The Pros and Cons of Buying Refurbished Vs. New Appliances

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Many families are choosing to buy refurbished appliances to save a few bucks while updating their spaces. Refurbished appliances are appliances that have been through a series of tests and repairs. Usually, if the appliance features a motor, the motor will be replaced along with any seals and gaskets. Because the motor is the component which generally takes the most abuse, it's usually the cause for an appliance going bad in the first place.

Once the appliance has passed a series of tests to check its functionality, it gets placed for sale under a "refurbished" or "reconditioned" label. These appliances can sell for a good deal less than their brand new counterparts, but are the savings from buying refurbished worth losing the benefits from buying new?

The Pros of Buying Refurbished Appliances

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The primary reason people like to buy refurbished is the price. In most cases, significant savings can be made from buying a washing machine that’s a few years old with a new motor. Another reason is brand name recognition. The consumer can now afford to buy an appliance from a name brand manufacturer, even if it is reconditioned. For some, the brand name alone is reason enough.

When an appliance gets refurbished, it gets tested and repaired to ensure that it works. In most situations, it means getting an appliance that may be a little dinged up on the outside, but with all new working components. It's almost like buying a 1980s automobile that has a brand new engine in it. Sure, it may need some bodywork, but the thing runs like a champ.

The Cons of Buying Refurbished Appliances

The appliance's external look is one of the reasons people tend to stay away from refurbished appliances. While the repairs include trying to make the appliance look its best, sometimes there are noticeable dents or scuff marks. When you’re redesigning your kitchen, the last thing you want is a dishwasher with a dent on the front, so for someone wanting a stylish and newer looking appliance, refurbished may not be for them.

In many situations, when you buy a refurbished appliance, the warranty you get is much less than you would get from a new machine. Also, depending on the warranty, only the new parts may be covered. For instance, if you buy a reconditioned washing machine and only the motor was replaced, then only the motor may be covered under the warranty. If the timer stops working, then it may be on your dollar to have it repaired. If you’re going to buy refurbished, always find out exactly what the warranty covers before you buy it.

The Cons of Buying New Appliances

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Just as the cost is the top reason to buy refurbished, it’s also the top reason to avoid buying new appliances. With prices continuing to soar, a new refrigerator may cost quite a bit more than you want to spend. Not to mention, when the appliance superstore finally has a sale, the reduced items are extremely limited in supply and are usually sold out within seconds of opening their doors.

Because the working components are what gets repaired or replaced, there’s usually little or no difference in how the appliance will work.

The Pros of Buying New Appliances

One advantage that buying a new appliance offers is the warranty that comes with the product. For some, it might be 3 to 5 years depending on the manufacturer. With a new appliance, you could have up to 10 years without having to worry about paying for repair costs.

Buying a new appliance also ensures that you’re getting a piece of equipment that is technologically current and as energy efficient as possible. It's also possible to find a brand new appliance manufactured by a lesser-known company that may still cost less than a refurbished name brand appliance, so shopping around is the key.

Choosing between a refurbished appliance and a brand new one is best left up to the individual consumer. Which type is best suited for you depends on budget and need. At one time, buying a refurbished appliance was only available through brick and mortar appliance stores, but since the internet has become the monster shopping source that it is, many websites offer reconditioned appliances right online. Take the time to shop around, look at specials and deals, and determine which appliance will meet both your needs and your budgets. If you shop smart, there is no wrong answer.