, paying cash is a good bargaining chip, especially with independent retailers, who will appreciate not having to pay a transaction fee to the credit card company. If you don't mind minor blemishes or minimal wear and tear , ask about discounts on floor models.

Remember to inquire about free delivery and installation, as well as disposal of the old appliances.

Beware of trade-offs

Some of the large retailers have decent deals on small appliances, but they sometimes have narrow aisles, missing price tags and (sometimes) long checkout lines that can make for an all around frustrating experience, interviewees said.

Far fewer in-store problems occurred at independent retailers, especially with small appliance purchases .

Where ever you shop, go on weekdays or early weekend mornings beats the crowds.

Skip the extended warranties

Most appliances don't break during the extended warranty period. But that hasn't stopped retailers from trying to persuade consumers to purchase an extended warranty. One-fifth of major appliance shoppers took the bait, paying an average of $146 for an extended warranty or service contract. But eight of 10 of those consumers said the terms and condition weren't made clear by the salesperson

No one retailer from my survey earned perfect marks in all categories, but on the average, appliance shopping comes with fewer headaches than most other services investigated. While some exclusive arrangements exist between manufactures and merchants, you'll generally find the same model at more than one store.

Not all independent stores are the same, but in general their hands-on approach makes for superior shopping ease, service and checkout ease, but not cost.

Next week we will try refrigerators.


Have a real estate question? Write, call, fax or e-mail:

Bob Jeffries, Realtor,

Century 21 Birchwood Realty, Inc.

4040 Del Prado Blvd., Cape Coral, FL

239-549-5724 Office

239-542-7760 Fax



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