Sunday, July 4, 2010

One appliance headache leads to another

It started with my dishwasher a few weeks ago.  I noticed that there was some water pooling at the bottom.  It wasn't leaking and the dishwasher functioned fine.  But I couldn't leave well enough alone.  Nope, I had to get a screwdriver and see if I could figure out why the water wasn't draining completely. 

Again, I don't have the terminology to correctly identify the parts and am a bit too lazy to google it right now.  Because the point is, I decided to investigate replacing the dishwasher. And of course if I'm gonna replace the dishwasher, it is a slippery slope to replacing the other appliances.  Warning: blatant justification approaching!

I figured that since my appliances are at least 9 years old, I would have to make some type of concession to whomever buys my condo (if and when that ever happens).  Also, newer appliances would make the place more appealing and we'd get to use them in the meantime.  I decided that I wouldn't get state-of-the art, top-of-the line, but I wasn't gonna go absolute cheapest either.  I want something middle of the line.

I did some research and tried to compare deals between the usual suspects -- Home Depot, Best Buy, Sears, etc.  The problem is that each store does it differently.  One place will give free shipping but the installation is $150.  Another place charges $50 for delivery and $100 for installation.  Most will provide free haul away of your old unit while some charge up to $40.

Here's the deal with that.  Big Guy store hauls away your old appliances.  They probably have someone who evaluates the inventory and they get separated into 1) still working 2) need minor repairs and 3) too expensive to repair or completely broken.  Category 3 hopefully gets recycled or disposed of properly.  Categories 1 and 2 get sold to one of those Discount Appliance Stores you see next to the Currency Exchanges in the borderline neighborhoods.

Discount Appliance Store buys these appliances in bulk.  Let's say they buy my old dishwasher, refrigerator, oven range and microwave for $100 total.  They then sell these items either individually or as a package to customers with a slight markup.  For example, they might sell my appliances to a landlord who just purchased a two or three flat and needs to replace or provide these appliances.  They might sell them to the landlord for $200.  DAS makes $100 profit and the landlord saves hundreds of dollars over buying them new, banking on the hope that the appliances last a couple more years until he can purchase newer, better quality items -- if he's every inclined to do so.

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