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Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

Posted by goodguy2k2k (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 14, 13 at 1:51

Ok, I have been lurking and reading quite a bit about BlueStar, NXR, and other Prostyle ranges on here and am ready to buy but need some advice.

So my options are (tax, etc included):
1) Bluestar 30"from Costco.ca for $2711
2) NXR 30" from Costco.com for $2118
3) Verona 36' 2 Fuel from AJ Madison for $2499
4) Bertazzoni 30" for $2499 - but have read bad things.

So here is the scoop on getting the Canadian bluestar:

I live about 30 minutes from the Canadian border and there is a Costco right across the border. Called them and the Bluestar Ranges are coming up as discontinued and no stores (at least in Ontario) had any in stock. Only can order them on Costco.ca.

I called US Customs/border an the border agent said it is duty free to bring it across (if there is a made in USA designation on them item (so might have to unbox it to show if they really need to look).
I guess no tarriff/duty if made in USA or Canada (NAFTA).

The border agent did state that there is no duty IF you are using it for personal use and not commercial use. He said they ask you questions at the border to determine if it is in fact for personal use and IF the agent believes you then no duty. Couple more issues - HST (13% canadian taxes - yikes! so about $312 dollars on the 30" Bluestar range making it about $2700 is that still a good deal? model RCS304BCN which is i think now RCS304IRV1).

Other thing is since no stores have them, you would
have to have a place to ship it to (i.e. UPS store or canadian equivalent and somewhere that can take freight like that - my neighbors parents live there so they might let me ship it there).
Other than all that hassle - it seems like a simple trip across the border :-) - not that big of a deal for us border crossers who do it a few times a year ...lol

Also, Bluestar manufacturer in Pennsylvania says Warranty is honored no matter where you bought the range. Why the heck cant they just sell them here for that price...Ugh...

But, is this even a good deal at the $2711 price for the RCS304BCN (I think they ship you the RCS304IRV1 instead) model Bluestar? I am not a super chef and maybe 15K burners would suffice instead of 22K typical BS burners???

Note; you can no longer get a tax rebate as a consumer when cross border shopping.

So trying to decide on:
1) Canadian Bluestar for $2711 (with some hassle getting it)
2) 30" NXR for $2119 from US Costco
3) Verona 36" with dual fuel from AJ madison for $2499.
http://www.ajmadison.com/cgi-bin/ajmadison/VEFSGE365.html

Which would you choose and why?
THANKS!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

Costco is known for discounts at least once a year.
I believe last time they had $400 off for the 30'' model which would make it even better deal.
Maybe hold on and wait for an annual discount and buy it then.
If I'm not mistaken every year it's around middle of the year.


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

Given the poor customer service directly from the top of the BlueStar corp, I would not purchase from them. Period.

I'd go for the NXR with the solid Costco return policy behind it. In fact, that's exactly what I would do, except that we have decided to go induction to save the cost of running natural gas to our property. But that's a whole other thread! ;-)


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

Great points. I wonder if Costco discount as a rule or if they discount only discontinued items as in the case with Bluestar in Canada.
All the bluestar threads I have read seem to be from a couple years ago and perhaps I am late to the BS love fest that seemed to be going on (probably encouraged by a BS vendor just a bit).

It seems there was a ton of hype in BS a couple years ago but silent in BS lately. I have seen some threads and gather BS issues have hurt BS among loyal followers and potential buyers. Or am I reading BS sentiment wrong.

Hard to beleive BS had everything going for them momentum wise and screwed it up with poor QC and CS. Or are they still good?

NXR seems very possible but not the prettiest range. Only hesitation on NXR is possible enamel chipping and possible low quality stainless used (any service issues can be overcome as I am pretty handy with repairs and parts myself).

Verona 36" is one heck if a price but wondering if Italian ranges are more style than substance. Berta's seem to have issues and the Smeg I have seen locally seem less than durable.


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

I love my BS. I have had a couple of minor issues, all of which were promptly addressed by customer service.

I think it is worth considering that when people complain about BS (or any other manufacturer), by definition, because this is a place where people can be relatively anonymous and manufacturers don't really have the ability to tell their side, when people purport to recount facts, we have no independent check, no manufacturer's side of the story to hear, no acknowledgment of the possibility of miscommunications or less than exemplary behavior by the customer, etc.

I take complaints here with a couple of grains of salt.

It's sort of like when a prosecutor obtains a grand jury indictment. Easy as pie because only one side of the story is presented. Obtaining a conviction. Not as easy.


