Appliance retailers are getting in on the holiday sale season, and that’s good news for consumers—if you know what to look for.
Discounts on home appliances tend to be pretty standard across the industry. In an age where consumers can compare prices instantly across multiple retailers, no store wants to be the one with the higher price. That means if one retailer has a sale, most others will follow suit.
However, individual retailers sometimes offer their own special deals—usually involving free delivery, bonus rewards, and special financing. It pays to be aware of these when deciding where to shop.
Our product experts have written this guide so you know what to expect when buying appliances on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We’ve also looked at the fine print and pulled together some of the best retailer-specific deals you should be looking out for.
A good rule of thumb: If you’re buying a major appliance, don’t pay for delivery. The majority of retailers currently advertise free delivery on appliances above $399 or so, which includes all but the least expensive models out there.
If you do decide to buy a $299 dishwasher, don’t try and haggle for free delivery—the frazzled employees at most big box retailers just don’t have the leeway to make that kind of a change. Instead, look for a retailer with a lower threshold for free delivery and shop there instead.
At some stores, delivery charges might differ depending on where you live. In other words, free delivery might mean dropping the still-boxed appliance at the foot of a driveway, and there may be an additional cost to bring a fridge up five flights of a New York walkup. Check this out ahead of time.
Also, don’t confuse free delivery with free installation or free removal of old appliances. Those services have associated costs and are rarely included along with delivery—and no matter how hard you beg or how angry you get, the delivery team just isn’t equipped to hook up a gas dryer or deal with your local recycling center’s rules for disposing of an old fridge.
Beware Finance Charges
Even if you have the cash on hand to pay for appliances in full, financing can be a good way to use someone else’s money to soften the impact of a major purchase.
However, you should be aware that finance specials tend to only delay interest, not eliminate it.
In other words, if you buy appliances with 0% financing for 12 months but wait 12 months and a day to pay it off in full, you’ll still be charged the full amount of delayed interest on the entire purchase for those 12 months. On some store credit cards, that could be as much as 20%—or up to $1,000 on a $5,000 purchase.
Also, check the fine print. Some brands aren’t eligible for some deals (that tends to be true with luxury appliances), and some retailers have additional deals that aren’t heavily advertised.
Nobody pays MSRP
When you see a fridge marked down 50%, that’s a sign you’re getting a great deal—right?
Wrong. That “original price” is MSRP—which stands for Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price—and nobody should ever pay it. Except for rare cases where retailer discounts are not allowed (Apple products are a famous example) stores almost always have some sort of sale going.
That 50% off sale price might be the same deal you can get a week after Black Friday, or on a random Tuesday in June. The sales you should be paying attention to, though, are ones that dip below a frequent sale price.
That’s why sites like Reviewed.com search through deals to let you know which ones are actually noteworthy—and which ones are just hype. The real deals are harder to come by than you might think: We only found about 20 major appliances at record low prices for this Black Friday.
We’ve decoded retailer websites and read the fine print to find what all the major national appliance retailers are offering.
You should also check expiration dates and fine print, so we’ve included links to the relevant sale pages for each retailer. In addition, check to see if a local retailer might be able to match a national chain’s price or incentives.
Home Depot is offering free delivery on appliance sales of $396 or more, additional instant discounts between $50 and $450 if you buy more than one appliance at once, and 24 months of 0% financing on appliance purchases of $999 made on a Home Depot credit card between 11/10/16 and 11/30/16.
Lowe’s is also offering free delivery on appliance sales of $396 or more, and a Lowe’s gift card via mail-in rebate between $50 and $450 if you buy more than one appliance at once, and a unique finance deal: 36 fixed monthly payments at 1.99% APR on all appliance purchases over $998 made before 11/23/16.
Sears offers free standard local delivery on appliance orders over $399, no interest on appliance purchases over $1,399 on a qualifying Sears card if paid in full within 24 months and 12 month financing available for appliance purchases over $499 (valid through 12/24/2016), plus additional points for Shop Your Way rewards members.
Best Buy has a bunch of free offers for appliance purchases—including free Samsung TVs, free Keurig coffee makers, and free installation on select models. There’s also the standard free delivery on purchases of $399 or more, plus 18-month 0% financing on appliance purchases over $479.
AJ Madison offers free nationwide delivery on all appliances over $399, plus no interest for 18 months and a $50 Visa gift card on select appliances.
Appliances Connection offers free nationwide delivery on all purchases over $99, plus additional savings that vary depending on how many appliances you buy at once. The retailer also offers no sales tax for shoppers outside of NY, plus no interest for 18 months and a $50 Visa gift card on select appliances.