Should You Buy Refurbished Appliances?

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With an overwhelming number of options on the market, shopping for appliances can be something of a headache — unless, of course, you go in with a plan. During the appliance scouting process, you'll likely realize that brand new items are often outrageously priced, and begin to ask yourself, "Should I buy a refurbished appliance instead?" The short answer is: It depends.

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To ensure you're making the best decision for your home, consider these five easy yet important refurbished appliance shopping tips. Plus, keep scrolling for five of our favorite refurbished retailers.

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5 Tips for Buying Refurbished Appliances

1. Location is everything.

Buy refurbished appliances for your home's low-maintenance spaces, like your garage or basement. A few dings on a refurbished, overflow freezer or washer and dryer will hardly be noticeable, and they'll help drive down the price.

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Our pick:Whirlpool High-Efficiency Stackable Front Load Washer, $854.99 starting at $374.99

2. Check the warranty.

This is the golden rule of appliance shopping. Warranty periods can be significantly shorter for refurbished appliances versus brand-new appliances, but they shouldn't be ​too​ short. Be wary of any refurbished appliance with a short warranty period (less than 90 days), as it could be an indication that the product has limited longevity. Always review the warranty terms in detail prior to making a purchase, and if you're in the store, take the time to verify that all parts are in working order.

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Our pick:KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer, $399.99 $239.99 (one-year warranty from date of purchase)

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3. Don't pay more than you have to.

Technology evolves constantly, and as a result appliance manufacturers frequently come out with newer versions that can actually be more affordable than refurbished options. Poke around online for deals and discounts on new items, and compare those prices with the depreciated value of the refurb you're considering. You don't want to shell out for a refurbished appliance only to find out later that you could've gotten a better deal on a newer model. Pro tip: Don't forget to check out the shipping and delivery costs as those can sneak up on you.

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4. Look for floor models.

Okay, so technically floor models aren't refurbished appliances, since they've never been used or repaired, but sometimes they're sold at refurb prices — and who doesn't like that? Given that floor models primarily function as selling tools, the variety can be relatively limited. However, with a little internet-savvy, you can usually find a few options from almost all major appliance brands on sale. Bear in mind that when a display item goes on sale, it usually means that the manufacturer has released newer versions — so do your due diligence to make sure you're not purchasing something outdated.

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Our pick:LG 30" Stainless Steel Wall Mount Chimney Hood, $1,099 $698

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5. Shop around.

Thanks to the magic of the internet, it's easier than ever to make sure you're getting the best deal on appliances, refurbished or otherwise. It pays to shop around for refurbished appliances in particular, as some stores will match or beat a competitor's quoted price in order to win your business. Compare prices on refurbished models from a handful of retailers with the cost of new appliances. Read on for a list of our go-to retailers.

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Where to Shop for Refurbished Appliances

1. Abt

This independent family-owned retailer has a section just for returns and display items. From there, you can narrow down the results to target strictly appliances (or whatever else you may be looking for). The website will clarify if the item was used in a demo, returned with no box, slightly scratched, etcetera etcetera.

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Our pick:LG 30" Stainless Steel Wall Mount Chimney Hood, $1,099 $698

This beloved brand is known for having a great selection of refurbished products. KitchenAid also has very high standards, so each and every refurbished appliance sold on the site is tested to ensure like-new quality and performance.

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Our pick:KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer, $399.99 $239.99

3. Amazon

Did you know that Amazon has a special section on its site called "Amazon Renewed?" It features professionally inspected, rigorously tested products that have a 90-day guarantee. Every product is categorized in one of four ways: premium condition, excellent condition, good condition, and acceptable condition, each of which is explained in great detail on the website. It's also incredibly easy to find what you're looking for since products are grouped both by their department and condition.

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Like Amazon, Walmart has a section of its site called "Walmart Restored" with products that are inspected, tested, cleaned, and then categorized by quality. Its restored small appliance inventory includes brands like NutriBullet, Cuisinart, and Ninja, and its restored large appliance inventory has Shark, Frigidaire, Samsung, and more.

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Our pick:ED 52-Inch Ceiling Fan With Light, $361.90 $253.33

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Best Buy has an Open-Box Appliances Outlet with nearly 1,000 discounted products. Its especially good for larger appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerators. Scroll down to the "Buying Options" section to see the various options ranked by their condition. With these larger appliances, you'll order online and pick up in store.

Our pick:KitchenAid Top Control Built-in Stainless Steel Dishwasher, $1,214.99 starting at $740.99

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