Where to buy appliances? (2023)

The investigation

  • What makes a good equipment salesman?
  • What are the good deals?
  • Chains with the best guidelines: Costco and Lowe's
  • Other good national sellers: Appliances Connection, Home Depot, and Best Buy
  • Limited shipping and service options or other issues: Designer Appliances, Abt, AJ Madison, and Sears
  • Is it better to buy online or in a store?

What makes a good equipment salesman?

The best dealers (local, regional or national) will deliver your device to the room of your choice free of charge; Set it up for free if it's as simple as plugging in a power cord and connecting some hoses (or usually under $100 if it's a little more involved); Get the old one for free; and will work with the manufacturer on your behalf if you need to make a warranty claim and may even perform the service themselves.

The cost of the device itself is unlikely to differ much between retailers as most sellers these days are priced in line with their competitors. Most retailers carry devices from most brands, but there are some exceptions. So if you're looking for something specific, you may need to select your retailer based on that.

We found this for freeDeliveryfor big devices it's pretty standard.Most stores will take these in and place them where you want them. However, some stores only offer free doorstep or curb delivery, others charge for delivery no matter what. Another thing to keep in mind when choosing between a local retailer and a national chain is that national retailers are more likely to use a third-party delivery service and the quality of that service can vary.

ForplanningMost stores allow you to choose the delivery date. Some allow you to select your preferred four-hour delivery slot that day, while others assign you a time slot the day before delivery. Large department stores also offer weekend deliveries.

When you need your old deviceswept away, the typical fee is around $20, although some places include it free with delivery and installation. Considering how painful it can be to get rid of an old device after the fact, this is a very useful service to have access to.

InstallationDepending on the type of unit and the retailer, it may or may not be included with purchase, but you should expect to pay more if the installation requires more than connecting a power cord and water line.

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Even if it is technically free to install, you usually have to buy itnew connections(e.g. water lines or a dryer hose, sometimes referred to as an "installation kit") as an installation requirement. This is standard across the industry.

Large retailers will use their status to do thisnegotiate warranty claims on your behalf. Every major piece of equipment comes with a manufacturer's warranty, which typically covers parts and labor for one year. But most manufacturers have terrible customer service, so you're wasting time on the phone, waiting weeks for a technician, and sometimes still can't solve the problem. If the retailer (as a business partner of the manufacturer) gets involved, this tends to speed up the process. (Most retailers sell extended warranties, but that's another topic.)

The holy grail of appliance retail, if you can find it in your area, is to shop with oneinternal service teamwho knows how to fix the appliances they sell and can respond to service calls fairly quickly (within a week is reasonable for most appliances, faster for refrigerators). This is not very common anymore - most retailers rely on third party suppliers for at least some areas of delivery and installation and are not involved in warranty service at all.

What are the good deals?

The best appliance retailers are usually independent local or regional businesses. They usually have experienced salespeople and excellent customer service, including help with warranty claims, and if you're lucky, their own team of qualified delivery, installation and service technicians.

Compared to a big store, you are more likely to be able to speak to a knowledgeable and dedicated representative throughout the entire process, from the showroom to the end of your warranty.

The problem is that many areas don't have a store like this one. If you're not sure if there's one near you, device manufacturers' websites often have a search function that can direct you to a few. Check these stores' reputations on Yelp, Google, or Facebook and see if they offer the types of services and shipping benefits listed above that give them a real edge over the big boxes.

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A national chain (or at least a store that delivers nationwide) may turn out to be the best choice. We track down the important prices and policies of some of the most popular retailers you'll come across when shopping online. So if you must go this route, here is what you need to know.

Chains with the best guidelines: Costco and Lowe's

If you are a memberCostcooffers the cheapest delivery and installation of the major national chains, you get an extra year warranty on many products and help you make warranty claims with the manufacturer. The downside is that it has limited selection compared to most other stores: for example, it doesn't stock some of our favorite brands, including Bosch or KitchenAid dishwashers, Electrolux washing machines or Frigidaire cookers. (However, the chain sells most of the LG, GE, and Whirlpool/Maytag devices we recommend.)

Among the stores that do not require membership,Loweshas some of the most affordable and flexible delivery, installation and transportation options and is one of the few to offer warranty claim assistance if required. In some areas, Lowe employees will deliver; Otherwise, your order will be delivered and installed by a third party, as is the case with most chains. However, Lowe's does not sell Electrolux laundry products.

