Consumer Reports Made Shopping For Appliances Easier

we bought consumer reports for appliancesMy wife and I have been shopping for kitchen appliances for a while now.

If you’ve never shopped for appliances before, it is super frustrating!

We decided to buy four separate appliances, a refrigerator, a dishwasher, a microwave and a range.

That means we didn’t have to just make one decision, we had to make four decisions!

There are so many options out to choose from and the reviews are all a mixed bag on the store websites.

Some people hate an appliance while others love the very same appliance. So how did we make a decision?

We Bought A Subscription To Consumer Reports

With so many opinions available online, it’s hard to tell who is simply complaining about making a bad decision versus those that have serious problems with an appliance.

Unfortunately, some people even manipulate reviews by maliciously posting false statements that are either amazing or awful to try to persuade potential buyers.

Luckily, Consumer Reports tests many kitchen appliances in an objective fashion and shares that knowledge with their subscribers.

I did some research and found out that Consumer Reports actually buys their appliances from the same place you or I would to ensure they get the same quality appliance a consumer would.

That’s right, Consumer Reports doesn’t get their appliances they test for free. They pay for them to ensure that they’re representative of every other appliance sold by that manufacturer. They don’t want special treatment.

After finding this out, we decided to spend $6.95 per month for a subscription to get access to their reviews and I’m so glad we did.

Just a quick note, the subscription auto renews so if you sign up, make sure to cancel if you are no longer using the service. We’ll be cancelling in a couple weeks after we’re done exploring information on any future purchases we may want to make.

What We Learned For Consumer Reports

The first thing we noticed after logging in is that Consumer Reports doesn’t have reviews on every single appliance model ever. However, you can use the reviews they have done to find some trends for certain brands or features offered on different appliances.

Before looking at Consumer Reports’ data, we assumed there would be one brand that has the highest reliability across all appliances.

We couldn’t be more wrong. While one brand might have the lowest rate of major problems for dishwashers, that same manufacturer may have the highest rate of major problems with refrigerators.

Those facts quickly made us realize we wouldn’t be buying a suite of appliances all from the same brand. This was huge because all of the major appliance sellers want you to buy all from the same manufacturer to get a package deal with a slightly better price.

If the appliances don’t work well, it doesn’t matter how much you pay for them so we decided we weren’t getting a package deal.

Next, we learned that price doesn’t equate to quality. Some of the higher rated appliances were some of the cheaper or mid-level priced appliances. This was huge because it saved us a ton of money and headache. We didn’t have to buy expensive appliances to get the performance we wanted.

Finally, we were able to decide on each individual appliance either based on the ratings of that specific appliance or a similar appliance from the same brand. We looked at the factors that mattered the most to us and made our decisions based on those factors.

Consumer Reports Probably Saved Us A Ton Of Headache And Money

If we simply made our decisions based on the marketing by the appliance selling companies and the appliance manufacturers, it is clear we would have made some awful choices. That’s why we always research major purchases in advance.

While our normal method of reading online reviews on the company websites that sell the products didn’t work, we found a more reliable way to decide what appliances to buy. Even though it cost us $6.95 to buy a one month Consumer Reports subscription, it was money well spent.

If you’re making a major purchase and you’re clueless on what to look for, seriously consider giving Consumer Reports a few of your hard earned dollars so they can do the research for you. It’s worth every penny.

Have you ever used Consumer Reports to make a purchase before? Did it make your life easier? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Photo by: nessman Text added by: Lance Cothern

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

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