One way to keep the costs of white goods down is to buy some or all of your equipment second hand. There are a few things to be aware of, but if you take them into consideration there's no reason why you shouldn't grab a bargain. Here's a helpful used appliances buying guide to help you get it right.
Pros and Cons of Buying Used Appliances
- The cost is less and there's often scope for negotiation - Shops have to make a profit on new appliance sales. When you buy from an individual they've already got the use they want from the machine, and there's every chance they need the space it's currently filling. So the price is lower to start with and it's always worth trying to bargain.
- Some used appliances aren't really used at all - Ex-display models from shops, the fridge that didn't fit the gap, or the used washing machine that looks as if it's only been run twice. Used covers a multitude of situations, and in some cases you'll end up paying far less than shop price for something that still has most of its lifespan left.
- You may be able to upgrade on what you could afford new - Larger or more efficient laundry machines, the bigger TV, or the American style refrigerator that you thought was out of your price range could all become affordable if you're prepared to buy second-hand. In this case you may spend the full cost of a basic level machine, to get something far better.
- There's no warranty - Even if the machine is still within its warranty period you might have problems getting the shop or manufacturer to honour the guarantee if you're not the original owner. Having said this, things like fridges and freezers should have a useful life of many more years than the guarantee covers. An appliance that's a few years old is a gamble, but it's generally one worth taking.
- You'll probably have to arrange delivery - This is something that a superstore will take care of for you on a new appliance. But there are plenty of people who'll be happy to bring your oven to your door. Just look for a local man and van service and make sure they have the lifting equipment to do it without damaging the appliance in transit
- It can be hard to find matching units - If you want a fully coordinated kitchen you might have to shell out for new units. That's unless you can find someone who already has matching units and is selling the whole lot off because they're remodeling. You might have to scour the adverts and be ready to move fast if you have such a specialist requirement though.
Buy recognised brands - If the appliance you're considering buying used is produced by a company with a reputation for quality it's likely to have a longer lifespan. And, if you do need repairs there's more chance that the parts will be easily obtainable.
Contact your friends and family - Generally speaking, if people are selling an appliance to people they know they'll be upfront about any problems. Buying from a stranger is more of a risk.
Look for reconditioned items - Companies offering appliance repairs South London often take old white goods away for customers who decide to upgrade. If the machine has useful life left in it, they'll recondition it and sell it on. The guarantee period is likely to be fairly short, but reputable firms will only do this if they expect the appliance to last, so this can be a good way of buying an inexpensive item with a good chance of a trouble-free operational period.