4 Ways To Protect Yourself When Buying Appliances Online

The Internet is a fantastic place to get great deals on appliances, but it can also be a dangerous one. Most appliances are electronic and you never know whether an electronic device will actually work when you simply view it online. Here are a few tips that you can use to ensure that you will get an appliance that is in proper working order. 

1. Make Sure the Actual Item is Pictured in the Listing

A common scam is to take a picture of the box and then send just the box! An argument can be made, if the picture only contains a picture of the box, that you were only buying the box. It sounds ridiculous but it's true. Make sure the actual item is pictured in the listing and video tape yourself opening the box you receive. This way you can prove if the box was empty.

2. Get An Appliance Protection Plan

Many companies offer appliance protection plans for appliances that you have purchased even if they are secondhand. An appliance protection plan from companies like HomeSmart From Xcel Energy operates like a warranty; you will be able to get your appliance repaired in the event that it breaks early or that it is DOA. This can save you a lot of time and money if you either don't want to or can't send the item back.

3. Ask About the Return Policy

Do you need to pay shipping to return a defective item? That may make sense when you're purchasing a blender but it certainly isn't going to work if you're purchasing a refrigerator. Even if you will be reimbursed later, that could cost hundreds of dollars out of your pocket until reimbursement! Make sure the seller has a plan for getting their item back if it doesn't work. 

4. Research the Item You're Buying

Did you find an incredibly cheap deal on an appliance in a marketplace or auction house? Do a fast Internet search and find out the answer to a few questions:

  • Has the product been discontinued?
  • Has the product been recalled?
  • Has the product been refurbished?

There's nothing wrong with buying a discontinued product unless the product requires replacement parts. As an example, a lawn mower that needs replacement blades. It can be very difficult to find replacement parts for a discontinued item. If the item has been recalled, it may simply not be safe; make sure you look into why the product has been recalled. Finally, some products may be priced very low because they aren't new. Refurbished items can sometimes have problems new items will not. 

As long as you protect yourself with the above tips, purchasing appliances online can be convenient and cost-effective. Just make sure you know what you are buying!