How to Find Good Deals on Scratch and Dent Appliances
by Gary Foreman
How can you tell if a scratch and dent deal is really a good deal? We explore how to find scratch and dent sales and determine if the flaws will affect the use of the appliance.
Dear Dollar Stretcher,
I’m looking to replace some appliances in my kitchen. Mine are old and on their last legs. The trouble is that I really can’t afford new appliances and I don’t want to put them on my credit card.
I’ve heard that you can get great deals on ‘scratch and dent’ appliances. But, I don’t know where to look for them or what to look for once I’ve found the appliance. Can you help me find scratch and dent appliance dealers near me?
Baffled in Buffalo
‘Baffled’ is right. Often you can find great deals on brand new appliances at scratch and dent sales. The trick is first finding a store that sells scratch and dents and then finding an appliance with flaws that won’t affect your use. Let’s see what we can do to help.
Finding Scratch and Dent Appliance Stores
Finding scratch ‘n’ dent appliance stores isn’t that difficult although it will take a little digging. You can search online using the name of your town or the nearest big city plus terms such as “appliances,” “scratch and dent,” “outlet stores,” and “warehouse stores.”
Call the new appliance outlets listed and ask if they sell scratch and dent items or if they have a clearance center that does. If they do sell scratch and dent, tell them what you’re looking for. Within a minute or two they’ll tell you if they have anything that matches.
Talk with the salespeople in the stores you visit. Their inventory changes all the time. If you let them know what you’re looking for and leave your phone number, you might be surprised what they’ll find for you.
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Expected Scratch and Dent Savings
Expect to save 25 to 40% depending on the damage.
Many times the problem will be a tiny dent in a side panel or a scratch in the paint.
Things to Check Before Buying a Scratch and Dent Appliance
Look any prospective purchase over carefully. Check to make sure that all knobs, racks, shelves, etc. are with the appliance. Often parts are scavenged from a scratch and dent unit.
And remember just because you found one problem doesn’t mean that there aren’t others. The time to find the scratches and dents is while you’re in the store. Ideally you’ll find something that will be hidden by a wall or cabinet in your kitchen.
Many times these items are sold ‘as is’. Make sure that the appliance works. Find out what, if any, warranty you get with it.
Related: 4 Steps to a Guaranteed Smart Buy
Don’t Be Afraid to Bargain
Don’t hesitate to bargain with the salesperson. Especially if the item is last year’s model. The worst that can happen is that they refuse your offer.
Not all scratch and dent appliance stores offer delivery. Make sure that you know whether delivery is available and whether you’ll be charged for it. Perhaps you can bargain for free delivery.
Consider Other Alternatives
Don’t forget to consider other alternatives. Stores that rent or lease furniture and appliances often have used units available for sale. One plus is that often these appliances still have the balance of their factory warranty available. Call ahead to ask what they have.
Also, many people report good experiences buying from used appliance centers. Some even often a six month or one year warranty on their appliances.
Naturally you’ll have a better chance if you don’t need to buy the appliance today for delivery tomorrow. But, even if you do need it now, it can’t hurt to spend an hour or two looking for a scratch and dent appliance bargain. That little bit of effort could save you hundreds or allow you to buy the upgraded appliance you’ve always wanted.
Reviewed April 2021
About the Author
Gary Foreman is a former financial planner and purchasing manager who founded The Dollar Stretcher.com website and newsletters in 1996. He's the author of How to Conquer Debt No Matter How Much You Have and he's been featured in MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Fox Business, The Nightly Business Report, US News Money, Credit.com and CreditCards.com. You can read Gary's full bio here. Gary shares his philosophy of money here. Gary is available for audio, video or print interviews.
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