Is Cheapest Appliance Really a Finance Saving?

oakleifFebruary 4, 2007

My uncle always used to say "you get what you pay for." When it comes to appliances,electronics and cars i beleive my uncle but i tend to go to the middle of the road mostly

because it's my experiance that cheap is cheap and some expensive things are just selling their namebrands.

I might add i never buy electronics or anything with movable parts from Walmarts. It don't help that they will take it back only to give you another object that don't work.

For appliances i go to a local store,helps local economy,they deliver and set up for free and if i have problems they come right out and their service fee is reasonable. For electronics if locals don't have it i go to Radio Shack. i went to them when they only sold amateur radio stuff years ago.

Would love to hear your input.


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Thought i was on household finances. Well you are just as good.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 7:19PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I too am a middle of the road person...don't like paying big bucks for the brand name on an item.

About a year ago I needed a fridge...mine was going out. It had to be a certain size because of the space that was allotted for it. One thing that was important to me was that it have the wire racks instead of the glass shelves, as I think the shelves are a lot harder to keep looking clean. I found out that there were few models with the racks, and that they were less expensive...seems the manufacturers think everyone prefers the glass.

I agree too that it is important to support the little appliance stores, or soon they will just go away, along with their services.

When I had the house built, I refused to buy Anderson windows...pricey for the name and I found some that were just as good, for a lot less. I had the opportunity then to buy a lot of middle of the road's probably time for a lot of them to be nearing the end of their expected lives.

Last week I was shopping for 2 comfortable recliners...and luckily the ones that were miles above the rest as far as comfort were quite reasonable. Now I just have to decide if I want leather, or fabric upholstery. What would you buy?
I've got 2 votes FOR leather, and 3 AGAINST it.

Sue...who has trouble making decorating decisions

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 12:44AM
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Before my husband and I spend any money we do alot of reading and research. Turns out that many appliances are made by a certain company and sold under a different name which makes them just as realiable but cheaper! Also expensive names doesn't equal best, Subzero makes the most expensive fridges however they are not very good.
Sometimes we buy middle of the road and sometimes we buy the best. It depends on what our research points too.
For certain things we also go to "specialized" stores. We just bought a dining room furniture set and it WAS more expensive at the place we bought it but it is hardwood and made locally as compared to cheaper sets that are not hardwood. We have a big problem with furniture lately. We can't find quality furniture. Even some name brand places are offering furniture that has particleboard on it. ugh!
We often go to amish places and pay a little more money for a better product.
Luckily we haven't bought a new appliance in a while however our fridge is very old and we are most likely buying on this summer. I already did alot of research and found one that we like that is alot cheaper than the name brands. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles, however I NEVER get those things anyways, as they always break!


    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 8:56AM
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I'm middle-of-the-road as well. If I own a "famous brand name" it's because it is the best tool for the job -- not because it has that "famous brand name".

I don't know as the cheapest appliances always are the best. Typically they have fewer whizzy bells and whistles, and the fewer the moving parts, the less that can go wrong. But more expensive appliances often feature stronger components (better brackets on the door shelves, etc.) and longer warranties. You have to pick what's most important to you.

I think very expensive appliances fall victim to expectations, too. I know if I shelled out $4,000 for a Wolf range, I would expect darn near perfection for a long time -- and probably would not forgive problems or defects that I would gloss over with a Whirlpool or Hotpoint. Ditto with expensive dishwashers -- few folks with low-end Frigidaires worry about how well the cabinet front fits (not an option) or whether the plumbing for the DW conflicts with their hot-water dispenser, disposal, and water filtration system. :-)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 10:24AM
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Personally, I think it's playing roulette when you buy appliances. I've had cheap appliances that lasted me 25 years or more. And the top of the line Maytag washer that I bought about 3 years ago, has so many things wrong with it, that I refuse to call a repairman--know it will cost as much as buying a new one.

As far as where I buy? There's a furniture store 2 blocks from my house that sells appliances as lost leaders. They carry all the brand names, but at such a huge discount you can't match their prices any place else around. The store's service is very reliable, and they'll call you and tell you exactly when they'll be delivering (so much better than 'we'll be there between 8 and 3').

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 10:35PM
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Sears scratch and dent outlet is about a mile away. I note what they carry, then research the heck out it all for consumer satisfaction, durability etc. Wait like a cat for the "big" clearance and pounce!

I do think sometimes the "better" brands are better in quality and durability. But whatever is right for me, I aim to pay half retail or even less. Been lucky so far....

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 10:53PM
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When making general statements, I think that one is pretty accurate. I'm all over the place between cheap and high end and I've been more disappointed in high end items, which were all furniture.

I purchased a new fridge last year and it was the first time I actually got to pick one for myself rather than living with what came with the house. My fix-it guy said not to get the computer board type, so within that framework, I found a Whirlpool with a rounded front and the top of the door was rounded. It looked great with my 1950's range, but since I really wanted it, I was afraid the other features wouldn't work. Compared to other simple white boxes which would have cooled just as well, I found that I was getting better quality shelving and crisper drawers for that extra $500. Metal components instead of plastic.

I'm ok with cheap shoes which my 12 yo outgrows every two months and we spend the money for better quality when my DH will wear his dress shoes for years.

I think there is a place for both ends of the spectrum.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 1:34AM
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Appliances have that energy star thing are usually showing cost of power to opperate it too. That's not the total decision but it is the big part of the decision making process for me.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 10:42AM
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I don't necessarily buy THE most efficient appliance, but I do like to get one that is up there efficiency-wise. I don't think it always pays off to pay for THE most efficient vs a very efficient appliance in terms of money saved vs up front cost. It depends on how long I think I'm going to keep an appliance. Right now, we bought a middle of the road dishwasher because we don't intend to live here for more than 6 years tops, a lot less given my first choice. And we'll sell the appliances with the house. So cost-wise, it didn't make sense to splurge on the most efficient dishwasher with all the bells and whistles when we'd only be using it for a couple of years.

Now when I build my dream home, things will be different. I intend to be fully self-sufficient energy wise, making all the power I need for my home via solar and whatever else works for wherever I end up. So my appliances are going to have to be very efficient. But since I'll stay there for the rest of my life, I'll get my money back on up front costs. At least, that's the plan!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 10:49AM
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Not meaning to be on a soap box and not choosing correct words, my appologies. Keep seeing this for me only expenditures and to heck with the next guy. Thats just not me.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 8:42PM
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I always look at "value" rather than brand, price or the like. I look at my needs. I might not need a top end item. Get something that's a good value. For instance, a friend bought a kitchenaid stand mixer for $300+. Uses it about the same amount I use my $14 hand mixer (1-2 times/yr) for the same things (basic mixing). Considering my last one ($7 mixer) lasted 25 years, I call that a good value. Served my needs.

OTOH, I have bought some top of the line tools which had to put up with heavy use, heavy abuse and more which cheap stuff wouldn't handle. I still got good value.

There's no golden rule for me on this, except look for value, I guess. If I don't need TOL items, I can take a step or two down, or buy less than state of the art. But if I can get higher quality which I can probably make use of, then I'll avoid the BOL items too and take a step or two up.

I have simple tastes, so I don't need the fancy looks. I go with "form follows function".

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 3:34PM
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