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Home Appliance Shopping Part II: The Happiest Place on Earth for Savings
A few weeks ago I recounted my attempts to find and buy a new washing machine. If you remember, I was trying to find a good reliable front load machine and for around $500, but failed.
So, after taking a few weeks off, I redoubled my efforts and sharpened my saving tools. I had tried, and tried again to buy a deeply discounted unit from the Sears Outlet store, but was stymied by their not quite real time inventory. I certainly liked their prices and selection, but seeing as the inventory is so limited it looked like a "Brick & Mortar" visit was in order.
And away we go!
Luckily there are six Sears Outlet locations within 50 miles of my front door. Starting on their website, I found at least two models that looked good and were listed as in stock, so I printed their tracking information to help find them in store. Both items were brand new, never installed or run floor models with cosmetic flaws, and were listed for 60-75% off. Plus, in my clicking around the web site, I discovered a printable in-store $20 off $299 coupon.
I grabbed my hat and away I went to the West Covina location.
For the amount of stuff listed in their inventory, I was surprised at how small the store was. In fact it was no larger than its neighbor, which was a Kmart. A look inside was like bargain hunters Disneyland. All the typically big ticket items, like appliances, electronics and mattresses, but with huge discounts.
I had a look around and found my number one choice, a Maytag EPICz MHWZ600T front loader which retailed at $1,069, but was listed on their website for just $427! But, were my eyes deceiving me? No, there on the top was a tag marking it down yet another $100. With my extra $20 coupon, I ended up getting this unit for a mind bending 71% of the retail list price!
And the cosmetic damage? Nothing but a slight scuff across the top of it. It'll buff right out! I saved so much on the washer I bought a new microwave as well, and that was half off too.
Michelle, who was waiting on me, even made a point to run back to the loading dock while we were putting it in my truck because she'd forgotten to deduct my extra $20. Even though it meant more work for her, she wrote the whole order up again to save me money. Needless to say, I will be back there for my next big ticket item. By the way, you can buy online and pick up in store--and I'm sure the staff would have voided the order and re-rung it for the lower in store price when I showed up.
I also own a pick up truck, which makes up for its mediocre fuel economy in times like this. What does that have to do with anything? Well, it means I never have to pay for delivery. Most places advertise free delivery and all, but come on--you know they are just rolling the cost into the price you pay at checkout. I prefer to do things myself, especially if I can save a few bucks doing it. As long as there isn't a flight of stairs involved, I'd rather save the delivery charge and do the minor grunt work myself. After all I have an appliance dolly and it impresses my wife to see me move heavy stuff, so it's a win win. By the way, delivery typically is $60-70 if you have to pay for it.
I also was able to unload my old washer via Craigslist for $50, because I was willing to deliver it locally--which beats free haul away by a mile.
Installation was almost as easy as plugging in the plug and attaching the hoses. At my house I discovered that both my washer and dryer were plugged into old style two-prong outlets with three-prong adapters. I covered replacing two-prong outlets with three-prong in an earlier blog post. I just assumed since the dryer was about five years old and the washer ten, that someone had already done this. No big deal, just an extra two steps in the installation process.
I did discover the dryer vent hose is in need of replacing, but I will have to do that sometime in the near future. You know the funny Farmers Insurance ad where J.K.Simmons lights the lint ball on fire with the flame-thrower? It's true; dryer lint is one of the top causes of house fires.
I will be cleaning the vent and putting a new hose on sometime real soon. Don't worry, I'll write a "how-to," but I don't recommend it if you're afraid of spiders because it's going to involve a lot of time in the crawl space.
How's the washing machine? So far it's perfect. Like all modern front load machines, it seems to use hardly any water and spins things nearly dry. In a few weeks I'll have a review for you. I'd love to write a product review, but I really haven't done enough laundry yet.