Refrigerator Update... PS I know I'm slow!

>> 3.16.2010

I know, I know! I write about these things and I make decisions about them then take F-O-R-E-V-E-R  to actually carry them through! I just wanted to give you all a little update on the refrigerator/ appliance shopping because I AM still working on it (ps feel free to ask me about my progress here anytime)! Currently, there are a couple of things that are holding me back from pulling the trigger on a new refrigerator:

1. I'm being picky. I know what I want and I'm not going to settle for less. My requirements include: bottom freezer, freezer pullout without bare wire baskets, stainless without black handle, ice maker, Energy Star, fits in my space (under 68 in. height) and under $1,000. The toughest part is that I want/ need a bottom freezer when, at the moment, they aren't the most popular choice and lower supply means fewer sales.

2. I'm spending all of my shopping time doing things like this. The more I look, the better chance I'll have at finding a deal and I just want to know that I'm making the right choice.

The most popular suggestions for helping along my refrigerator search were:

1. Buy used off of Craigslist
Craigslist purchases carry great rewards (we're talking mega savings!), but also great risks (what if it breaks the next week?!). Even if I wanted to go this route, I'm having absolutely no luck finding the fridge that fits my requirements! Most of them end up being the wrong style, too large for my space, or old and gross:

2. Go to a scratch & dent or discount center.
What I've found is that these places are trickier than they seem. While there are plenty of great deals to be found, there are also scammers around every corner. Before purchasing an "amazing deal" from one of the salespeople ask a few important questions:
What is included in the price? Is there a charge for an ice maker, delivery, installation, etc? All of these hidden fees could end up adding up to the price of a newer version in a big box store!
How long is the warrenty for? You might be buying a slightly damaged appliance, but it should still come with a warrenty.
How much is this model selling for at the chain stores? It's not uncommon for a "discount" warehouse to have the same prices as Best Buy and Sears.
Is this the appliance I actually wanted? It's easy to buy something just because it's on clearance... with such a big purchase, it's important to be happy with what you bought later on!

3. Just go for it at a big box store!
My dream refrigerator is out there... I actually look at it them everytime I stop into Lowe's (I check out the appliance clearance to see if someone has returned it)... but I just can't handle the idea of paying full price on it!


Thanks to a comment on yesterday's post I might have found a solution to my problem:

 Thanks Sarah!! I took a look at her link then did a little more research on my own. From what I understand, (in the state of Texas) I can reserve a rebate form through the Cash for Appliances program on April 5th then potentially buy my brand new refrigerator on April 16th knowing that I'll be eligible for $315 in rebates ($75 of it for recycling my old one). What a great way to get rid of a older (ugly) energy-sucker and bring back a shiny new one for less!

Anyone have any luck scoring a great deal on appliances lately?? Do you think you'll participate in the Cash for Appliances Rebate Program?

16 comments:

Jennifer March 16, 2010 at 11:42 AM  

Wow, I wish I would have known about that rebate! We just bought a new fridge and dishwaser, I will have to post pics soon. We looked around but the local scratch and dent center only had junk that was priced too high. We ended up biting the bullet. I think we got a frigidare fridge and a whirlpool dishwasher. The fridge is that fake stainless that looks real but doesn't show fingerprints.

I will try to post pics on my blog soon.

I originally wanted the drawer freezer, but the prices jumped a good $300 or so for that so we passed on it.

Babs March 16, 2010 at 11:46 AM  

Ahh the rebate. Virginia isn't starting their program until late April but yes, it's supposedly a good deal and incentive to buy new. Plus with new you know you're getting one without (supposedly!) defects and a good warranty. Hopefully it'll work out for you soon!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog March 16, 2010 at 11:46 AM  

@Jennifer~ I wish that I could be more flexible with the bottom freezer, but it's really the only thing that will work well in my space (the fridge is up against a wall).

foggogs March 16, 2010 at 11:52 AM  

If you want to pretend you are moving there is usually a 10 % off discount in the usps moving packet for home depot or Lowes. I know not the most honest thing but why should movers get a discount while the rest of us pay full price?

Heather @ McKinney Living March 16, 2010 at 11:56 AM  

Oooh great rebate news!!

We have never had to purchase a big appliance (knock on wood), so I don't have any tips, but bravo to you for being patient and not settling - you'll find the perfect fridge and the perfect price soon!! Good luck!!

