Are Scratch and Dent Appliances Worth it?

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Posted 04/5/21 7:45am by Prim

Home appliances are expensive, especially those manufactured by reliable and trusted brands. Buying larger items such as TVs, fridges, and ovens can run into hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Even when on sale, home appliances can be out of reach.

Fortunately, there is a way to afford home appliances without sacrificing the quality. Those who have shopped for big-ticket appliances in the past may be familiar with the term “scratch and dent.”

For those that have no idea what it means, it’s worth understanding that it could save you a decent amount of cash.

Understanding Scratch and Dent

In essence, scratch and dent appliances are brand new and unused. They are sold by 3rd-party retailers at discounts of up to 40-60%, which is huge. Of course, there’s a catch to this – at some point, the item’s external packaging got damaged.

Once the external packaging is damaged on an appliance, the retailer can no longer sell the item at full price. Often, there is nothing wrong with the product. Sometimes, there will be small dents or scratches on the surface. On a few occasions, the item will suffer more extensive damage, but this is very rare.

The risk to the customer is that they will not know the extent of the damage until they get the appliance home. Furthermore, the customer will need to be prepared to install the appliance themselves. Home-installation is typically not included with scratch and dent products.

How to Shop for Scratch and Dent

Successfully shopping for scratch and dent involves arming yourself with as much information as possible beforehand. Start by doing the following.

  • Create your shortlist. Whether you shop for a washing machine, fridge, TV, or dryer, browse for brands you like and read reviews as you create your shortlist.
  • Decide what features are essential. Stay focused on the features that matter to you. To ensure satisfaction, relevant features should be a significant factor in how you choose your appliance. 
  • Set your budget. Before you search for your ideal appliance, consider how much you are prepared to pay for the item. Remember that paying more for quality can be cost-effective in the long-run.
  • Obtain the recommended manufacturer’s retail price. Also look online for deals on appliances. Knowing the manufacturer’s recommended price and having an ideal of what type of deals are out there will allow you to determine how much of a discount you’re getting on a scratch and dent version.
  • Consider installation. Don’t assume that you will be able to perform the installation yourself. Take the time to understand whether you are able or willing to install it. And can you do so safely and correctly?

When you have this information, it’s time to go shopping. When you visit scratch and dent retailers, ensure you have plenty of time to browse the available products. Ensure you do the following:

  • Inspect items thoroughly, looking and feeling for small dents and scratches. 
  • Check the product from all angles. If it’s placed up against the wall, ask a sales rep to move it so you can inspect the back for damage.
  • Disregard any item that has cracks in the glass or the casing. This damage is unlikely to be only cosmetic. Cracked casing or glass suggests the item has sustained extensive damage and may not work correctly.
  • Consider what level of damage you’ll accept. Consider carefully whether or not you can live happily with the cosmetic defects on the product.
  • Compare the discounted price against the retail price. When it comes to scratch and dent, a rule of thumb is that you should achieve a discount above 40%.
  • Talk to the retailer about their returns policy. You need to be confident that you can return the product if it’s no good.

Are Scratch and Dent Appliances Worth it?

It takes more effort to shop for a scratch and dent, but, ideally, you receive an item in working order at a considerable discount. You can hide minor scratches and dents easily. On installation, some appliances may have no visible damage whatsoever.

As long as you appreciate the potential risk of ending up with a machine that does not work, buying a scratch and dent is exhilarating.

If you pick a retailer with a clear returns policy, you don’t have to worry about paying too much for a machine, no matter the outcome.

Don’t forget about getting it home and installing it. If you have to pay for an expert to install it, it may cost the same as if you bought it new. Therefore, this is something to keep in mind when shopping for scratch and dent appliances.

Buying a new TV is straightforward, but a washer that needs plumbing could present a challenge. You need to know what is necessary for your appliance. 

There’s nothing like getting an excellent product for next to nothing. Searching for scratch and dent items is an excellent way to achieve this. Check your local scratch and dent supplier to see what bargains you can find.

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