how much are appliances marked up?

ekn2108January 24, 2009

Hi Garden Web,

So we've run into a situation.

We bought a thermador fridge, but it was 84" high, and impossible to get into our apartment.

The store wants to charge us a 20% restocking fee, and obviously I am not happy with this. I think they are partially to blame, as they should have warned us that the fridge is higher then standard. (Standard fridge height is 80" for Subzero, and much lower for all other brands. The standard door height is 80", so ANY other fridge on the market would have fit)

We bought a full kitchen of mostly miele appliances (fridge, 2ovens, dw, cooktop, hoodfan, cooktop) from them, and my thought is that they are making enough money from the transaction that they can cover the cost of selling the fridge off the floor.

We did get a 15% discount on the overall order.

So I am curious to know, what is the mark up on appliances? Would they really lose money if they waive the restocking fee?

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Appliance margins range from 3-20% or so. Not much when you factor in the store overhead. Restocking fees are pretty much standard throughout the industry. It's up to the buyer to do due diligence as to whether or not an appliance will fit their space. All you needed to do was to ask for the specs prior to purchase. This isn't the appliance store's fault, and they shouldn't have to absorb the financial hit from it.

Having said this, I don't see why on earth an 84" high fridge would have a problem going through an 80" high door. They can be put on their sides briefly on the dolly without any issues as long as they're allowed to remain upright for 24 hours before you plug them in. The doors can come off too if need be. If you can fit a sofa through that door, you can fit that fridge through the door. Now, whether or not it will fit your spot in your kitchen, that's a whole other issue.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 10:59AM
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The delivery guys could not even get the fridge to the front door of our apartment, as the hallway has a small section of ceiling which is dropped. Our apartment is at the end of the hallway, so when the fridge is tipped, the drop ceiling prevents it from being set straight again. Hard to explain, but trust me, physically impossible.

If the problem was just getting it into our apartment, we would have gladly taken out walls to get it in. Dry wall is no big deal.

The fridge would have fit in our space, we did do the specs. I just never thought about the height as far as getting into the door. Who would have thought a fridge is higher then the door? We were very aware of the specs, as the fridge is only 24" wide.

In the furniture industry it is standard when you buy a couch that you have to sign a document with regards to the measurements, and that you can fit it into your apartment. This helps protect the buyer. I really wish this company had chosen this same practice.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 11:54AM
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Would they be willing to just swap it out if you were to buy a replacement frig from them? I'm just not picturing the delivery problem...but are you sure if your hallway has a tipped ceiling that your not going to have the same problem with another frig? COuldn't the wheels or doors been removed? Couldn't they strap it to a dolly laying down once they got it to the level your apartment is on? I'm sure it's my inability to picture the problem that leads to so many potentially "obvious to others" questions.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 12:09PM
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So they want to charge you for delivering a new fridge that fits when they charged you for a fridge that does not fit and a restocking fee.

Thats a real get them comin and goin.

Time to negotiate however do they have competition?

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 1:18PM
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Yes, they want us to pay a 20% restocking fee on the fridge that would not fit, and then have us buy a new fridge from them!

There are at least 2 competitors we could buy the new fridge from. Also, we were just about to add Subzero wine cooler and freezer drawers to the order when this happened. I told them I was going to take this business elsewhere if they do not waive the fee. It has been over one week since I told them this, and they still have not made a decision.

We were supposed to have the rest of the appliances that we already bought from them delivered on the 27th & installed on the 28th. Very annoying that they have not made a decision, I wish they would decide.

remodelfla: i'm trying to convince them to swap out for a Liebherr fridge that is only about 70" high. Our doorframe is 80", so that one would easily fit. Trust me, the existing fridge is not possible to fit. Hard to explain the layout, but it is really not phyically possible.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 12:42PM
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I think you lose the restocking fee. Buyer beware and research everything first. Are you sure a Liebherr would fit? My Liebherr is just a little over 80" high. Were you looking at the 24" Liebherr? I think that is the only one that is 70" high.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 2:33PM
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Paint me obtuse, but what does the height of the doorway have to do with the T'dor fitting? Is the doorway 28" or wider? How tall is your lowest ceiling in your unit? That should be the limiting factor. The fridge does not have to be carried/moved upright. Carry it in on it's side, rotate it and stand it up. Don't turn on for 24 hours. If you have an 8' ceiling this should be no problem.

