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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).

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

The Saved Quarter July 3, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Excellent deal! I love the idea of using gift cards for the purchase as well.

We have a Sears Outlet nearby that is all scratch and dent appliances. When we moved into our house 4 years ago, all of our appliances were replaced for about half the price of new, with minor cosmetic damage and full warranty. If your area has something like that, it’s another good way to find deals.

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Darwin July 4, 2010 at 11:50 am

I agree, there’s one about 30 miles away that I’ve helped friends and family buy from and move in trucks to their homes. It’s such an incredible deal and in many cases, the side or back of an appliance is completely inconsequential, yet they’ll discount significantly. Even if it’s electrical, with the 1 yr warranty, it’s generally evident that they either fixed it or they didn’t. Taking on slight risk but the discounts are enormous. I don’t think I’ll ever pay full price again!

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Maggie@SquarePennies December 6, 2012 at 2:35 am

That’s great to know. We just passed a Sears Outlet store tonight & I wondered if there might be some good deals inside. I’ll be taking a stroll through their store soon! Thanks for the tip!

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Amanda L Grossman July 4, 2010 at 9:35 am

Great find!!!

When we moved into our home last September, we were expecting a fridge to be there…on closing day we found out that in fact that was not part of the contract. We were cash-strapped and had just shelled out thousands upon thousands for a home, so we went to the local Sears scratch and dent, and found a stainless steel fridge for $800 (delivered), which was 50% off! Hurrah! It had some scratches on the side, and at the bottom of the one door on front, but who cares? We certainly don’t.

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Darwin July 4, 2010 at 11:51 am

Yes, those Sears outlets are awesome. I mentioned above too, I’ve used these multiple times with friends and family. It’s good to know now that there’s even a decent procedure in place for doing the same at Lowe’s and Home Depot if you want brands Sears doesn’t carry. Why pay full price?

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Jesse July 6, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Awesome find! I actually really love shopping for appliances..I’ve only done it once so far but it was a great experience.

This was well before my money savvy days, but I knew about the store card discount and I knew we were broke so when we were shopping for a fridge, we found a really cheap one, talked the store into offering free shipping and then got the salesmans name and left without buying. The fridge was a regular so we were pretty sure it would still be there.

We went back in a week or so later, and talked to the same guy. We also needed a washer and dryer and happened to see some funny colored ones in a back corner. They were a baby blue color, matching set. Turns out they were discontinued and were going for 350 for the pair! So by snagging those and buying the fridge at teh same time, we got additional discounts, free shipping, 10% off with the homedepot card+ no payments or interest for a year (paid it off early so back interest didn’t hit us). We got the fridge, washer and dryer, all brand new, for close to $1000.

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Kelly Whalen July 9, 2010 at 10:31 am

Wow Jesse! That’s an awesome deal!

We have purchased a ton of appliances. We started with a cheap W&D when we moved into our first house. They were awful, so we sold them and bought a pricey frontloader and dryer. We got a decent deal at the time, but prices are so much better now. Those have lasted about 8 years, and we’re looking to replace them .

Our fridge came with the house and is 20 years old! We’re planning on replacing it soon as well.

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Mrs. Accountability August 21, 2010 at 9:55 pm

The deal part is amazing, and I’m glad you were able to snag it. But I would still have a terrible time parting with that much money for a large appliance. I don’t recall ever buying a brand new appliance, and we were actually contemplating actually buying a new washer but couldn’t bring ourselves to do it. I’m glad we didn’t because my sister-in-law ended up with an extra washer and dryer from a rental she owns and gave it to us. I just used it today for the first time and it works really great and has a much larger capacity than our other one.

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Katie February 28, 2012 at 8:29 am

I love the idea of buying scratch and dent models, however I plan to hang on to my appliances until they stop working. But the last time I bought a TV (a couple years ago) I snagged the display model and got an extra 10% off. So its definitely worth going for scratch and dent or display models to get the discount.

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Darwin December 9, 2012 at 1:27 pm

My problem is getting enough supply! Usually, stores aren’t even offering, so when I see an offering, even if we weren’t ready to buy yet, I might just jump if it’s like 50% off for something I don’t mind!

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