Finding cheap appliances is always a challenge. You need to strike a balance between quality and cost; after all, you wouldn’t want a cheap refrigerator or stove that’s going to break down in a year, but at the same time, buying overpriced appliances that will to send you Debtville isn’t a good idea either. The key is to do ample research before making a purchase. Scout around online stores and retailers in your area, and check out their selection, staff, and of course, prices. Be sure to ask your friends and neighbors and see where they got the appliances in their homes. Also consider recent surveys and consumer reports from sites and organizations.
ConsumerReports.org for instance, recently published their findings about customer satisfaction with regards to appliance stores.
According to survey results from the Consumer Reports National Research Center, not a single retailer was able to provide all of the following at the same time: reasonable prices, good selection, trained help, and a smooth shopping experience. Indeed, no one store truly “has it all.” Still though, some retailers did better than others. Check out their verdicts below:
Abt Electronics – In the sea of mediocre appliance stores, ConsumerReports.org stated that Abt Electronics is “some cause for hope.” This retailer, along with other independent local stores received top marks in terms of price from shoppers who purchased a major appliance. The store is based in Chicago, but you can also order appliances online.
Abt Electronics was established way back in 1936. Back then, the store was called “Abt Radio” because it only sold small electronics. However, in the succeeding years, the electronics store grew to a major electronics and appliance store occupying 37 acres in Glenview, IL and employing over 1000 people. Abt currently operates 60 large delivery trucks, 45 custom installation trucks, and more than 100 service vans.
Amazon – Now this is a retailer that needs no introduction. Amazon.com was rated highly by consumers when it came to reasonable prices of small appliances as well as for having a huge selection. This of course, comes as no surprise as Amazon practically dominates the online market. The website, which started as an online store for books, steadily became the leading online retailer for shoppers. As of 2010, it employed 37,700 employees, and had revenue of $34.204 billion.
Costco – Apparently, this wholesale giant also ranked high when it comes to reasonably priced small appliances. Costco Wholesale Corporation is well-known for its international chain of membership warehouses where consumers are able to buy items at lower prices. According to its company profile, “The warehouses are designed to help small-to-medium-sized businesses reduce costs in purchasing for resale and for everyday business use. Individuals may also purchase for their personal needs.
Clearly, when it comes to finding cheap appliances, it looks like big box stores and chains are trailing behind smaller retailers. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should totally disregard the big chains. Survey results from Consumer Reports indicate that Best Buy-owned Pacific Sales was praised for having a wide selection, and Lowe’s as well as Sears scored above average when it comes to staff and customer service. These stores may not have the cheapest prices on a regular day, but be sure to check them out during their sales, because you just might get a great deal on your appliances.