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

Well, there's the infamous BlueStar thread from last week, which would certainly give me pause. See below. The bonus in buying from Costco would be that if you got one of BS's duds, you could return it to Costco and not have to do battle with the retailer and the manufacturer. People with BS ranges that are not defective out of the box seem to be really happy with them, so if you're buffered against being stuck with a defective unit by Costco, that could turn out really well.

Here is a link that might be useful: infamous BS thread


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

I realize each manufacturer will have issues and I consider myself handy enough to overcome many small issues (ie changing igniters, etc) so maybe not that dependent on CS.

Is the BS range for $2711 a good deal for the model as compared to the others I mentioned?


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

Love my Blue Star. I have the RNB. I think the model sold by Costco is the RCS -- same shape burners but lower firepower -- still plenty powerful.

Suggest you go and get eyes on and hands on everything you are seriously considering. Was worried about BS before purchasing (2 years ago) but once I actually saw and compared-- in this case to Wolf -- I was sold.

I could be wrong but my read on that thread last week was that the problems were people problems, not product problems. FWIW I have had an exceptionally good experience with both the product and the people.


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

Not to belabor this but the infamous BS thread was exactly what I was thinking about when I posted. We have heard only one side of the story there. And then there was also the piling on and cheerleading. As I said somewhere in that thread, some of the posts there left me disappointed and I think GW is usually better than that. So I take those claims with a few grains of salt. There was enough there to make me ask some questions and do my due diligence if I were in the market now, which should be done anyway. Enough to cross something off my list? Not for me.


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

You have two camps of ranges under consideration. The Pro's (Bluestar, NXR) and the Style's (Berta, Verona) You need to decide if you are a form or function type of person first and that will tell you which camp you pitch your tent in.

Then you need to triple check that there is a US warranty on Canadian purchases, if warranty is important to you. I do not believe that any company will warrant a cross border purchase. It's come up many times before, and always when the company was contacted, they declined to provide service for an American model in Canada, or a Canadian model in America.

And you also need to factor in your hood into your budget. It doesn't do any good to go for the firepower and keep all of that new searing heat in your kitchen. You'll need to match a hood with a range. And if you are that far north as to be close enough for a border crossing, you will also need to factor heated make up air into the package as well. That can easily cost more than the range and hood together. So, the total budget for the project probably needs to be 12-15K rather than 3K.


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

Hollysprings- thank you, very useful info.

Your assessment of form vs function is spot on.
The Italian ranges (seen only in photos) definitely seem more "form" over function (but can't find much about the Verona range so not sure if that hold true for them).
The only ones I have seen in person is a Smeg, all electric (so different than my goal of a gas range, but have me a good idea of construction of the Smeg). The Smeg 36" I saw was admittedly not induction and only radiant and only $1400 so almost $1000 less than the others I am considering.

Even with that $1000 difference I could not justify going with the Smeg. Partly due to no gas, and mostly due to what I felt was a cheaply made product that would not hold up for long. Sure, it had that "PRO" look...36" freestanding, etc. but I guess looking at the Smeg really brought home the the idea that I DO want substance over style. I would rather have a workhorse than a show horse right now.

That being said, if I could find a 30" bluestar locally (or even a few hours drive away) for $2700, I would probably jump on it. Even with the issues I have read about, I would rather have the bones of a solid performer than a pretty skin and shiny touches.

So I am probably leaning toward the NXR or Bluestar but unless I can make the cross border scenario work, it may be just the NXR. It may not be the best out there but reviews seem to indicate it has a solid performance, simple design, and peace of mind with Costco return policy.

So the Canadian bluestar is a stretch due to the potential issues. If I could figure those out, then maybe I could end up with the BS (but is it even worth the extra $600 and hassle over the NXR?).

I did see the Bertazzoni locally and while it looked "Pro" and would look "good" in the kitchen, it just seems to have too many small issues (customer service, uneven oven heat/burning, base oven temp too high, odd startup procedures). The Berta just seems to have small things that add up but mostly some CS posts that would be unacceptable (i.e. not responding to customer email issues for months). Can't imagine what it would be like to have a big problem and not have them stand behind the product let alone flat out ignore you.

That being said, NXR CS seems to be non existent is many cases and BS at least has a local connection/parts, etc.

The only range I don't have ANY feel for is the Verona. It could be a great deal but I may never know it. Do I just throw it into the "Italian bunch" with style but no tough "pro" durability. I am not hard on things but want something halfway durable.