BTW - most sub zeros are 84" tall also. Only the 700 series tops out at 80"

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 1:02AM
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Maybe some tight turns combined with restricted openings? I've seen appliance and furniture delivery people work some magic and respect their opinion when they say "it won't go".

While all our appliances made it in successfully (except for the one that lives outside), we have several large pieces of furniture waiting for delivery through a second-floor window. One item, an Avery Boardman sleeper sofa, was supposed to be delivered with its back separated (those details were in writing on the order and invoice) so it would fit up the stairs and through the door to its new room. When it arrived in a single piece, we sent it back to the manufacturer for correction. At their expense.

My grandparents lived in NYC, and their downstairs neighbors had two grand pianos in their living room. They told me that one was brought through the wall separating their apartment from the neighboring unit when the neighboring unit was being renovated, but the other one was delivered the "old fashioned way" using a rooftop hoist and a window.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 10:44AM
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Can't be restricted opening , they've sadi a reg. fridge fits it and an entry door can't be narrower than 24" which is the depth of the freedom cousins.

I've seen very respected deliver guys bail on a job because a car was in the way, we don't normally take it off the pallet, it's late and we might not make it back before close. They are people too and have bad days and mental blocks especially if it involves more work and takes them out of their comfort zone.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 8:19PM
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Yeah, I think the delivery guys bailed prematurely or just weren't using their heads. There's plenty of sofas or dining tables that are much larger/longer than a fridge. It may take a bit of lying flat or twisting or taking off the doors, but that's not a big deal to deal with with the right guys. Call some moving guys maybe. They deal with moving around odd sized objects in limited spaces every day and may can out think the appliance delivery guys.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 1:26PM
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Standard height for built in refrigerators is 84", customers in New York pay an extra $600.00 to have the compressor taken off and re-installed after the delivery. If you are buying an appliance the sales person should ask questions about the delivery, but the customer should also inform the sales person of measurements necessary to do the delivery. It is a two way street, not a one way.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 2:00PM
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ekn2108 is the hallway before your apartment a straight line or does it zigzag?

You said "the hallway has a SMALL section of ceiling which is dropped" so I would agree with all the above posts from all the above contributors.

Setting a long object straight upright again is not a big deal
You said more than once that the fridge was high.
I think the delivery people played on your lack of confidence to get you to acquiesce.
This happens.
You said,
"when the fridge is tipped, the drop ceiling prevents it from being..."
I find this hard to believe.
Especially since you said the dropped ceiling is a small section.
Hope this makes sense to you.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 2:26PM
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How about a picture or diagram showing the space to be navigated?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 2:59PM
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I can't believe it's that difficult to envision a situation where a box can't get into an apartment. Let's say you need to get under a fire door frame near the end of a hall. You only need to tilt it enough to gain 3". If it's 36" wide and 83" tall you have just increased the effective width to roughly 44". In tight quarters it just might not fit. Why not just accept that "existing fridge is not possible to fit. Hard to explain the layout, but it is really not phyically possible." You think they're going to come back an try the delivery a second time because the friendly folks on Gardenweb said it should fit? Seriously.

The question was whether the restocking fee is reasonable. My opinion is "probably", unless that store just happens to keep built-in fridges in stock. But what do I know.

Personally I found Guadalupe's point about removing/reinstalling the compressor interesting. $600 would be less than 20%, right?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 3:59PM
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removing the compressor on these models won't do much because it's on the bottom tucked between the frame that carries the weight of the whole unit.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 6:42PM
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is your apartment over 84" high? because subzeros can have their compressors removed.

