Dear PoP – home renovation/appliances

the little hexagon house
Photo from PoPville flickr user hellomarkers!

“Dear PoP,

I’m all set with a contractor etc., but could use some advice on getting appliances at a discount price. I’ll need to outfit 2 kitchens in full [ranges, fridges, dishwahers etc.] and a few flatscreen TVs. Does anyone out there in PoPville have suggestions of some local vendors who are willing and able to make a deal? I’m looking for stainless steel-level stuff, but don’t need “viking” level goods. I’ve investigated DirectBuy, but spending $5000 for the pleasure of spending $10000 more is not quite a “deal” to me.”

Hmm, I’ve never heard from someone who needs to outfit 2 kitchens before. But for those who have done their own renovations – where have you gotten your appliances?

22 Comment

  • Try — they have good prices and deliver\install with their own people in DC (yes, they drive down from NY to do that). If you order by phone, they match or beat any better price you can find on the internet. Much cheaper than any local retailer.

    • Second AJ Madison – I got a dishwasher and microwave with them, and it was hassle free (and quite a bit cheaper than the same models at local stores at the time).

  • I’ve done five kitchens. I typically go to the Sears Outlet at Potomac Mills. I’ve also driven to the Sears Outlet in Delaware(where purchases of this sort are tax-free). They tend to have fair prices. Plus, you can purchase a warranty at any time. You can also cancel it at anytime, and get a full refund.

    I’ve been very satisfied wih my purchases.

  • Great local store – M&M appliances

    very reliable and fair prices

    • i had a good experience with m&m (fridge, stove, microwave range hood, dishwasher). everybody there was super-helpful, reasonably priced, good delivery, etc. for what it’s worth, they didn’t hook up our appliances – our contractor did.

      they also have a big warehouse w/ discounted scratch and dent appliances.

    • M&M is great. They beat ajmadison’s prices, they are local, did a great job installing the appliances, and were very pleasant to deal with.

    • m&m was good to me as well.

  • I wish I could share the same opinion TakomaPark. We were thrilled when we made our purchase, it seemed like the perfect neighborhood store (we’re just a block or two away) with a great owner/operator and good prices. Unfortunately our delivery was more than 6 hours late with no update or additional information available. When the delivery crew did arrive, at the very end of their route, they were tired and ready to go home (it was a holiday weekend). They were not the least bit gentle with my new washer and dryer and even less concerned with my walls and stairs. They hooked everything up, gave it a cursory test and left as quickly as possible. At this point we had been without a washer and dryer for weeks and were anxious to do laundry in our own home, but to no avail. They had failed to connect the hot water hose properly. Our calls went totally unanswered for three days, given the holiday weekend. I finally crawled back behind the unit (no small feat for a man of my size and the stacked washer/dryer in a closet, and managed to fix it. When we spoke to the owner he was apologetic, and offered to give us an extended warranty, but never followed through. Our warranty actually just expired and the calls from M&M trying to sell us an extended warranty were like salt in a wound. I’d never buy from them and would not be able to recommend to others. It’s a shame because on the surface they seem great.

  • A small local place might give you a deal, but honestly I’d just try a big box store that stocks all the stuff in a variety of sizes/styles, like Sears, ask for a sales manager and tell him you’re bringing in a big order that would include a few TVs and two kitchens, and see what he can do for you. They advertise up to 25% off if you buy 3 appliances or more, so maybe you could do 30% or more off the whole ticket. You may also get some tax credits if you go Energy Star appliances.

  • ajmadison price match

  • Bray and Scarff warehouse in Laurel.

  • Direct buy isn’t worth it for appliances alone. You would need to be buying Wolf or Sub-Zero level appliances to have any hope of making your subscription worthwhile. DirectBuy would be worthwhile if you throw cabinets into the mix.

    • Direct buy is only really worth it for renovating or furnishing an entire house. Appliances and electronics don’t have a huge mark-up, so you can’t save very much on them.

  • I’d second the recommendation for M&M appliances – the salesperson was really helpful. Delivery went smoothly and delivery people helped load my old refrigerator onto a pickup truck for delivering to a relative.