The Verona "seems" like a good price deal but is that at the expense of durability?

Note on the BS: I did speak with BS directly and they said warranty was vid. I matter where purchased but need to triple check as you said - would hate to find out they wouldn't warranty item too late.

One more issue (which is probably me just being paranoid) is: IF the Canadian BS was a total bust and not anything like people have boasted about, returning it would be a hassle to the point of almost not worth it (having to take it back across the border).

Not saying the BS is impossible to do but the real question is whether it is worth the extra $600 and potential hassle?

One more thing that has me wondering (in you post): you say I would need to have a makeup air and cost of hood, range and makeup air would be $12-15K... ? Do I really need makeup air? I would get a $600 cfm hood and can't imagine I would be cooking for too long in one sitting so would I really NEED make up air. House was built 10 years ago and has fresh air inlet on heater, etc so pretty sure I would not be completely sucking all heat out of the home while cooking and adding back heat from the range anyway - I missing something??? Why has no one I have ever talked to mentioned the need for make up air before. Is it really necessary? How can they sell all these pro ranges currently if people are paying $8k fr range, $1.5k for hood and double that for "make up air"...

BTW, I found a nice pro level 600 CFM hood locally on close out for $300.

Thanks

This post was edited by goodguy2k2k on Sun, Apr 14, 13 at 15:48


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

I can't seem to find any local Bluestar, Verona, NXR dealers. Company websites don't have anyone locally either ( live in Detroit, Michigan area).

I stumbled upon a Bertazzoni display at a local appliance dealer when out shopping even though their website listed no local dealers.

Not sure about the market but much fewer access to anything other than Wolf, Viking and your typical non-pro brands. Seems local market is dominated by a couple large appliance chains and they are Wolf, Viking, Kitchen aid and GE.

Wonder how I could find a bluestar to look at?


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

I've got a little input and an idea you haven't thought of. I've seen the Verona, and it seems poorly constructed; the floor model even had a broken knob. Salespeople at the store agreed with me. The Berta is lovely and has many things going for it. Only you can decide if it is sufficient power for your cooking style because it is not in the same camp as the BS and the NXR.

I liked a lot of things about the Bluestar and was sorely tempted but finally decided not to buy one because there are many comments (and not just on Gardenweb) from people who have had difficulties with their range and customer service. Have you looked at American Range? They are very nicely made and more powerful (if that is something you need) than the NXR and the BS from Costco. And, their price is very reasonable for the quality. We were all set to buy one until we did a final re-check on our measurements and discovered because of it's little bit of extra depth we wouldn't be able to open a drawer in our specific situation with a L shaped configuration. Check it out. I'm familiar with all you are talking about because right after the first of the year I spent waaaaay too much time researching and investigating and shopping for a new range.


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

Wow - just read the infamous BS post and had to comment. Sort of troublesome that BS botched that OP's issue so badly.

I had to give my two cents (actually more like 2000 cents but...)

Thinking Bluestar (as great as they may seem) may have some serious issues to iron out. Probably awesome ranges (if you never have anything go wrong).


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

If you follow their required delivery and install procedure from a professional (required) and send in the required checklist within the specified time period in order to register the warranty properly, I don't think you'd have too many issues. When you buy something without white glove delivery and install service, and then store it long term on a construction site, exposing it to possible incidental damage from various trades, there isn't a lot of recourse to actually say that the damage was there at delivery. If you want a warranty for a product, you have to follow that product's requirements for that warranty to be in force. Otherwise, the contract is void.


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

Found a local Bluestar dealer and viewed the range. WOW, I liked what I saw. Seems to be very well made and simple.
The simplicity and industrial quality of the unit greatly appealed to me.

Tried to find some flaws in fit and finish, design, etc and could not.

After reading the issues people had been having, I expected a shoddy product. Quite the opposite. Very tough and well laid out. I can see what they are talking about when they push their features. They make sense.

We'll see if the price is right. It appears the RCS model (15k burners same as in Canada) is $3178.94 (including tax) -or- about $450 more than Canadian options (same range). Hmmm wonder if cross border antics are worth $450 now?

Is that a good deal?

This post was edited by goodguy2k2k on Mon, Apr 15, 13 at 16:59


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

I purchased a floor model RNB from an appliance dealer on Ebay. It was $1,000 less than the local dealer quoted and no sales tax. The warranty for floor models is not quite as good, but the chance of something failing on these simple ranges is pretty low.


