Don’t Waste Your Money: Used Appliance Caution

Don't Waste Your Money

The pandemic has caused a lot of manufacturing delays, which means it’s hard to find kitchen appliances. Some stores are now selling them used, and that’s not always working out well.

It’s tough finding refrigerators and many appliances but some people who have purchased used ones are cautioning others who are interested in doing the same.

Stephanie Holley found a home for her children to grow up in.

“They have three sisters and they are all dying to get in here,” Holley said.

With little money left, this single mom began looking for used appliances.

“I actually posted an ad in the Freecycle network and got a free stove,” Holley recalls.

It went well until she bought this used HVAC system for heat and air. It was a returned, almost new model, from a nonprofit building supply store.

“They said $700, so we went back the next day and brought it in,” Holley said.

But her installer noticed pieces missing. “The vent pipe is not connected, the wiring had been cut obviously,” the installer said.

A heating and cooling company quoted more than $2,000 to fix it.

“There were three things wrong with it, mainly the control board,” Holley said.

But when Holley contacted the store, she learned she was over the 30-day return period…by four days.

Used appliances can be a great option if money is tight or if there’s an appliance shortage. But it’s necessary to get some guarantee that the item is going to work if opting into buying a used product.

The consumer guide Angie’s List says used kitchen appliances are fine, but says don’t buy used water heaters, air conditioners, or furnaces because they often require expensive repairs, just as Holley has learned.

Bottom line: Before a used appliance is brought into a home, ask about the return policy. And make sure to test it before it’s fully installed.

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