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Valuable handbook offers latest tips for consumers
How important is price when you buy?

Where to buy appliances

Dishwasher IMG_9613

Should consumers go to an independent appliance retailer, a big box, a department store, or a warehouse club to buy a new appliance?

Consumer Reports surveyed about 25,000 subscribers about their latest experiences buying large and small appliances.

It came up with these tips:

  • Start the search online. Many of the consumers surveyed had success buying small appliances using the Internet.
  • Keep pace with the promos. Watch for sales in the newspaper and sign up for e-mail alerts and on manufacturers’ Web sites.
  • Don’t be shy about haggling. Only 10 percent of consumers buying small appliances and 33 percent of those buying large appliances tried to negotiate the price. About 75 percent of consumers who tried succeeded.
  • Beware of the trade-offs. Consumers surveyed reported problems at Wal-Mart with narrow aisles, missing price tags, and long checkout lines and at Costco with limited service, selection, and checkout.
  • Skip the extended warranties. Most appliances don’t break down during the extended warranty period, according to Consumer Reports.

For information on which appliance to buy, see the August 2009 issue of Consumer Reports for ratings on ranges, cooktops, wall ovens, refrigerators, microwaves, dishwashers, garbage disposers, showerheads, and toilets. Copies are available at libraries and newsstands. Or subscribe to the magazine's online service at

Copyright 2009, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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