Tran March 16, 2010 at 12:11 PM  

I needed a new fridge because I measured wrong during my kitchen reno and the new cabinets were already installed. It was an old fridge so I wasn't sad. I did look into the rebate programs and in CA you can get $100 for your old fridge and I think $75 for the new energy star fridge. Instead I sold my old on craigslist for $200. But it definitely helps that there are incentives out there for a new energy star one!

Jeannine @ Small and Chic March 16, 2010 at 12:19 PM  

It's totally understandable to talk such a big purchase out for a while. In fact, if I don't ponder and weigh all the options of a purchase, I worry a lot until the item arrives.

I've been waiting for the rebate program to start for so long, but now that it's around the corner, I can't decide what is the most critical item to replace.

By the way, your fridge criteria is the same as mine. I will live variously through you, as I'll probably have to replace the washing machine first.

dolores @ Welcome to My Humble Ablog March 16, 2010 at 1:00 PM  

Shelling out two thousand bucks would hurt me and the plastic card, but I feel buying brand new everyday-use appliances is a must. I want that warranty and safety to fall back on in case something goes wrong.

Department stores usually have some discount price when you use the company's credit card (which usually involves 0% interest). I pulled out the Sears card when I purchased my brand new washer and dryer (w/ a 20% off discount) and just paid off the entire balance when the statement came along. I can't trust a used appliance if I don't know it's entire history.

Meg March 16, 2010 at 2:49 PM  

Your link is the perfect ammo. Thank you, Kasey! Currently if you use our oven (from 1987), then the burners won't work for the next twenty minutes.

The fact that the burners will not work if the oven is on or has been on recently is bad news bears, but Lee insists on using it until it dies. Maybe this cash for appliances deal will finally convince him that we should throw out what is probably a fire hazard!

miss corner cape March 16, 2010 at 10:24 PM  

we desperately need a new fridge, but pennsylvania's rebates only cover hot water heaters. what gives? glad for you, but totally jealous!

Sarah March 17, 2010 at 9:37 AM  

@ Meg:

The program only applies for Energy Star rated appliances. Ovens and ranges do not qualify.

My favorite tricks for saving on large purchases like appliances: 1) Shop around. Know how much a given model costs at all the stores in your area that carry it. Lowe's has a price match guarantee that knocks off an additional 10% off the lower price. 2) Use the mover coupons. If you don't want to go by the post office for these, you can buy them on ebay for a few pennies. From what I understand, Home Depot honors these as well. 3) Wait for a sale. The sales staff at a big box store will usually be pretty open about when appliances will next be discounted. 4) Buy discontinued models. I bought a Samsung front-loading washer and dryer for under $600 (usually $900 each) because Samsung quit making that particular model and Lowe's wanted to get rid of them. I had to go to 2 different stores, but the $600 I saved was worth it. 5) Check for rebates. Check for rebates from the store itself, from utility companies, from the manufacturer, and now, of course, from the government. I'm in the same situation as you, so I've had time to think about this pretty thoroughly!

Sarah March 17, 2010 at 9:41 AM  

Oh, and I almost forgot - sometimes Lowe's will offer 0% interest for 12 months or a certain percentage off for opening up a store credit card. Good luck!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog March 17, 2010 at 9:49 AM  

Bummer about those different requirements!

@Sarah~ I'm trying, trying, trying to use as many discounts as I can! Thanks for all of the tips... hopefully I'll be able to put as many into use as I can and mid April will be my time!

Cindy @The Flipping Couple March 18, 2010 at 11:48 AM  

Kasey - we scored the EXACT FRIDGE you're dreaming of for less than $600. It was the floor model of a local Home Depot that was closing. My dad found it, called me, and leaned against it until I could get my butt down there!! It's an LG, stainless, freezer on the bottom with a wire basket. And it's amazing.

So I guess what I'm saying is 1) don't hate me, 2) it's possible! and 3) look for closing stores. Also - there will definitely be an appliance sale at the next holiday, so if you can wait a little longer you may be able to score a sweet deal then!!

Do you have something like an Appliance outlet? We have on called Appliancesmart that has amazing deals...sometimes scratch and dent sometimes totally perfect. Just cheap.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog March 18, 2010 at 1:00 PM  

@Cindy~ I'm so jealous! I'm working on getting that kind of a deal... maybe I should spread the word to all of my friends and family so that they can be on the lookout too!!

Lori January 3, 2011 at 5:52 PM  

Our fridge went out so had no choice but to buy a new one. Went to Home Depot. Floor model $1200 dollars on sale for $800. All others gone so all that was left was the display model so about another $200 knocked off plus free delivery and haul off of old fridge.

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