I can still remember the moment my first washing machine broke. It came with the house we purchased and needed to be replaced eventually, but we had some other priorities first. Then one day, while doing the first of about five loads, the thing just stopped working. I almost cried.
Especially if you have a large family, making do without a washing machine is probably one of your worst nightmares. Imagine doing loads of laundry by hand or dragging a week’s worth of clothes to the laundromat and sitting there waiting for all of the clothes to wash and dry with two kids running around the place – this proposition was horrifying to me. Still, it’s important to find a good deal on your new machine and to do so quickly. You can either buy a used washing machine or a new one – but consider all the options before you make your final purchase.
Used Washing Machines
Even if you’re on a budget, your first task is to check listings for new washers to find the average prices and best features. Although buying used is usually less expensive, you want to have a frame of reference to know how much you’re actually saving in comparison to a new washing machine. You also want to see what energy-saving features you’d be forfeiting if you purchase a used machine.
After you’ve researched prices, your next task is to find yourself the best deal possible on a used washing machine. Craigslist is one of the best places to look because you can get a wide range of listings in your area. In addition to looking in the section for washing machines, don’t forget to search by keyword, which may even turn up an option in the free section of the listings. Some people will give an old one away instead of bothering with hauling it somewhere.
When you find a promising washing machine, it’s time to check it out to make sure it’s a wise purchase. The older and cheaper the machine, the more issues it could have and the shorter its life will be. Before buying, visually inspect the belt, and if possible, run a load in the machine to see whether it operates smoothly. Inspect the hoses for solid connections and make sure they aren’t clogged, too.
New Washing Machines
Buying a new washing machine gives you more options because you aren’t limited to the used machines for sale in your area. And in some cases, a new machine can be the most cost-effective way to go, especially if you get it on sale. Check out ads for several stores in your area to see if there are any with sales this week. If your current machine is still working or you don’t mind heading to the laundromat a few times, you could even wait until you see a sale coming up in a few weeks. If it’s close to Thanksgiving, stores often run super-saving sales on appliances for Black Friday.
Before shopping, decide what features are most important to you. Many people prefer front-loading machines because they use less water and energy, but they are also more expensive to purchase. Consider whether you’re willing to pay more initially for lower bills over the machine’s life. Also consider the capacity and the convenience and savings of being able to wash larger loads.
In addition to checking out information on the manufacturer’s website, read reviews online and check out recommendations from third-party studies. Getting information from several sources gives you a balanced perspective and increases the chance that you’ll make a wise purchase. You can even contact department stores and see if they run specials on machines with scratches and dents. While this minor cosmetic problem won’t affect the machine’s ability to clean, it could significantly reduce the price. Just remember, larger damages may cause a shorter working life for a washer, so do your research before buying a scratch and dent product.
Making Your Purchase
Once you’ve found a great deal, celebrate and buy it. You wouldn’t want someone to snatch up a great used washing machine or to have a sale on a new one end while you’re wavering! And don’t forget the cost of delivery if the machine won’t fit in your vehicle.
Danielle has been thrift shopping since her first Black Friday experience in 1990. She’s gotten great deals on TVs, sewing machines and Christmas presents. She enjoys writing about her shopping tips and blogs on behalf of Sears and other brands she trusts.
[phpbay]washing machine, 2[/phpbay]