by Amy S.
During tough economic times, consumers who are watching their pocketbooks can save money by expanding their purchasing opportunities to include items that may have minor cosmetic damage or that have been returned, checked out and refurbished by the manufacturer. If you’re in the market for a new appliance, a computer, a camera or other electronic device, you don’t have to wait around for sales to try to find a better deal on items you’re interested in buying.
Scratched and Dented Items
Many national stores maintain special company outlet stores where they send items that are scratched, dented or have other minor cosmetic defects. In some cases, an appliance is scratched up in the moving van or while trying to bring it into the buyer’s home, where delivery is refused. Other times, the object is nicked or dented on the factory floor. The appliance still works perfectly fine. If you aren’t too bothered by a little defect in your appliance’s appearance, you may be able to save a significant amount of money.
For example, you might find a new refrigerator that has a foot-long scratch on its right side in your local factory outlet store. If you already know that you plan to place the refrigerator’s right side next to a wall in your kitchen, it means no one will ever see the scratch. Why not save a few hundred dollars off the price by taking that refrigerator instead of an identical pristine model? If you are in desperate need of a new dishwasher, think of all the dish detergent and new dishes you can buy with the money you save by purchasing a model that has a small dent in the door?
Refurbished and Returned Equipment
If you need a new computer, consider getting a unit that has been refurbished by the manufacturer. Sometimes a customer orders a computer and then for some reason decides to return it. The company takes it back and its employees perform a thorough diagnostic check, repairing or replacing any defective parts. You are then eligible to purchase this refurbished computer at a significant discount.
A variety of electronic devices are typically available on sale at a discount because they are refurbished or unused items returned by customers. For example, if you are about to go on a vacation and are in search of a new camcorder, ask a sales clerk at your local electronics store to show you the refurbished or returned models. If the camcorder is still under the original warranty, you’ll be able to save money that’s better spent on eating out more often while on your vacation.
As long as you don’t mind thinking outside the box when making a new purchase, you stand to save big money on cosmetically challenged but otherwise useful electronics and appliances.