are appliances made differently depending on the store you buy them in?


Old 04-06-15, 09:59 AM
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are appliances made differently depending on the store you buy them in?

i was told if i go to lowes and purchase model 1234ABC it will be different than the exact 1234ABC model if i buy it at my local 'fancy independent' appliance shop. an example was that in the independent shop a part may be durable metal vs cheap plastic on a critical part

i find this hard to believe for the exact model number that an appliance maker takes the time to retool the line for lowes vs a smaller run with better parts for independent shops

what say you?
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Old 04-06-15, 10:37 AM
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Some times items are special made to meet the price point a national retailer demands of a manufacturer. This may mean lower quality parts go in.

Of course it could be to your advantage sometimes. It's been written that a long time ago most Sears Kenmore washers were made by a factory that only made store brands. White Automotive, a much smaller retailer, bought store brands from the same factory. They sold their house brand for less than Sears but the only difference was a few cosmetic changes such as different knobs and name plate.
Old 04-06-15, 11:01 AM
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wow this is very interesting. the person worked for a flooring company and told me they themselves pulled an entire floor line out of a store because the store wanted to sell it low. but thats not the same thing as the appliance part thing.

i wonder if the stuff in consumer reports takes this into account or if they have reported it. i'm pretty sure if i read it i would have remembered such a thing. now i wonder how they can even rate appliances if this is true. and now it almost makes me wanna shop at the local shop. but i wonder if they will even know/ tell you that their stuff is better made in the cases that it is

and your comment about sears reminded me of something. the 'exact' model of fridge i was looking at had a 600 dollar warranty at sears but 150 at lowes for the same period. guess that means the sears breaks down more?
Old 04-06-15, 11:48 AM
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I'm not buying it. I've had the same disagreement with people about bath and kitchen fixtures. If it's the same exact model and UPC number, then how the heck would they know what parts went with the cheaper version? And inventory management would be a nightmare.

Now...remember I said model number AND UPC. Make it different by adding an -A at the end, and that might be another story. Change the name on the box from a Georgian to Flemish and it might be the exact same item just sold at a lower price because of bulk sales and longer term contracts.

Imagine the buyers at HD or Sears or Walmart sitting down with the factory people. "We want you to make something identical to your model XXX with the same model number and UPC, only make it cheaper with plastic parts so we can sell it for less". Not going to happen. They may make a specific model for the company to sell because they have a contract that insures they still make money and the stores will carry their other products.

Think about it...ever call a customer service number or appliance parts store for a replacement part? Do they ask where you bought it? No, they ask for model and serial number (maybe).
Old 04-06-15, 12:08 PM
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I used to service typewriters and talked to the SC sales rep about being able to sell some of their machines as this would make me an authorized dealer with service where the box stores only sold them. No problem, so we talked. At some point I asked about getting the service manuals for the machines being sold at the box stores and he said they were the same as what I would be selling. I asked, if they were the same why don't I just buy them from the box store since they were less expensive than what I would have to pay as an authorized dealer. I'll shorten the story. The ones I would be selling were white while the ones the box store sold were black. Otherwise identical. They did have different model numbers, but under the hood exact same machines.

I had several other instances where there were extremely minor differences that distinguished box store products from authorized dealer units. One was as simple as a jumper placement on the pcb.

But I agree with above statements, there will always be a difference in the numbering somewhere.

Old 04-06-15, 12:50 PM
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another weird thing, i guess there is no true 'central repository of appliances' like i thought there was. the one fridge recently bought has to be special ordered at lowes and takes 4 weeks..'exact' same fridge is same price at best buy and sears and is in stock for much sooner delivery. but the person buying it wanted warranty and lowes is so much cheaper than everyone else for warranty.

asking for just a model number is a good point however there is a counter to that. when someone calls and needs a part they may just give everyone the 'good one' or the one that was 'upgraded since last year' when in reality they knew the plastic thing a magig would only last a short time and they could make money on the new improved metal one that will fit in ever appliance. (tin foil hat on)

i do know in the mattress world they all have differernt names at differerent stores and impossible to compare but i think its terrible if the model numbers are truly the same for appliances but the guts are different. and the number is not easily discernable.
Old 04-06-15, 01:57 PM
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I think if you look further into it, you will find the actual model numbers at different stores are not actually the exact same. The manufacturer will post the model on their website, but depending on what store you get it from there will be a few extra numbers on the model at the store. Now, what the difference is, if any, I don't know. Those extra numbers could be just store identifiers, or I guess it could be possible that the product is actually different in how its built. I find the latter to be unlikely since mass producing products does not leave much room for changing out individual parts depending on where the item is going to be sold.
Old 04-06-15, 02:36 PM
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I didn't even bother reading all the post. But no, the same part number will be the same regardless of where you buy it. Quality is not determined by who sells it! It can be that a manufacturer might change a manufacturing process that could alter quality, BUT, that item is not sold to a particular store because of that possible change. Perhaps a bad production run was made and not caught and sent to a particular store as a total order but again not because of the bad production run. However, it's possible an item will be sold as seconds or blemished but the overall quality should not be compromised.
By the same token an item can be exactly the same right down to the last stitch or bolt and nut but will have a separate part number, thereby making it a different item and possibly a different price or sold exclusive at a particular store. This is done very often just to prevent price matching between competing stores.
Old 04-06-15, 02:58 PM
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You don't have to purchase the extended warranty from the selling dealer. Fact is, the extended warranty may be from the manufacturer or much more likely from an aftermarket insurance company. Extended warranties are huge moneymakers for the people that sell them and by buying them directly from the insurance company you can often save 40% or more with the exact same coverage.
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