  • We bought from the Sears Appliance showroom which is in Tenleytown – same building as the Whole Foods but on the back. The people they sent to install the washer/dryer were really good…which given the torment i’ve gotten from Comcast, ADT and other vendors, I really appreciated. Plus, the experience in the store was great – talked to someone within 2 minutes and I think within 10 minutes arriving we were back in our car with the appliances bought and installation scheduled.

  • I used a mixture of ajmadison, sears outlet, craigslist and ebay…. and a lot of time. It all worked out when I got all full stainless steel appliances including a dual drawer dishwasher, washer, dryer, commercial gas stove, microwave, etc for about 3500 with shipping/delivery

  • Directbuy is good if you want to get scammed. There’s a reason they do high pressure sales on the spot to try to get you to become a member.

    gotten good deals at bray and scarff on floor models, although the salesman, while helpful, is a talker…

  • Make sure you get your state tax deduction for Energy Star appliances:

    Starts in May for DC and April for MD/VA. Regardless of the rebate, BUY ENERGY STAR. Go for water-efficient dishwashers and washers, as well. You don’t pay a premium for these. If you buy a decent appliance that is going to last longer than the warranty period, you can get Energy Star for the same price as non.

    As for retailers, AJ Madison and HomeEverything are both great for price shopping. One will sometimes have the few models that the other does not.

    Bray & Scarff claim to match any price, so you can probably get the service of a higher-end retail outfit with the price of an internet dealer by working with them.

    It really helps to see the appliance in person. I’ve outfitted 4 kitchens and more than once have talked myself out of models that look great on paper, but don’t meet expectations in person. Lowe’s, Sears, and Home Depot all have a fairly wide selection if you want a hands-on shopping experience. Lowe’s seems to have the best prices off the bat, but they all claim some form of price-matching. Get your hands on a 10% off appliances coupon and maybe open a store card to get another 10% off. That can mean $600 in savings. Sears is always having a sale. Their this-weekend-only sale is followed by next week’s once-a-year Savings Day Sale, followed by the Groundhog Day Deals Event, etc. They have two model numbers for every appliance and alternate sales between the two to bypass FTC laws.

    A warning, though: you WILL have some sort of problem with the big box stores along the way. It might be a dispatcher who doesn’t tell you that the delivery is coming, a driver who knocks softly and then leaves when you didn’t hear him, a cashier who needs to call the sales rep and a half dozen managers to approve the price match, a dented appliance, or a smashed door frame. The worst I’ve had with HomeEverything is a $25 phone quote for hauling and old fridge and a $35 verbal quote from the delivery crew. I paid $25. BTW, some places will take appliances for free if you take the time to find them. Just keep in mind that you can’t legally or responsibly dump/recycle an appliance with freon still in it.

    Avoid Best Buy. They have about 7 appliances total in their Columbia Heights location.

  • Bray and Scarff is my go to…. though M&M is also very good.

    Bray and Scarff will try to price match similar models at Lowes if they can, generally within a few percentage points. However, their service/delivery etc is worth the extra few dollars. I have done multiple houses from w/d to full kitchens.

    Word to the wise, avoid GE Profile like the plague.

  • If you want to save money but are willing to put some time and legwork in, then this is what you need to do.

    1) Craig’s list
    2) Dent and scratch from Lowe’s, Home Depot, Best Buy
    3) The Community Forklift

    There are TONS of appliances ranging from old/almost free to practically new being sold by individuals on Craig’s List all the time. People remodel, buy a home and want to upgrade the appliances, etc. and you can get amazing deals.

    I picked up a 3-year-old stainless steel fridge and Bosch dishwasher from someone on Craig’s list for a grand — new they would have been over $3K.

    For dent-and-scratch stuff, the big retailers always have stuff that was damaged in delivery or returned. You can typically get a brand-new appliance with minor cosmetic defects, or maybe a missing part, for 25-50% off the new price. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. I got another 20% off a range at Lowe’s just by asking once if they could do any better.

    Finally, The Community Forklift is a very mixed bag, but they occasionally have stuff that’s in good shape and not very old. It will be very cheap.

    This all takes a lot of time but you can save thousands of dollars if you are willing to do the legwork.

  • M&M was good to me. I also monitored the Sears Outlet:

    and pounced when good stuff came up.

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