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Scratch and Dent Appliances | Are They Worth the Savings?

Home appliances do not come cheap, with some devices running into thousands of dollars. So, it’s always great to discover ways to purchase quality appliances for bargain prices. However, when you buy these devices, there’s always the risk that your “good bargain” is actually too good to be true.

Scratch and dent appliances are one of the ways you can pay less for new devices. Here is a tell-all guide on scratch and dent appliances and tips to help you snag the best deals.

Most people consider scratch and dent items to be worth the savings. Discounts of up to 60% can be found, and the damage can be easily repaired at home or hidden. Scratch and dent appliances are always fully functional, and most come with a warranty.

What Are Scratch and Dent Appliances?

In the retail industry, scratch and dent is a label that’s placed on appliances that have cosmetic defects.

Scratch and dent appliances are completely new and are always in perfect working condition. The damage, if you could call it that, is usually superficial and not mechanical or functional.

Manufacturers and appliance vendors strive to provide customer satisfaction. So, whenever defects like‌ dents, bumps, and scratches are spotted on products, they are usually down priced and sold as scratch and dent appliances.

Women carrying shopping bags checking the scratch and dent appliances

The damage is usually sustained during shipping or the warehousing process and not during manufacturing.  

These damages can be minor, like a scratch on the body of the appliance or they could be more serious (but still only aesthetically), like a deep dent on the product. 

Damage to the packaging can also qualify an appliance as scratch and dent. 

Typical Scratch and Dent Discount

The discount rate wouldn’t be the same for every item. The typical discount on scratch and dent appliances is between 15% to 50% of the original retail price. Sometimes, you can even find items with a discount rate of up to 60%. 

The amount that’s deducted is usually based on a couple of factors:

  • The extent of the damage. Appliances that feature more obvious damages typically have higher discounts than those with less obvious defects. 
  • How long the product has been in stock. If an appliance has gone unsold for a long time, the vendor might reduce the price further to encourage buyers to purchase the item. 
  • Where you are buying the appliance from. Third-party retailers buy scratch and dent appliances in bulk and set the price for each item. So, prices would vary from one outlet to the next, even for items of the same model and with the same type of damage.
  • The appliance type and model

Scratch and Dent Appliances Generally Good Deal

Scratch and dent appliances are a great way to save money, especially if you are trying to purchase multiple devices and are tight on cash. Here are some of the reasons why many people consider them worth the savings. 

Appliances Are Fully Functional

Appliances that are sold as scratch and dent aren’t used or returned by a customer due to faults. They are brand new devices that work perfectly.

The only difference between them and regular appliances is that they feature some sort of aesthetic defect. They are just as likely to malfunction as a device without the external defects.

Faulty appliances cannot be classified as scratch and dent, so if your fear regarding purchasing scratch and dent devices is that they wouldn’t work as well as regular purchases, then be assured that’s not the case. 

Man in suit checking refrigerator while talking to a blonde woman

If you are someone who likes to save, like me, scratch and dent deals allow you to buy top-quality devices at bargain prices. 

You can also get discount deals on floor models. However, unlike scratch and dent appliances that still have their packaging intact, floor models are left out in the open, and appliances like TVs are sometimes plugged in.

This can reduce the lifespan of the device, but with scratch and dent appliances you get a device that has not been used or exposed. 

Damage Can Often Be Repaired/Covered Cheaply

In many cases, you can fix the damage or at least improve the appearance of the appliance through easy DIY activities. 

How to Remove Scratches

A sure way to remove scratches is by applying appliance touch-up paints (amazon link). Touch-up paints are thicker than regular paints and easily fill the indents caused by scratches. 

Rust-Oleum 203000 Specialty Appliance Touch Up Paint, 0.6 Fl Oz (Pack of 1), White

For uniformity, ensure that you purchase a touch-up paint that matches the color of your appliance. 

To fix the scratch, you simply have to follow the manufacturer’s instruction on how the apply the compound and then leave it to dry overnight. If you aren’t satisfied with the smoothness of the surface, you can wet sand it using sandpaper until you achieve your desired result. 

Alternatively, you can cover the scratch with appliance cover stickers (amazon links) and no one would ever know that there is something wrong with the surface underneath. 

How to Fix Dents

There are different approaches to removing dents. Here are some you can try:

  • Heat the dented area using a heat gun or a hair dryer for a few minutes. Temperature changes cause metals to expand and contract, so this might help to fix the dent. 
  • If applying heat doesn’t work, apply something cold to the surface while it is still hot. Try spraying air from your keyboard cleaner spray or you can apply dry ice to the dent. 
  • Small dents can be removed by wetting the surface and placing a plunger or suction cup over the dent. The process of pulling out the plunger can help fix the dent. 
  • If you do not mind spending some money, you can use a dent removal kit (amazon link)

Manelord Auto Body Dent Repair Kit, Car Dent Puller with Golden Dent Puller for Auto Body Dent Removal, Minor Dent and Deep Dent Removal

Most Still Have a Warranty

Scratch and dent appliances usually include some sort of warranty. In most cases, they are covered by the original manufacturer’s warranty or one provided by the dealer. You would also be given the option of purchasing an extended warranty. 

However, not all items come with a full warranty because some manufacturers only provide a limited warranty for scratch and dent appliances. 

Appliances typically come with a one-year warranty so that’s what you should expect if you are given a full warranty. 

Where you purchase the appliance plays a huge role in whether you get a warranty or not.

If you buy directly from the original retailer or from a reputable dealer like Sears Outlet, you would most likely get a full warranty. But if you purchase the device from a small-scale private retailer the device might not include a warranty. 

Tips for Buying Scratch and Dent Appliances

  • Find out the original price of the item and compare it with the discount offered by the retailer. Minor defects should come with a minimum of 10% discount while major damages should have at least 40% discount. 
  • It’s preferable to buy scratch and dent appliances in-store rather than online. This way you can inspect the device and know the extent of the damage. 
  • Some retailers provide delivery services for scratch and dent appliances and some do not. So, confirm that the dealer can deliver the item before purchasing. 
  • Some warranties place limits on who can transport and install appliances, so that’s also something you should consider. 
  • Prices are often set by retailers. So, if you can, compare the prices offered by different outlets before making your choice. 
  • Avoid purchasing items with damaged glass. 
  • Talk to the retailer about their return policy before purchasing items. 


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