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

It is looking like the choices are coming down to the NXR and Bluestar (RCS model).

NXR is $2299 (including center grate) from Costco
Bluestar is $3179 from local dealer

$ 900 difference ?

Unless I can find a floor model BS (and that is not looking possible).


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

I would consider the worst case scenario. What if you lug your range home and something is wrong. Can you return it at a local Costco, or do you have to "return" it at the Costco in Canada?

Just looked at their web site, and it says:
"For an immediate refund (including shipping and handling), simply return your purchase at any one of our Costco warehouses worldwide." Sounds like you could return it locally.

Idea: Any chance you could try to negotiate with a local dealer? Wonder how much of a mark-up there is by telling them your reasoning.

Here is a link that might be useful: BS reviews


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

Great point - Thanks so much for that idea- i will need to check and see if the item could be returned locally (in the worst case scenario like it being a total dud). I will call the local Costco and inquire - I wonder if they have ever addressed this before.

I did review the written warranty from Bluestar and it says something to the effect: "warranty valid for all items purchased in US or Canada.

It is looking like difference it will be the same range (RCS model) and after tax, etc would be approx $450 more to buy in the states. Not a huge amount but enough to make a difference and have me consider Canadian option (assuming it goes easily and relatively pain free).

I will keep checking but have to pull the trigger eventually ... Don't want to be one of those who come back in 2 years saying "ok, I'm almost ready to buy" ...lol

I did look on ebay and found 1 or 2 BS ranges. For anyone else thinking of doing this, beware of a company hawking BS ranges under the name if Markdown Madness - check some if their reviews on Merchant Circle.
There is a similar outfit in my area (somehow associated with this Markdown Madness outfit) and they seem shady to say the least.

1 thing I think these shady ebay sellers do is sell a ton of simple items (shoes, lunch boxes, whatever) to overcome any negatives they may have selling high ticket scratch and dent items. At least that is the only way I can imagine a company maintaining a good ebay rating while having an "F" rating at the BBB and terrible reviews online (like Markdown Madness).

In other words, if you are buying a "new" or "floor sample" item from ebay or craigslist, make sure you are buying from an actual dealer or personal seller and not from some guys using a storage garage to sell potentially non-warrantied items. Good luck getting any money back from people like this no matter what assurances they give you. Not saying you can't find a deal this way but you have to ask yourself if you have the capacity to deal with a total lemon (financially and emotionally). Unfortunately people looking for deals usually can't afford to buy another appliance if the "deal" goes bad.

If it seems to good to be true - it probably is.


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

What I quoted was from their Canadian web site (incidentally, the UK web site says you can NOT return any goods to their warehouses). Sounds to me like you're covered by Costco's return policy in the worst case scenario:

"How do I return an item?
Costco.ca offers convenient returns at any one of our Costco warehouses worldwide. To expedite the return process, please have your order confirmation email with you. Use our warehouse locator to find your local Costco. When returning items containing a 1.00 ct diamond or larger, Costco warehouses may require additional time to verify the diamond, in which case a refund will be approved upon positive verification. This process may require two to five business days.

For an immediate refund (including shipping and handling), simply return your purchase at any one of our Costco warehouses worldwide. If you are unable to return your order at one of our warehouses, please contact us at Customer Service or call our Customer Service Center at 1-888-426-7826 for assistance. To expedite the processing of your return, please reference your order number."

US site:
"How do I return an item?
For an immediate refund (including shipping and handling), Costco.com offers convenient returns at any one of our Costco warehouses worldwide. To expedite the return process, please have your order confirmation email with you.

If you are unable to return your order at one of our warehouses, please contact us at customer service or call our customer service center at 1-800-955-2292 for assistance. To expedite the processing of your return, please reference your order number."

Here is a link that might be useful: Costco Canada return policy


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

Awesome research.

So I called Costco.ca and spoke with a rep re buying via Costco.ca and returning to a US Costco store.

They said no problem.

Only issue would be (if it ever came to that) would be refund would be in cash as items taken back to store could not necessarily be refunded to the exact method of payment ( since online takes more types of payment than instore- and not sure if there is some cross border issue with refunds to credit cards).

Their system must handle exchange rate conversions, etc since they can take things back worldwide. Kudos to Costco for having their systems in order to handle this.

This post was edited by goodguy2k2k on Tue, Apr 16, 13 at 10:08


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RE: Please Help me Choose a Pro Range - Bluestar, NXR, Verona

So, now you have to make a decision :)


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