Best place to buy a Roomba?

marys1000December 19, 2011

My 87 yr old mother is still in her home, barely. She tries to keep up with her floors, a mix of linoleum, hardwood, no nap wool carpet but its just getting too hard for her. I live 4 hours away.

I thought maybe a Roomba could help. I get theimpression that if you get one that works they are fairly nice but some don't work as well as others.

Anyway I have the options of Best Buy, straight price, Bed Bath and Beyond that I usually have a 20% off coupon for and the Base Exchange which I think is tax free, normally sales tax is 6.5% i think. Prices for the 530 and 560 are about the same so here's my question.

Who has the best return policy if something goes wrong?

Particularly if I buy it in Ohio and she wants to return it in Michigan (which leaves the BX out). Best Buy or BBB?

Any other recommendations or ideas?

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I was so skeptical about a Roomba working like they said that I ordered mine through Hammacher Schlemmer - because they have a lifetime warranty on products they sell. I'm sure I could have gotten a better deal, but I wanted to know I could return it. But I love it and it won't be going back. As I've said before, I'm going to marry it. :-)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 6:06PM
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I bought mine at BB&B, but I'm not as thrilled with it as olychick. I have found that it has to be cleaned after every room. That's a pain.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 6:13PM
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My husband got me one for Christmas last year from Costco. So far no problems at all, and Costco has a great return policy. Your mother will have to dump out the dust bin after every use and the brushes need to be cleaned every few uses, which involves taking them out of the unit, and removing some small parts. So, it's definitely not maintenance free.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 6:14PM
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marys1000 you think she can handle the bin at least? Is it heavy to pick and hard or complicated to maneuver the bin in an out? She might be able to get a neighbor to help with brushes once in awhile

Is it worth it for an older lady?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 7:41PM
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I got mine from the iRobot website. They had a comparison of all the models, plus a special price on several, and they threw in a refurbishment kit -- for when the brushes, etc., get worn out. Since you're buying from the manufacturer, you would probably have to ship it back if anything went wrong (although nothing has with mine so far).

The vacuum is not heavy and it's easy to empty the bin after every use. I shake the contents of the bin onto a paper towel so I can make sure it didn't suck up valuable.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 8:15PM
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I keep getting sidebar ads for the Roomba from iRobot.

Another place I saw them is ebay daily deals. They've had the Roomba twice during the holiday season.

I would like one but am worried the cats would totally freak.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 8:25PM
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OMG - gsciencechick, you have to go to youtube and search on roomba cats. This one girl has a bunch of videos of cats riding roomba's as do many others.
Apparently many cats love to just sit on them and ride them around. My favorite is is one with a night camera of some kind that makes the roomba look like a ufo with a cat with glowing green eyes riding it around - too funny!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 8:30PM
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Ours came from Of course that means you have to catch it when they have it for sale or when they have a Woot-off.

Here is a link that might be useful: Not a Roomba today, but check tomorrow...

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 8:55PM
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OMG, those are hilarious! Thanks for the heads up.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 10:38PM
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Target has the Neato (carpet, rugs and hard floors) and Mint advertised his week. The Neato has a $70 gift card back.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 2:42AM
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I have 3 and love them. I found the best price at Best Buy but I caught a special sale at the time. I recommend the 560 if you want one that can be scheduled, otherwise the 530 should work for you. The 550 at Costco is the same as the 560, it just happens to be a model made specifically for Costco. The difference in cost (of the same model) is usually due to the number of Lighthouses that come with it so be sure to compare all the accessories that come with each one.

Is your DM able to pick up 12 lbs.? If so, she should be able to pick up the Roomba, place it on a counter and clean it. Yes, it should be cleaned everytime it runs especially if there are pets around. If your DM keeps a pretty clean house then she may be able to skip a day or two of cleaning the Roomba. If she's not able to remove a small brush and a beater bar from their slots, remove the plastic pieces on each end of the brush and bar and check them for hair/debris, slide out the bin, dump it and clean the filter, then you may want to pass on the Roomba. The other cons of Roomba is it will try to eat loose electrical cords & pet toys, get stuck on the corners of rugs and sometimes get lost under beds if there's stuff stored under there!

Even though I love my Roombas, I'm anxious to try the Neato because of everything I listed above and I mainly want to see how it handles pet hair! Apparently the Neato's only maintenance is emptying the bin and it doesn't bump into furniture and walls like the Roomba does.
There are some pretty good sales going on right now so I may be tempted to make it my Christmas present this year!

Here is a link that might be useful: Neato

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 2:56AM
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A guy on Amazon recommends waiting till version 2 of Neato because of a wheel/spring problem that everyone is having. It weighs 3 lbs more too otherwise sounds great.
So I got my Mom the 560 at BBB, they were out at Best Buy

Thanks all!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 5:47PM
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We got a lab puppy in the fall and for Christmas my DH bought the 780 Roomba. It works well on the rugs and floor. The only complaint is that it has trouble with the height difference between the area rugs and the floor and sometimes doesn't get the dog hair that's adjacent to the rug. I do wish it had a larger dust bin. Dog hair fills it quickly.

And the other complaint is that my dog learned to shut it off! She touches her nose to the neon green CLEAN button and turns it off. I tried covering the button with a piece of vinyl and she still manages to hit the button.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 9:07AM
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And of course, the best Roomba...

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 11:24AM
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Hammacher Schlemmer ! Lifetime guarantee, and they honor it! They replaced mine without questions when it started having seizures.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 3:50PM
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Got ours from

And they are having a Woot off now. So, you never know.

Mine is the programmable one with several virtual walls.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 4:23PM
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Lynne Reno

I got mine from Woot and got a square trade warranty. I would never have a roomba without an extended warranty. I got a Neato and returned it, after about 15 minutes it would stop in the middle of the room for no reason at all.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 11:13PM
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