Used appliances not a great solution to the appliance shortage

Nowadays, when you need a new refrigerator, washing machine, or other device, the wait can be long.

Therefore, stores selling inexpensive used equipment could be a good option.

But a single mother has a cautionary story.

Mom buys for great savings

Stephanie Holley found a home for her and her children.

With little money she started looking for used equipment.

“I actually ran an ad on the Freecycle network and got a free stove,” she said.

Her search for equipment went well until she purchased a used HVAC system for heat and air from a nonprofit hardware store.

It was only $ 700, Holley said, and it was listed as an almost new unit that had been donated to the store.

“So we went back the next day and bought it,” she said.

However, her installer noticed that parts were missing and pointed out that wires had been cut.

She contacted a heating and cooling company who said they were having more problems and quoted them with more than $ 2,000 to fix the wiring, replace a defective circuit board, and more.

But when Holley contacted the store, she learned they had exceeded the 30 day return period … by 4 days.

What to buy – and not to buy – used

Used equipment can be a good option when money is tight or you can’t find anything due to a lack of equipment.

However, if you are buying used, it is important to have a guarantee that the item will work.

The Angie’s List consumer guide says used kitchen gadgets like refrigerators and microwaves are fine.

But it suggests that you are not buying used ones:

These items often require expensive repairs, Stephanie Holley learned.

“It should work,” she said. “No, that wasn’t the case.”

The store will give Stephanie $ 400 back of her $ 700, but nothing more than that because she has exceeded the 30-day return period.

Bottom Line: Before you bring a used device home, ask how many days you need to return it if it doesn’t work.

And make sure to test it out well before the return period ends so you don’t waste your money.


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