Scratch and dent appliances are new but cosmetically damaged appliances that are typically sold at a discount. Because they are damaged and are sometimes being sold by a third party, it can be unclear if scratch and dent products have a warranty.
Below we’ll discover how and why warranties can change, who to discuss your warranty with, and how to weigh if scratch and dent appliances are still worth it with a changed or absent warranty.
Even though scratch and dent appliances are damaged, they will usually still have the original manufacturer’s warranty. In some cases, the warranty may change because of the damage, discount, or seller’s policy.
Scratch and Dent Products Usually Have a Warranty
Because the damage on scratch and dent appliances is cosmetic and not functional, many distributors will maintain the same warranty as an undamaged equivalent appliance.
Manufacturers usually provide a 1-year warranty, so any functional damage claims can still be taken up with the original manufacturer (often even if you bought from a third party).
In some cases, scratch and dent products may have an altered warranty. This will vary depending on the damage to the item and who you’re buying from.
The warranty terms and conditions should be made clear to you before your purchase. Make sure you understand what is covered by the manufacturer with the specific product you’re buying.
How Warranties Can Change and Why
The damage and discounts to scratch and dent appliances can lead to limited warranties in a few different ways.
Cosmetic Damage Is No Longer Covered
Since the appliance is already cosmetically damaged, it doesn’t make sense for manufacturers to cover future similar cosmetic damage. Any cosmetic coverage in the warranty is theoretically voided.
You’re usually buying the appliance at a discount with the understanding that it has superficial damage. It would also be troublesome to keep track of what damage is new and what was already present at the time of purchase.
The Warranty Is Made Shorter
Scratch and dent appliances can have shorter warranties. This can be because the lower price no longer covers the standard 1-year warranty.
A year warranty can change to no warranty or something as short as 30 days.
You might find that warranties are more often reduced on items that have longer warranties initially, i.e., those with warranties longer than one year.
Always use caution when looking to buy appliances with very short warranties as it may be a sign there’s unreported internal/functional damage.
Even if internal damage is undiscovered, the manufacturer could shorten the warranty anyway if they suspect functional damage is more likely.
For example, if you buy an oven with a broken glass door, the manufacturer has no guarantee that you will fix the door before using it. If you use it in that state, it can have functional consequences.
Warranty Is Transferred From Manufacturer to Seller
A seller who bought the product from a manufacturer can provide a warranty if the manufacturer no longer provides one. Some products’ warranties become null and void if they’re not sold by the original manufacturer.
The seller belongs to a separate company that has its own rules and warranty system. Therefore, they can apply their own policy to the appliance they’re selling.
Third-party scratch and dent distributors may provide similar 1-year functional damage warranties, 10-year warranties, or offer purchase of extended warranties.
Warranty Doesn’t Cover Return or Refund
Due to selling the appliance at a discount, some distributors won’t cover the return or refund of a scratch and dent product (even within the offered timeframe).
This is also because they don’t want to resell a scratch and dent AND returned item.
However, they may offer an exchange or store credit instead.
Always Ask; Don’t Assume
The warranty for scratch and dent appliances should be provided or disclosed by the seller. You should never assume there is a warranty. Nor should you assume there isn’t one.
In case you discover functional defects with the appliance, you don’t want to pay out of pocket unexpectedly.
You may see warranties reported like so:
- Comes with a 100% manufacturer’s warranty
- Sold with full cover apart from superficial marks
- 1-year manufacturers warranty
- Extended warranties available at additional cost
If you can’t visually find any information about what’s covered, ask the seller about the warranty for the appliance.
If for some reason, they are not knowledgeable about the warranty of the item, you should contact the manufacturer and ask about warranties applying to items sold by other distributors.
Never assume anything about a warranty, and be sure to get the terms of the warranty in writing. This is important if you ever have to make a claim to have your appliance repaired or replaced.
Is It Worth It?
The visual defects can even be covered up using products such as touch-up paint (amazon link). Warranties are often included as well.
However, is it still worth buying the appliance if the warranty changes?
If the discount matches the decreased warranty (for example, there’s a 50% discount, and the warranty shortens to half a year), it’s probably still worth it. Although, clearly it would always be better to find an option where there’s a discount with no warranty change.
The discount may not make up for the altered warranty if the change doesn’t seem fair/proportionate to the discount, or you’re concerned there may be functional damage to the item.
Buying from reputable sellers is a good way to avoid having to repair or replace an appliance soon after you’ve purchased it.
What if There Is No Warranty?
It is possible, but rare, for a scratch and dent appliance to have no warranty. Because they are new appliances, the manufacturer’s 1-year warranty is almost always still in effect.
If neither the manufacturer nor the seller is providing a warranty, you may want to ask why before purchase.
If there is no warranty, you’ll need to weigh the discount with the possibility you have to pay for repairs or full replacement in the near future. Ultimately it’s a gamble whether an appliance with no warranty that already has aesthetic defects will break down.
However, it’s less likely that functional defects will appear in scratch and dent appliances compared to used or repaired appliances.
For the great discount and unlikeliness of functional issues, it’s usually still worth it to buy scratch and dent appliances even with no warranty.