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Reader Tip: Save Money by Buying “Scratch and Dent” Appliances

Melissa, from The Inspired Room (a blog dedicated to sharing inspiration for creating a beautiful life and home on a budget), recently wrote and shared this tip with me:

If you have ever thought about updating a kitchen, you know the price tag of new appliances could stop you in your tracks. But did you know there is a way to get a brand new appliance for as much as half of the retail price?

When I remodeled my kitchen a few years ago, I was pinching every
penny. I wanted all new appliances in addition to some cabinetry, so
the remodeling bill was adding up fast. As I wandered through the maze
of options at a local appliance store, I ended up in the back room
where I discovered a great selection of "scratched and dented"

Imagine my glee when I found the exact stainless steel bottom drawer freezer model I was looking for at one-half of the retail price! The refrigerator was brand new and came with a full warranty. The
small ding near the bottom of the freezer drawer was barely noticeable.
And the reality is, we put our own dent in the refrigerator a few
months later.

Being willing to accept that small imperfection saved me around
$700! If you want to get the most bang for your buck in a kitchen
remodel, it definitely pays to shop around for discounted appliances.

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  • Great tip. Thanks, Melissa! I remember when our new refrigerator was delivered (we paid full-price, darn!), we were advised not to accept the delivery if even THE BOX was the slightest bit damaged. So I wouldn’t be surprised if you could get a perfectly functional and beautiful appliance (except for that tiny scratch) at a great discount.

  • Jessica says:

    We just bought a house last Thursday and we have been checking all the scratch and dent sales in the area. Almost every store has a section and the prices are unbelievable. Some of the items are dented on the back where it is not even noticeable and the price is still almost half!

    The washer and dryer that I have had for almost 5 years both came from the scratch and dent at Best Buy. We even asked for a greater discount because we were buying both and they gave us another couple hundred dollars off just for asking.

    Crystal: we followed Dave’s plan for the house we just bought, 20% down, 15year fixed, no points, no origination fees, got a 4.75 interest rate and bought it at an auction $40,000 below the appraisal. I wish I had enough patience to do 100% like you and your husband. I have lived in apartments for 9 years and am so sick of white walls. We started Dave’s plan almost two years ago, are completed debt free and finally home owner’s.

  • Jessica C says:

    I got my computer the same way. Dell has a “scratch and dent” section. My computer originally was about 400-500 and we ended up paying 250. When it got here, we really had to look for the tiny scratch on it.

  • Kimberly says:

    Can anyone help me with the Hy-Vee deals of the week and coupons that go with?

  • Jill Morino says:

    We have done this with all our recent appliance purchases. In the Chicago area, there are a few Sears Outlets that sell scratch and dent or floor model appliances, among other products. We got a dishwasher with scratches on the side — the sides that are hidden under the countertop! We got a fridge with such minor dents I never noticed them. We got a washing machine too, same thing as the dishwasher — the scratches were on the side hidden by the dryer. My in laws have also purchase several s&d items and they were the ones who alerted us to the bargains you can get. Literally half of what you’d pay at retail, and the Sears Outlets at least will deliver and install for a relatively nominal fee. Plus, they are covered by Sears service, which I have found to be excellent. I give this idea a two big thumbs up!!

  • nanasewn says:

    We too have purchased from the “ding” shop. It has a new warranty. Just look the items over and over, front and back. You wouldnt want any real big dents in the back that would hinder the motor from running properly etc. We also saved about half the retail price. I will say that I am having a difficult time getting used to the bottom freezer, which has nothing to do with dings. After going from a side by side, it seems I have to rearrange the freezer everytime I put something in or out…boooo!

  • Celia says:

    We are buying a scratch and dent washer sometime in the next month. We have a five hundred dollar budget and I am excited to start shopping!

  • Victoria says:

    I learned this while buying our refrigerator. There is a small paint chip on the side. Once we put it in the house you can’t even see it. I have to add, WHILE DH and my step-dad were moving it in the house they scratched the paint off the door handle! It would have been damaged anyways!

  • Daina says:

    This can work out great! We were actually happy when Big Hardware Store dinged our new dryer during delivery, since we got a discount — either 10 or 15 percent, I forget now — for a slight dent that was going to be facing a wall anyway. The dryer works perfectly.

    That time we did our shopping online since we were moving to a new place and setting up home from afar, but we’ll do what we can to seek out those discounts next time.

  • Sherri says:

    We are building a home and would like to pay cash for our appliances when the time comes. Do you just call around to ask for these scratch and dent items? Has anyone had any luck negotiating deals with appliance retailers? Negotiating always makes me nervous, but I feel so savy when I get a good deal.

  • silver says:

    I bought my dryer at a scratch and dent store. The first one wound up not working so they gave me a better one for no additional cost. The repairman that was out to look at the first one mentioned that you should never buy a washer or dryer with a dent in the back–that’s where all the “workings” are, and you risk having serious problems if they’re damaged by a dent. I’m not sure about kitchen appliances, but I would guess that you also should be careful about where the dent is located.