Other good national sellers: Appliances Connection, Home Depot, and Best Buy

device connectionIt also has some of the best prices, the most flexible policies, and helpful customer service. It also carries all the devices that we recommend. However, it only has one physical location, so you must be comfortable shopping online (more on that in a moment).

house deposit(no Bosch dishwasher) andbest buy(not an Electrolux laundry) also have comparatively cheap and flexible delivery, installation and transport but do not help with warranty claims.

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Limited shipping and service options or other issues: Designer Appliances, Abt, AJ Madison, and Sears

designer appliancesCharges for delivery outside of New York and New Jersey and charges even more to get the device to your home and install it.

onecharges for delivery outside of Chicagoland, additional charges for placement in desired location and additional charges for installation in Chicagoland; Outside of this area you will need to book this yourself (although the company will refer you to Home Advisor).

aj Madisonit will deliver the device to your doorstep, but that's about it. The installation is available in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania but nowhere else.

SearsIt is unique among national stores in that it has its own service team and has good prices and policies, but the company isin serious financial difficultiesWe are therefore somewhat concerned about your ability to honor warranty claims (particularly on your Kenmore private label devices) over the long term.


delivery serviceMalfree delivery indeliver to
house depositThird4 hour window option, 7am to 5pm M. to 7pm M. Weekends available in some locations.$396Rooms of your choice
best buyfirst or thirdAllocated four hour window, 7am to 5pm M. to 7pm M. Saturday generally available, Sunday partially available.$399Rooms of your choice
Lowesfirst or thirdFour hour window option, 8am to 5pm M. to 8pm M. Weekends available.$396Rooms of your choice
SearsThirdAllocated time slot of two hours. Surcharges at time of purchase for selecting a four-hour time slot at time of purchase ($15), early morning or late night ($25), or Saturday ($10). no sunday Delivery Schedule: Information not available.$400Rooms of your choice
aj MadisonThirdAllocated window of four hours. Delivery Schedule: Information not available.$499Front door only, no steps, no unpacking
oneFirst in Chicago, third elsewhereI'll call according to schedule. no weekends Further information not available.$0 in Chicago; elsewhere: information not availableFree entrance door or room of your choice on the 1st floor for a surcharge
device connectionFirst part within 200 miles of Brooklyn, third part elsewhere.Allocated time slot of four to six hours. Courtesy call one hour before delivery. no weekends$99Rooms of your choice
designer appliancesFirst party in NY, NJ and CT; third elsewhereAllocated window of four hours. Saturday available in some areas. no sunday$0 in NY and NJ, varies elsewhereFree sidewalk or room of your choice at extra charge
CostcoThirdI'll call according to schedule. Other information: Information not available.$0 for major brandsVaries by zip code and brand

Other Services

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Installation in existing connectionsTransportguarantee help
house depositAdditional costs$15NO
best buyAdditional costs$15NO
LowesFree with purchase of connections for most appliances, additional cost for dishwashers and gas appliances$20And
SearsFree with purchase of plugs for some devices, surcharge for others depending on zip code$25No, except for Kenmore.
aj MadisonAdditional cost, only available in NY, NJ and CT$25 (New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania only)NO
oneSurcharge in Chicagoland. Elsewhere, they recommend finding the facility through Home Advisor.$29 (Chicago only)No, except in Chicago
device connectionFree with purchase of connectors, additional cost for stacking clothesExtra, depends on the deviceAnd
designer appliancesAdditional costsIncluded with install, $29 exclNO
CostcoFree for major brandsFree for major brandsAnd

To be perfectly clear, everything we've learned about pricing and policies came from each retailer's customer service and PR departments. We did not purchase any devices from any of these retailers for this story.

Is it better to buy online or in a store?

Do what you are comfortable with. The process is no longer very different.

Of course, when you go into a store, you can touch some devices. Ideally, you'll own each utensil for a decade, so there's a good reason to experiment with fit and finish before you put the batter in. Also, some people feel more comfortable discussing their delivery and installation options in person with a sales representative.

When shopping online you usually have a larger selection of devices than in a showroom and you can quickly narrow your search to products with the specs you need, such as: B. with certain dimensions. (You can always look online first and then head to a store to see the handful of models that might work for you.)

If you choose to buy online, set up delivery and installation is almost as easy as visiting in person. The prices should not be different. And if you do want to speak to a real person, most retailers give you the option to speak to a customer service representative over the phone during the checkout process. Some retailers also have chat boxes on their website, although these are less common on local or regional store websites.


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