I'm not sure who told you all other refrigerators would fit. 90% of built in models are 84" tall and the only one that can have the compressor cut is a subzero resulting in an approximately 72" high unit after removal.

liebherr's 36" is 80" and can have doors made up to 84"

freestanding refrigerators max out at about 73" tall.

and the initial question of markup is a loaded one. sub/wolf has about 10% under their current UMRP others are sold around 10-15% maybe 20% if we are having a great night.

restocking charges are common if its the customers responsibility(ie you call and say i want "x" refrigerator and thats what you get) if they advised on this and failed to at least try and find out if your unit would fit prior to delivery than that's there mistake

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 6:55PM
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Thanks for all your posts! Was out of town the past few days.

So, we renegotiated the restocking fee with the appliance company from 20% down to 7%.

Bottom line, we are giving them a ton of business, and we had a good relationship with our salesperson, so he was willing to negotiate.

It is annoying for them to take back the fridge, but they are a HUGE distributor with 6 locations, and they will be able to resell the item no problem.

I wish I could take a photograph of the hallway to show you all, but the camera is packed away somewhere. We are at the end of the hallway in our apartment (21st floor!) and the doorway to our apartment is at a side that would require the fridge to be turned to get it in. The drop ceiling is right before our doorway. The height of the drop ceiling is about 80", and once the fridge is tipped, it can't get to our doorway. So unless that thermador fridge turns into a spaghetti noodle, it will not get in.

Too bad about the compressor. I wish subzero made a 24" model! That would have been a great idea.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 1:28PM
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For live wire oak - where are you getting your information that appliance markups are 3-20%

In my expierence this amount is much lower than what I have seen.

Two examples:

I saved ~20% on a range that I recently purchased by not going with the local distributor.

When I purchased my LG washing machine I offered the salesperson at Best Buy 22% off their price. They took 2 minutes to look in the computer before they accepted the price without hesitation.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 1:55PM
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You said you offered the salesperson at Best Buy 22% off their price on a washing machine and they accepted. How did you figure out how much to offer? Did you shop around and ask them to match a price, or did you just decide that 22% off the top of your head?

I'm interested in negotiating with Best Buy (and/or Lowes, Sears) to buy a Samsung 29 cu ft refrigerator and it would sure be helpful to have your insight.

Thank you!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 3:28PM
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If you got 20% off of an appliance the price was elevated to off set the 20%. With most high end manufacturers using UMRP pricing there is no further reduction and the dealer at UMRP makes from 8 to 20% depending upon brand, Wolf SubZero allows the dealer to make 10% up from and if they hit all of their quotas they can get another 6% year end

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 3:18PM
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Interesting, guadalupe. I gather the 6% is retroactive to all sales for the year.

That means that the dealer might have a huge incentive to make a quota near the end of the forecast year. That info might be good to know going into a dealer. Heck, it seems they could give away a Sub Zero to make a quota and receive the 6% "rebate" on all previous sales. Hmmmm, I've heard the expression "make it up in volume", and this somewhat confrms that.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 5:54PM
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timewise- you are stretching a bit. While the scenario you describe could happen you are counting on you being there at the exact time the tipping point will occur.

1. - you will have no idea when that will occur
2. - some employees may not even know.
3. - only one item will push the firm over the top. even if you're there on the correct day will your's be the one the one that get em over?
4. - think you're in a good position after the hurdle is crossed or will the dealer now be more inclined to stand pat on price?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 10:58PM
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I saved $1800 on my GE Monogram Range, $1000 on my miele dishwasher, $800 on my wolf range hood, and almost $800 on my Samsung FD CD fridge.

All but the fridge were last years model and no scratch or ding sales.

The hood and fridge were the only things I haggled for.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 10:25AM
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Kcboom - can you provide the prices you paid for these appliances you've listed?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 11:56AM
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GE Monogram Range zdp30n4hss $2499 orig $4300
Miele 2170 scsf $600 orig $1600
Wolf Pro Range Hood w302210I w/ Best Fan $1300 orig $2100
Samsung rFG237 $2119 orig $2900

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 1:15PM
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