What's the best approach to buying appliances?

sea_kozJune 17, 2012

Hi Folks,

I'm narrowing down what I want in my appliances:

Either a Capital or a Blue Star range, not quite sure on size yet, don't really care which of the two I get they seem so equal.

Electrolux Wave touch wall oven

Wolf Pro Island range hood w/ external blower

Either a KitchenAid or LG counter depth french door fridge.

I already have the dishwasher so that's out of the equation.

Here's my question:

What's the best way to buy appliances? Blue Star is only available from one local dealer, CC is available from two. My thinking is to buy the appliances the same way I'd buy a car: e-mail all of the local dealers and a few of the online ones (AJ Madison, ABT, etc...) and give them a list of model numbers and see who gives me the lowest price on the overall package.

Is this reasonable? Have other people tried this approach? While I know some of these appliance makers force MAP pricing on their vendors, I figure on the package overall I should be able to save some money.

Thanks!

SeaKoz

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Takkone

I went local because the store and its service department are less than 5 miles from my house. If service tech doesn't show up or call me back I can practically walk there and get someone to talk to in person. Their sales people were helpful, letting me come in and I actually brought a bunch of my pots and pans and baking sheets to test how big the fridge and oven were. I was assigned a sales person who I corresponded with through email almost daily throughout the process. He was very helpful in getting various measurements and dimensions that were a key part of planning the rest of the kitchen. And most of their prices were competitive. The only appliance I did not buy there was a range hood, as they just did not carry what I was looking for at a reasonable price.

I also do not like the idea of using THEIR showroom and THEIR time, and then going somewhere else on the internet to buy cheaper.

And you are correct, some of the high-end appliance mfg's do not allow their retailers to mess with the price.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 3:05PM
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sea_koz

Even if I pull the internet dealers off the table, I still have three local appliance stores that all sell the products I'm interested in (two sell Capital, one sells Blue Star). I'm interested in strategies for getting the best price, they're all nice people and have good service (which makes sense since they all compete with each other).

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 3:25PM
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davidro1

then it all comes down to service. Get the best after sales support.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 5:02PM
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pbx2_gw

Price is still king for me.
The same talk about service & parts happens with car dealerships all the time.
If I have to think & worry about service on a new piece of equipment right away, what does it say about the manufacturer & what the locals are trying to push on me?

It's the 21st century, lets not pretend we live in a place where you can't communicate with parts & service via the net to get high quality customer service.

The scare tactics these locals try to peddle on consumer is beyond laughable. Almost like I have to do banking @ a B&M.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 11:20PM
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sea_koz

The three local stores will all do a phenomenal job on the service, I've personally ordered from two of them in the past and they've always done well. I think price will be the decider, and I'm trying to figure out how to get the lowest price.

In an ideal world, I'd put reps from each company in a room together and make them compete in person to give me the best price!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 12:39AM
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davidro1

this is a standard boring purchasing dilemma. The guarantees you get. The price you think you are paying. The information given, allowing you to choose the most appropriate product.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 9:50AM
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pbx2_gw

@ SeaKoz - in our new build with appliance budget allowance - we are going to the builder's prefer vendor with our list & see what they can price for us (this Sat. actually is the beginning of the process)

Same as you - we will also hit the net & other local stores (if needed).

I think, it would be selling yourself short in this day & age not to shop via the net.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 10:18AM
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burntfingers

I guess I'm old fashioned, but... I'm "shopping" today, and plan to take the same approach you've asked about - I'm going to contact all the local dealers with my list and ask for their best price.

"Local" for me means anywhere within 100 miles (small town, no truly-local dealers). But this also means that service when and if needed will most likely have to come from one of those dealers as well. I suspect I'll get a better response if I already show up as a customer in their database....

I'll probably check online to see what competitive pricing is for haggling purposes, but I'm buying local. (And FWIW, I agree with Takkone that if you don't support local businesses after using their displays, soon we won't have any local dealers with displays to look at.)

Just my .02...

Burntfingers

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:04AM
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fritzgarden

I've found that prices these days are pretty close, and the markup, in general, is small. Our appliances 6 years ago from 3 different vendors were perhaps 3% apart. I went with the lowest and sorry I did. Their delivery was less than stellar.

I'd go for available service and parts, whether from the original purchase source or not.
I want to know that if something does go wrong, and it does, even with the best of them, that parts and labor can be sourced easily, quickly and for a reasonable price.
In that light I go with American manufacturers as much as possible, even though they may source some of their labor and parts overseas, it's their badge on the appliance.
The one mistake I made on our 6yo kitchen redo was the cooktop.
It is foreign made, although very close foreign. I had much trouble with the company for a year. Never again.
At least one of our appliances is a US rebadge of a KA product which I suspect was made overseas. It's been fine (knock wood). Since they're both US companies, I feel better and more confident in the event of problems.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:14AM
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sea_koz

In my case, I'm not sure any of the companies involved have their own service arm, they all use third party service companies so that really isn't a factor for me.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 1:01PM
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pbx2_gw

Posted by SeaKoz (My Page) on Tue, Jun 19, 12 at 13:01

In my case, I'm not sure any of the companies involved have their own service arm, they all use third party service companies so that really isn't a factor for me.

I'm glad you brought this up. Most of the dealers I've spoken to in the past usually outsource their service repairs while peddling their extended service contracts (same with the net dealers too).

& in most instances, an authorized manufacturer's repair crew is usually coming out of the same local repair pool that every1 else is using in your town.

Therefore, if we are qualifying service, I would think it's response time & relationships that the locals & the manufacturers have. & that data is sketchy & anecdotal @ best.

You would think that GE has all the clout & resources available to get things repaired & done all the time & yet we hear things to the contrary.

I only use GE as an example. You can put any manufacturer, net or local's name in there & there would no more or less a service issue between the 3.

It still comes down to initial build reputation, long term performance & pricing for me.

Those are 3 things that I can bank on.
After the 1st year warranty on most of these appliances, I figure I am on my own with any issues.
Service repairs are the least of my worries when I am buying.
A turn off anytime some sales person tells me " you can get parts easier for that appliance." Hmmm...but it's new.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 3:26PM
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