How I Saved 63% ($1750) on a New Stainless Steel Fridge

by Darwin on July 3, 2010

Today I was able to snag a $2800 refrigerator for $1050 at Lowe’s due to a combination of good timing, good haggling and savvy use of technology.  I basically went to buy a new umbrella cover and light bulbs and they had several appliances out front with a 50% off sign.  I was immediately drawn to the Samsung model RFG298AARS since it was Stainless to match our other appliances and a quick check on my iPhone confirmed that it had good reviews and retailed for $2799.

Scratch and Dent Discounts

I was well aware of the concept of buying damaged merchandise, as we’ve done so before.  You can often save 20-50% on major appliances and furniture for relatively modest dings and dents.  In the case of this fridge, it was mangled on the side and had a minor dent in front that was barely noticeable.  We have an enclosed fridge section from when we put in our new cabinetry so i always figured I’d snag a new fridge at a discount with the sides torn up and not care.  So, this was was listed at $1050 which was a steal to begin with (63% off list price).  In the 10 minutes I was standing there fighting with my wife over why she couldn’t find a tape measure in the house to ensure it would fit, the one on the left and right sold. I was watching a guy eying mine up when the wife finally confirmed it would fit and i snagged it.  On top of the massive discount, I was able to finagle free shipping as well since I don’t have a truck.  I had also used my iPhone to check around elsewhere online and even on shady discount sites, the lowest it was listed at was over $2000…and who knows what they’d charge to ship (that’s often how they make up the discount spread).

How To Score an Incredible Discount Yourself

I was making small-talk with the Associate and he confirmed they basically put appliances like this out every couple weeks and around holidays especially.  Just call every Saturday to see if they’re putting out damaged/repaired appliances at a discount.  Chances are you’ll have a shot at first dibs.  On top for the 50% or more you can save, you can even score more with massive discounts at the big stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s via the gift card discount site PlasticJungle.  I’ve both bought cards for chains stores and sold cards I wasn’t going to use and there’s usually about a 10-15% discount to be had.  So, if I’d thought ahead and had $1000 in Lowe’s buying power, I could have saved another $150, but I’m not in the habit of carrying around thousands of dollars in gift cards – and I had to act quickly.  But if you know you’re in the market for a large purchase, might as well take advantage of further discounts as well (and avoid opening those store cards for the 10% off…you can only do it once and it’s not great for your credit).

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