Saving Money On An Unexpected Expense – A Washer & Dryer.

We just became official adults – we bought our own washer and dryer set. Somehow in my 36 years of life I have escaped having to buy my own units, as everywhere I have ever lived either had A. a laundry room or B. units already installed. Since I knew when I signed the lease that we would have to buy these, I started doing some research on them and came to the conclusion that this was going to cost an arm and a leg to get decent ones that will last a while. Sure, we could have bought $150 units and then replaced them every few years, but I wanted to buy ones that would last me a very long time. My mom has had hers since I was about 14 years old – and they are still going strong – and I wanted mine to last just as long. But being that we live in a small town and want to support the local economy, we had a limited amount of places to shop in – so we had to haggle on price a little to get to the price point we were comfortable with. And we succeeded.

Let me just say up-front that I have no idea why anyone would need a designer-color washer and dryer. I apologize in advance if that happens to be you, but really – they go in a laundry room and no one sees them but you. Why pay the extra $100-$200 just to get them in red or blue or green? Maybe I am missing something here, but I have better things to do with a couple of hundred bucks other than color my washing machine. So, we definitely didn’t need a custom color or anything like that – instantly saving us some money right there.

We also needed them like…right now. There was no way I was waiting a month to get the set we initially wanted (delivery lag time and then us going out of town), which is how long it would have taken. (Again, small town living.) So I started asking the guy what different units we could get right away, and he started showing me around the store a bit. There were a few that I was OK with and we talked about the pros and cons of each. I knew I wanted front-loaders, that they had to be Energy Star rated, and they had to fit in our laundry closet. This narrowed down the field even further. We had our final 3 sets in play at this point.

Then he points to one of the sets and says “Too bad you weren’t here last week – we had this set on sale for 50% off for Black Friday“. I checked the circular I had in my hand and sure enough, there they were for 50% off, and here they were today for full price. Wow! However, a light bulb of bravery went off in my head and I just came right out and asked him:

So, can I buy it today for that same price?

He hemmed and hawed, and had his guy go check in the back to see if they had one left, which they did. He then called someone on the phone, I guess to discuss this offer. (At this point I felt like I was buying a car, not a washer & dryer) He came back and said ” I cannot give it to you at the 50% off price, but I can give it to you at 40% off as we will be offering it again next week at that rate. Sold!

We just got them delivered later in the week and they are working great. We had saved about $900 from what we were willing to pay when we first set out shopping, and then I got even better news! I had to stop back in the store this past weekend to pick something up and said hello to the guy who sold the units to us – and he mentioned that they were going to offer them at 50% off again in a week – and to stop back then and he would give us the difference back on our credit card. Whoo hoo! Most stores have price guarantees for at least 30 days after purchase, so it always pays to watch the price of anything you buy for at least that long. (Even Amazon.com does it, so be sure to pay attention to what you buy from them.)

My advice when buying big-ticket items like this? Forgo the designer colors that add hundreds of dollars to your final price, be willing to look at different models, haggle on price and delivery charges, and watch the price of your item for the following 30-60 days. Doing all of this saved me well over $1,000 when all said and done, and we could not be happier with our purchase!

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Comments (12)

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  1. Eric N. says:

    I had no idea they came in colors….I’m guessing enough people are willing to pay to coordinate with their house colors or walls or something. Still, I can’t imagine myself doing that.

  2. I can’t believe that you are able to knock off 1000$ of a set of dryer and washer.I really need to learn this kind of haggling skill to get better deals. There is positive and negative haggling. Positive gets you what you want and the seller is happy. Negative will just explode into a huge fight with the lot of yelling and cursing without either parties getting any benefit.

  3. David says:

    Most of it was because they were on sale last week, not because of my excellent haggling skills. But still, saving is saving!

  4. Kate says:

    I loved this post, and I’ve linked to it. I’m so impressed at how much money that you saved, and you give good advice in this column. I hope that you love your new machines.

  5. Wow! What a deal! And here I was all proud of myself because I got $4 off due to a price adjustment on a toy I bought last week.

    I think the different colors are cool. I wouldn’t pay extra for it… but I think they are pretty. I also have in my head that someone once thought an Avocado fridge was cool once too.

  6. morrison says:

    $1000 off? Makes me wonder what you PAID? I bought a new washer and dryer. They were $350 each=$700, from Lowe’s, rated ‘good’ in Consumer’s Report.

    What in the world did you BUY?

  7. Pinyo says:

    That’s awesome David. Where were you when mine broke?

  8. david says:

    Remember, Morrison – it was 50% off for one day only – Black Friday. I just happened to be buying it a week later, and asked for the same deal, and got it.

    Sorry Pinyo – guess I was out buying mine! 😉

  9. morrison says:

    you still haven’t mentioned what you SPENT regardless of the sale. if $1000 represented 50% of the original price, you SPENT $1000, whereas, if you had purchased basic top loading washing machine & basic dryer (they get the job done) you could have spent $700 as I did and saved a realistic $300 over the overpriced $1000 that you did spend. if u purchased front loaders, there has been a lot of trouble with leakage and the more electronics it has, the more the machines break down.

    what kind of machines did ur parents have that have lasted for so many years?

    we sometimes forget ‘it’s not what you saved. it’s what you spend’ that counts.

  10. david says:

    If that’s the case, I spent $1000, only $300 more than you did for basic machines, for machines that normally cost $2000. I got a hell of deal and I would do it again.

  11. rtc says:

    Yay for small towns and supporting the local economy!

  12. Good post! You are right and especially about the colors!!! Who really need it!