There are some items I will not buy used. Such as:
- Shoes (won’t fit right; not good for the feet)
- Underwear (self explanatory)
- Hats (unless I know and love the head it’s been on)
- Make-Up (although I don’t usually wear it anyway)
I’m sure there are items you would add to the list. Matresses, cribs, car seats – there are many items that are worth buying new. Sometimes, it’s even worth paying more for an item so that you can be sure you’re getting good quality, thus saving money in the long run.
But let me share our family’s experiences with buying used appliances…
Over the weekend, within about one hour, both our washing machine and our dishwasher quit working. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Matt was able to fix the dishwasher himself. But the washing machine? Well, it was many years old, on its last leg, and a bungee cord was the only thing that had kept it from falling apart since June 2012. Matt gave it a good shot, trying to keep it alive just a little bit longer, but in the end, he met me with the question, “You ready to go shopping for a new washing machine?”
So, go shopping we did. We were met at the door of our locally owned appliance store and shown wonderful, beautiful, shiny new washing machines. We were given all the details about their bells and whistles, and were provided with many convincing reasons for why we should buy the top of the line (especially with our four active boys).
They sounded great, actually. But the price tags? Ouch. Thankfully we have a line item in our budget for spur of the moment necessity purchases. But did we really need to spend that much on a fancy appliance, or would a less than the best still do the trick for us?
We really wrestled with this. When is it important to buy high quality, and when is it okay to go with a lower quality, lesser price? Ugh, and we really needed to make the decision quickly, as the laundry was piling up at home as we stood in the middle of the forest of washers and dryers. Our heads feeling as though they were in spin cycle. <— Clever, huh? I thought of that one all by myself.
Before looking much harder at the new washing machines, we asked to be taken to the back to see the used appliances they had on hand. This store has come through for us many times with their used items. Remember my used upright freezers?
Ugly though they are, they serve their purpose and sit in our storage room where no one can see them.
We were happy to pay a huge discount because they were used and ugly.
They’ve worked great for years!
One used washing machine really caught our attention. It was everything we really needed, much of what we wanted, and because it was a few years old, it was less than 1/5 of the price of the brand new ones. We asked question after question, we grilled them about what might be wrong with it, we stuck our heads in and looked for whatever people look for when they stick their heads inside a washing machine.
We listened again to the spiel trying to influence us to buy the new washer which was five times more expensive. We went home, we prayed, we looked at all the dirty laundry. We quickly came to the decision that the used washer was really all we needed. Writing the check for that was barely even painful. We got such a great deal! It was delivered and installed the next day.
Introducing, the newest member of the Coppinger Team:
A few years old, a couple of scratches, and if you look real close, you’ll see my reflection since I was the one taking the picture. That came free with purchase.
We’ve given this washing machine quite a workout since it arrived, and it’s done great. Did we make the right decision? Oh yes, we definitely did. Even if it only has a few years of life left, we believe the amount of money we saved compared to buying new is still very worth it. And now, we have money left in our budget for any other last minute necessities. (Oh but please, no more appliances for a while.)
What has been your experience with buying used appliances? Is there anything you feel strongly about that should always be bought new?