As a homeowner, there are many things you need to purchase. This includes expensive appliances, such as ovens and refrigerators. Scratch and dent appliances are low-cost alternatives that help mitigate the costs of purchasing a new appliance.
Let’s look at what exactly are scratch and dent appliances, why they exist, who sells them, prices, warranties, and pros and cons.
Scratch and dent appliances are brand new items that suffered cosmetic damage at some point before reaching retail stores or warehouses. They function as well as the undamaged items; they just don’t look perfect. Scratch and dent appliances are sold at a discounted price.
New Appliances With Cosmetic Damage
To begin, scratch and dent appliances are items that obtain damage between the start of their production and their final destination in a retail store or warehouse.
The most important thing to know about these appliances is that while they do have some sort of external, aesthetic issue, their functionality is not impaired in any way.
Companies make this distinction so that customers may pay a reduced price for items that are damaged, but not unusable.
Some appliances that you can find at scratch and dent prices include ovens, AC units, refrigerators, dehumidifiers, microwaves, range hoods, and more.
Common Causes of the Cosmetic Damage
One of the common ways that scratch and dent appliances receive their damage is during the shipping process.
These damages can occur from impact with surfaces during transport, as well as from the vibrations of cars, trains, and other transportation methods used for shipping.
Damages can also occur to appliances while they are being handled, stored, and distributed in warehouses.
This can happen due to items being dropped, stored improperly, or mishandled in some way. It can also occur if storage palettes in a warehouse are damaged or are not stacked properly.
Finally, it can still be considered cosmetic damage even if damage only occurs to the packaging or label of a product rather than to the product itself.
If the box, label, or container for an appliance is badly damaged, retailers will remove the packaging and sell it for a scratch and dent price even without any damage to the actual appliance.
Who Sells Scratch and Dent Appliances?
Scratch and dent appliances are typically sold by third-party retailers and websites rather than by manufacturers.
It may come as a surprise to you that many well-known retail chains commonly have scratch and dent appliances available online and/or in stores. This includes companies such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Best Buy, Sears Outlet, and more.
You may also be able to find scratch and dent appliances at small, local appliance stores. It’s worth checking if there are any such places in your area and seeing what they offer.
Some places will have a section dedicated to these appliances, while others may offer solely scratch and dent appliances.
Finally, scratch and dent appliances can also be found online on third-party retail websites (example). When using these sites, make sure to do thorough research to ensure that they are reputable.
Appliances Are Sold at a Discounted Price
As I mentioned before, the main feature of scratch and dent appliances is that they are sold at a lower price than their undamaged counterparts.
Discounts given for these appliances can be as low as a 10% reduction in price, or may even go as high as 60%!
There are a few factors that affect the rate of discount given for these appliances.
First, the extent of the damage will play a role in how much the price is reduced. The worse and more noticeable the damages, the lower the price will be.
The price can also fluctuate based on how much time the product has gone unsold. Since companies would rather sell something than nothing, prices of unsold products will usually continue to decrease until they sell.
Finally, the pricing of a scratch and dent appliance will depend on the location where you are looking to buy them. It can fluctuate as things tend to be run differently in different stores and cities.
In this case, ‘locations’ refers to both different companies you may choose to buy from, as well as different store locations of the same chain.
Warranties on Scratch and Dent Appliances
It is typical for scratch and dent appliances to still come with some sort of warranty, whether it be the original warranty or an alteration of the original warranty.
Most often, scratch and dent appliances will still be covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty upon being purchased. A one-year warranty is standard for most appliances.
With scratch and dent appliances, you may also have the option to purchase an extended warranty, as you would if you bought it brand new.
In the end, it comes down to the manufacturer of any given appliance and what their policies are for warranties in general, as well as for scratch and dent appliances specifically.
Some manufacturers will allow an altered (or limited) warranty for their scratch and dent appliances. With a limited warranty, there are strict guidelines for what the manufacturer will fix or reimburse.
If you are planning on purchasing a scratch and dent appliance, I advise you to do careful research on the warranties for each specific product you are considering.
In addition, you will want to make sure to have a receipt or proof of purchase for your records to ensure that the manufacturer will recognize your warranty.
Pros and Cons of Buying Scratch and Dent Appliances
- Perhaps the biggest benefit of scratch and dent appliances is that they are virtually brand new for a much lower cost than an undamaged version of the product.
- Because they are basically brand new, scratch and dent appliances should have the same, high-quality functioning as any brand new appliance.
- Scratch and dent appliances are more reliable than used appliances, as there is a much lower risk of the product’s functionality being impaired in any way.
- Typically, you won’t miss out on the warranty that comes with new appliances because manufacturers will still apply to scratch and dent appliances in some way.
- You should be able to purchase a scratch and dent appliance from anywhere as they are offered through multiple channels, including in-stores and online.
- Depending on the extent of the damages, scratch and dent appliances may not be as aesthetically pleasing as a brand new one.
- While the product is technically brand new, there is still a slight risk of the product not working or having issues in the future as a result of damage that went undetected.
- Oftentimes, you must transport and install scratch and dent appliances on your own because stores are unwilling or unable to do it for you (in addition, some warranties place limits on who can transport and install the appliance).
- The range of options for scratch and dent appliances can be limited, as these appliances become this way by chance.
- Certain types of damages, such as cracked glass, have the potential to be dangerous.