Selecting a household appliance from the myriad of brands and models available on market today is a daunting task. Even if a colleague recommends a particular brand model, it may prove inadequate since user needs vary a lot. As a consumer, you always want to buy an appliance that improves your lifestyle and does its job efficiently. Selecting and buying small appliances such as TV sets, computers, microwave ovens, electric kettles might be a lot easier than buying major appliances like washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, and refrigerators because there are not many things you have to look out for as with major appliances.
Major appliances are large and difficult to move. You could say they are fixed items. Examples include refrigeration equipment, washing equipment, stoves, air conditioners, water coolers, etc. The cost associated with buying a major appliance is normally high. It would be very frustrating if you spent thousands of dollars on an appliance and it breaks down in less than a year of use! For this reason, you have to select your appliance carefully to get value for money and avoid ending up with a worthless appliance. Enumerated as follows are a few tips to save the day!
1) Appliance Need Assessment
Be realistic as possible about the appliance you need. Do not overstate or you end up paying unnecessarily more for capacity you do not need. If you are buying a refrigerator for instance, estimate the cubic capacity you need from your family foodstuff requirements and allotted space in the house. Knowing the right appliance size can save you much money in terms of cost and energy bills.
2) Appliance Search
Having identified your specific need for a major appliance, you now embark on a search to find one that most suits your need. Going for an appliance loaded with features and functionality sounds very attractive but can result in over paying. It is possible that you might never use some features on the appliance during its working life and yet you paid for them. Look for an appliance that very nearly suits your need to cut on cost. Visit showrooms, appliance outlet stores, and checkout online appliance stores to see what is available and refine your need appropriately.
3) Read buying guides, reviews and price comparison sites
Information is crucial to getting value for money. Price comparison sites will help you get a good price on an appliance, while reviews and buying guides will equip you with valuable information to choose from similar appliance brands. Read as many reviews as possible to get a balanced view.
4) Energy efficiency labels and tags
Nowadays, government jurisdictions require appliances to conform to tight energy standards to save power and cut the impact on climatic change. Cut your energy bill and insist on appliances with an Energy Star or EU energy label. Energy Star is a voluntary American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that helps consumers and businesses alike save energy and protect the environment through use of efficient energy-saving appliances.
4) Appliances with digital control
The computer age has spawned big technological advancements in the appliance industry, tailored to enhance user experience, improve efficiency and cut on energy requirements. These appliances cost a little bit more but in the end, you save on the energy bill, enjoy a longer working life and higher efficiency than on older models.
5) Manufacturer’s Warranty
Nowadays, all major appliances ideally should have a manufacturer’s warranty. A manufacturer’s warranty should be top on the list of pre-qualification requirements of your major appliance. The manufacturer’s warranty offers some form of insurance on the money you pay for the appliance. Should the appliance breakdown within the warranty period, you simply send it back to the supplier for replacement or repair.
6) Buy major appliances from accredited suppliers
If you buy your appliances from official suppliers, you enjoy a number of benefits;
a) Appliance prices are relatively lower because they buy directly from manufacturers.
b) Some and not all have appliance installation services.
c) Genuine appliances directly delivered from the manufacturer.
d) You will always have where to run to if your appliance develops issues because they are not going out of business anytime soon.
e) Most official suppliers have service and repair centers that can quickly attend to any problem that might arise with your appliance. A good example is Sears appliances.
Small appliances are easily movable and include among many, computers, coffee makers, blenders, grinders, electric kettles, etc. Majority are relatively inexpensive. You can buy any of these from a street corner shop and not necessarily an official brand supplier. Nevertheless, beware of counterfeits if you are not buying from an official supplier! There are unscrupulous people out there trying to make a buck from counterfeiting top brand products.
Here are a few tips for buying small appliances:
1) Buy a familiar time-tested brand model
Over the years, I have noticed that not all products from a top manufacturer are the best. One manufacturer might have top-notch blenders while the other, the best microwave ovens. Therefore, I buy an appliance that has worked well for others. Buying a familiar time-tested appliance saves you time and money since you will enjoy operational efficiency and longer equipment life.
2) Be mindful of the appliance power rating
Each time I walk into an appliance warehouse, I always look out for appliances that suit my power requirements, i.e. 110-127V AC, 220-240V AC. Nowadays it is highly unlikely to buy an appliance that is not tailored to your local mains supply. Nonetheless, check it out and be sure! If you are purchasing from an online appliance store, please state your power requirements explicitly to the sales representative.
Additionally, check out the power consumption of the appliance. The lower this value is, the better for you and for your beautiful environment.
3) Manufacturer’s warranty
Some and not all small appliances are supplied with manufacturer’s warranty. Inquire if warranty is available for your appliance.
4) Ask for a demo appliance
Sometimes when you see TV commercials and internet ads about a particular appliance model, you might get excited. But those are just ads! Your much hyped appliance may physically look and work differently in the shop! So ask for a demo appliance and be sure what you saw on the TV is the appliance you need.