So, you are looking to replace one or more appliances. You can head down to the nearest big box store and buy any floor model for retail, but why do that?
Whether you are replacing an appliance for your own home, replacing an appliance for one of your rental houses, or you are a renter who needs an inexpensive appliance for your rented home, the best solution to save you thousands is as simple as scratch-n-dent.
Knowing how to cash in on scratch and dent is easy once you know where to look. Some great places to start are big hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowes. However, the best place to find scratch and dent appliances is Sears. You read that correctly, Sears!
What is a Scratch and Dent Appliance?
Scratch and dent means just that; the major appliance is not mechanically or functionally damaged, it simply has a scratch or a dent, which classifies it as damaged and makes it unsellable at suggested retail price. This means cash savings for you. These models are dramatically discounted to help Sears move their stock and reduce inventory.
How Much Money Can You Save by Shopping Sears Scratch and Dent Appliances?
Literally, hundreds of dollars in saving is possible. The actual amount saved is influenced by several factors:
How severe is the scratch and/or dent?
- Sometimes the scratch is so small and insignificant that is difficult to detect, other times it’s more like a gouge and is down to metal. The more severe the scratch, and the more numerous they are, the more discount Sears will apply to the appliance.
- Dents work the same way. A small, superficial dent will receive a smaller discount; whereas, a larger dent and numerous dents will receive slashed prices.
How long has the appliance been in the clearance/outlet department?
- From an accounting standpoint, Sears wants to recoup as much of their initial profit margin as they can. However, the longer the damaged appliance sits on the showroom floor, the longer the company has to record that appliance as part of the recurring inventory. This cost the company money in the long run, so they are motivated to make a smaller profit and reduce their inventory.
- Appliances that have been on the floor the longest, receive the biggest discounts.
Where can I Find Sears Scratch and Dent Appliances?
Sears appliances are a trusted name in home appliances and therefore, Sears stores can still be found relatively easily. Sears stores can be found in major metropolitan areas and normally are anchor stores at local malls. Scratch and dent appliances will remain in those stores for a short amount of time, before they are transferred to an outlet center if they do not sell.
Additionally, Sears Outlets can be found in these areas with a simple internet search. As I’m writing this article, a quick search revealed a great deal at the Outlet store near me – a Kenmore 18 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator at 50% of the original suggested retail price. Outlets are treasure troves of savings! In addition, Sears outlet website invites you to sign up for email notifications of sales and events, making you aware of special events and reduced prices. They boast savings of 20-60% discounts.
In our area, there is a local store called the Sears Parts and Service Center. Although, they rarely have brand new appliances on the floor with a scratch or dent, they carry many replacement parts. So, for instance, if you purchase a unit with a broken knob, buy it with confidence knowing that you can purchase a replacement part. This store can be a one of your own hidden super-powers.
In rural areas, Sears Holdings has a retail store called the Sears Hometown Stores. They often carry a small amount of inventory, but these items can potentially be damaged too. Often a quick call to those surrounding stores for an inquiry about their current inventory will be worth driving out to pick it up.
What to Avoid When Buying Lowes Scratch and Dent Appliances
Consumers need to be smart shoppers. Make sure that you have done some research and are aware of the retail prices of the appliances for which you are searching. It is possible that the appliance is actually slightly damaged and has been moved to the scratch and dent section, but the price is not really dropped. The unaware and uninformed consumer will not know the difference in the higher price and assume that just because of where the appliance is staged, they are getting a good deal.
One other item to be mindful over is the warranty. A wise consumer will ask and get a written guarantee that the warranty is not voided with the damaged. Without the warranty, the price should be dramatically slashed. If the warranty is intact, you can be confident in the slightly higher price.
Finally, when shopping at Outlet Centers be aware that their inventory also includes refurbished appliances. Unlike scratch and dent, these items have been purchased and then returned during the warranty period needing repairs. They might be sold at discounted prices but they are not the same as new appliances that have cosmetic defects or damages.
How to Find Rock Bottom Prices
Most consumers look for sales, coupons, and clearance prices. Rarely, do most consumers even consider negotiating on those prices. Sometimes sales associates are aware of models that they are empowered to make deals on and negotiate on price. One of the hidden treasures Sears is the sections in the store that are full of returned and clearance items.
These items are usually great deals on their own, but often they are negotiable. One last trick is to keep track of local sales events. When sales are going on the prices are dropped significantly and often the amount of traffic the event creates, lends to floor models being scratched, dented, and damaged. Great deals can be had during those sales.
Regardless of the reason you are searching for a new appliance, there is never a reason to pay full price. Take some time to apply the information shared here, look for the best deals, and reward yourself with a full bank account, as you rejoice in your findings!