Well, I’m certainly glad we didn’t make that impulse buy recently because our washer is on the fritz again. A couple of months ago, it went out and we had a similar dilemma, fix it or buy new? With the last malfunction, we decided to call the repair man and for $230, we were back in business. Now, we have a totally new problem with some sort of motor board, which is like the computer brain of the machine. Why washers needed a brain in the first place is beyond me, but the part itself is $219 online if we can install it ourselves. If not, the repair man charges at least $75 for a service call. With that in mind, we went looking at new washers this past weekend, and I think it made the decision even harder. When do you fix a washer vs buy a whole new one?
Our Shopping Experience
Basically, since we live in a retail black hole, we have four options if we want something delivered. I do not want to buy a used washer. I’m sure there is a chance you could get a great deal, but with our luck, we’d get a lemon for sure.
Home Depot or Lowe’s– These stores basically have the same products, free delivery, installation, and haul away of old machines. However the Lowe’s had live birds flying around inside the store. If you remember my slight fear of birds, you’ll realize why I didn’t really spend much time looking around in that establishment. Plus, some of the floor models had bird poop on them. Come on Lowe’s, there has to be some sort of pest control available, although maybe I could have gotten a discount on a poop stained machine?
Sears-Has the most models to choose from plus online coupons. They had the best prices, but no free guaranteed delivery without finding a promotion.
Local Mom and Pop Store– Will absolutely not do free delivery or installation! Also, they charge extra to haul the old one away. I love the locals, but come up with something to compete with the big dogs, if not price then give me some service!
Modern Appliances Suck
It seems with modern washers, you get about 6-7 years max before they start tearing up. I would prefer one without computer sensors, but all the ones that are large capacity and energy star rated have those. The washers we were looking at that meet our needs are around $900, but sale prices seem to be around $750, plus a $50 off online coupon. Our electric company will give us an $80 rebate for buying an energy star rated appliance.
Also, for you points and miles junkies out there, if we purchase the washer online through a shopping portal for certain credit cards or frequent flier websites, we can get 3x-5x extra points, which translates to about $20 in free travel.
Taking into account all the discounts, that makes our final cost for a new washer around $600 plus tax. Or we could fix our old one for $219-$300 and hope nothing tears up for a few years. It’s frustrating because with what we spent a couple of months ago plus this current repair, that would have pretty much covered the price of a new one, but how could we know it was going to crap the bed again so soon?
Right now we can “trick” it into working by unplugging it and plugging it back in several times or changing the cycle. The normal cycle doesn’t work at all, but if we alternate between the gentle and bulky cycles, we have gotten it to work, at least up until this point. We have the luxury of being able to shop around until it stops working completely. It is frustrating because that means all the mechanical stuff is OK, it’s just that dang computer sensor!
I also realize this is a first world problem because many people have to trek it to the laundromat every week. Honestly, I would buy a new washer today if that was my option. I think my laundromat days are over unless we decide to buy one down the road as a retirement business!
I need your help. If you were in my situation, would you fix the old one or buy a new washer? If we buy new, are there any big appliance sale occasions coming up? What brand might last longer than 7 years?