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7 Reasons to Rethink Buying Appliances at Superstores

When you decide to buy a new washing machine, fridge or power tool, it may seem only natural to make your local superstore your first stop. But purchasing a complex piece of machinery is not the same as picking up some paint or wallpaper, and you may not be getting the same good deal. Here are some things that you should consider before buying at a large retail outlet or superstore.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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Gas and electric ovens and other home related appliance or equipment in the retail store showroomSerghei Starus/Shutterstock

Superstores don’t always have the lowest prices

First and foremost, appliance prices tend to be more competitive online, Dan DiClerico, smart home strategist and home expert at HomeAdvisor tells Reader’s Digest. Because online retailers have to anticipate that customers are googling models and going with the cheapest price possible, they have to offer seriously competitive prices. This Vitamix 5200 is sold almost everywhere, but you probably aren’t going to find it cheaper than it is on Amazon. Trust us, we looked! Not sure about what brands to shop for? Here are the least reliable appliance brands.

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Young couple choosing washing machine in household appliance section at hypermarketCorepics VOF/Shutterstock

Selection is limited in stores

Shopping at big-box stores can be limiting. Not only do certain stores only carry specific brands, but will often only have a few different models available for sale in their store. For example, are you looking for a set of kitchen appliances? It’s likely your average big box store is only going to have one or two options for each brand. However, if you head over to Amazon, they have countless options when it comes to Frigidaire 4-piece stainless steel packages, giving you the opportunity to select every feature on the fridge, dishwasher, range, and microwave that you desire. Should you consider buying refurbished appliances?

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Attractive young woman using a laptop while relaxing on a sofa at homemarvent/Shutterstock

It’s easier to comparison shop online

Back in the old days, comparison shopping involved driving around to all the different big box stores, making several phone calls, or comparing prices in the Sunday advertisements. These days, comparison shopping is as simple as googling a model number and picking the lowest price possible. Google Shopping is a great resource to use. Just type in the brand and model number you are looking at, and it will give you the price at a bunch of different stores—it will even total up the final price, including taxes and shipping. Even for smaller appliances, like this InstantPot Mini, the feature will save you money. These are the best appliances for small spaces. If you are looking to make a major appliance purchase, timing matters. Here are the best times to shop for appliances to get a great deal.

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Side view of bright red big rig semi truck fleet transporting cargo in long refer semi trailer on the flat road in Utah with snow covered mountain and clouds on backgroundVitpho/Shutterstock

Shipping and delivery is often free online

Unlike at the big box stores, when you buy something online, you’ll almost always be able to get a big purchase, like an appliance, delivered for free, DiClerico points out. For example, if you buy this Samsung WF42H5000AW 4.2 cu. ft. Front-Load Washer at Sears, you’ll pay an additional $65 to have it delivered to your home. Buy it over at, and not only is it almost $100 less, but shipping is also free. Use our washer and dryer buying guide for more tips on how to find the right appliance.

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Image of young african american girl using laptop and credit card while sitting at table in bright living roomDean Drobot/Shutterstock

You can also get even lower prices with promo codes

Most websites release promo codes weekly—and you may be able to apply one to your appliance purchase. Before you invest your paycheck on that new refrigerator, do a quick online search and see if you can find a promo code to use for an even bigger steal. For example, looking for a KitchenAid Artisan® 5 qt. Stand Mixer? At Bed Bath & Beyond, you can get a 20 percent off coupon just by signing up for their email list. You can’t do that at most brick and mortar stores. Because everyone likes to have more money in their bank accounts, here are 17 really easy ways to save money online and the 10 best online tools to save money.

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two movers in uniform using hand truck while transporting refrigerator in apartmentLightField Studios/Shutterstock

You can outsource installation

One of the reasons that many people buy their appliances at big box stores is because the retailer often takes care of installation, which is either included in the price or available for an additional fee. Usually, however, the stores outsource installation, and you have no control over who is doing the job. To get around this, DiClerico suggests using a site like the one he works for, HomeAdvisor. “We make it easy to find appliance installers in your area, and you’ll be able to vet them, whereas you don’t know what quality service you’ll get from the big-box store,” he says. Amazon also offers services through its Amazon Home program. For example, you can find a professional to install a washer and dryer you purchased online. Find out the life expectancy of 12 major items in your home.

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Laughing black funny father or tickle play with daughter preschool or schoolgirl kid girl lying together on sofa in living room at home, leisure lazy weekend activity game with child free time conceptfizkes/Shutterstock

Shopping online can be less time-consuming

Who wants to spend their entire weekend shopping around big box stores for appliances? One of the greatest things about shopping online is that it saves a lot of time, from driving in traffic to finding a parking spot to dealing with lines at the store. You can buy almost any major appliance with the click of a button online, and use your free time to relax and enjoy life. Looking for other ways to save time? Cut your housecleaning time down significantly with the help of an iRobot Roomba i7+, but just don’t store it in these spots. Find out how a woman mistook a Roomba for a burglar. 

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Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest

Leah Groth
Leah is a Philadelphia-based writer, editor, mother and product junkie. Her obsessions include old houses, home design, fashion, beauty, books and anything that makes her life — which includes working full-time and taking care of two "spirited" children and a Vizsla puppy — a little bit easier. Her work has appeared on a variety of publications and websites, including Glamour, Prevention, Business Insider, Livestrong, Mindbodygreen, Fatherly, Scary Mommy, Wonderwall and Cosmopolitan.

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