  • EmmyJMommy says:

    We actually bought a very nice glass surface Whirpool stove/oven that was from a model home for $250 last year. It was a terrific deal, and was from the local appliance store and not one of the big chains…so we were also supporting a small business, which we prefer to do! I am all for scratch & dent merchandise, if it is in good condition!

  • Gina says:

    I agree!! I got my Kenmore HE3 (the *big* front loading washer) for less than HALF retail because I bought from the Sears Warehouse where they had the scratch/dent appliances. They did not deliver it, we had to pick it up and install it ourselves – but I saved $800 on the washer. It had two scratches – both small and both on the left side, which is the side that sits against the wall in my laundry room. Who. Cares?! Not to mention, we are the only ones in our laundry room, anyway!!!! I have another friend who does the same for sofas/chairs that are going to be sitting against a wall – she’ll go to the furniture store and buy one that has been damaged on the back (fixing it where she can)

  • Felicia says:

    My husband works at Lowes and they are always trying to unload the scratch and dent or discontinued model. Always inquire about making the price lower then listed.

  • Michele Laramay says:

    So true. We bought an over the range microwave at Sears for 151.00. It was regularly 440.00. It had a dent on the side,but turns out that side was against a cabinet, so it never even showed anyhow! I was thrilled to get my microwave off my counter at such an amazing price!

  • Jaden says:

    Great tip! Thanks!

  • Amy says:

    I totally agree! When we bought our current stove I really wanted a gas stove that had both sealed burners and was self cleaning. Having both of these options was way out of my budget until I found one at Best Buy that had been the display model for about 1/2 the cost! It did have a small dent in the handle on the oven that opens the door, but I always have a kitchen towel there anyway and never notice!

  • Shannon says:

    We had the exact same experience only our new refrigerator came not from a desire to remodel, but because our old refridgerator gave out! We were able to get a $1200 model for under $700 because it was a ‘scratch and dent’. The dent was on the side that is covered by our cabinets! Always check the scratch and dent section before you buy!

  • Mel says:

    Wow! This is excellent to know as we are now in the market for appliances. What is ‘Dave’s Plan’ that I keep hearing about? I would love to find out where I could read about it!

  • Melissa says:

    Wonderful tip! I completely agree and didn’t even know about this until a few years ago when we just happened to see a “scratched” freezer. It was on clearance, 60% off at Lowes! We went early in the morning and I guess that is when they usually put the clearance/scratched/dented stuff out (according to the salesman). The freezer had a small scratch along the side, but we didn’t care since the freezer itself worked fine! It was brand new.

    When we first married (and very young), I didn’t know to watch for deals/discounts. We got a brand-new front loader washer/dryer (for high price!), but when the delivery men brought it to the house, they accidently dented the side. We were given an option to get a new one, or they would take off $200! Of course, I took the money (I wasn’t that naive to saving at that point) 🙂

    So, the dented washer, now 6 years old, still works great, and our scratched freezer, now 3 years old, holds all my stocked up foods/meals when I find a great deal! 🙂

  • Bethany says:

    We always appliance shop at Sears outlet (scratch and dent as well as overstocks) – look on their site for locations. We usually save quite a bit and it has worked out great for us!

  • Rochelle Wilkerson says:

    I have a car (which I know is different from an appliance) but I bought it with a dent on the side. I chose to leave it there instead of fix it. Everyone asks “What happened to your car?” I say, “It’s the make-it-cheaper dent!” lol

  • Veggiemomof2 says:

    My brother works at Maytag & he let us know when they got new Scratch & Dent trucks in. That’s how we were able to replace all the kitchen appliances during our kitchen remodel & we paid maybe $2000 for fridge, dishwasher, stove, & wall-mount vented microwave. ☺

  • I got $200 off my dishwasher because it had a small scratch which they had already covered with appliance paint.

  • Kristi says:

    We bought Maytag front loading washer and dryer at Sears scratch and dent 10 years ago and they are going strong today! No one ever goes in your laundry room – who cares if your washer and dryer have dents????

  • Sherri says:

    Oh, we did this with a mattress set actually. Great, high quality (and brand new)for a fraction of the price. Some had a tear or scuff here or there but the one we decided on had just one of the handles on the side missing…like it had never been sewn on or anything.

  • melissa says:

    We bought our bed this way. We really needed a new one and wanted to pay cash. Because of a tine black mark on the box spring we saved $100’s!!! Silly people that wouldn’t buy it!!

  • Becky says:

    We bought a “normal” stove at Lowe’s a couple months ago. When it was delivered, there was a small dent on the side. I didn’t really care because it’s up against cabinets anyways. But I called Lowe’s and they gave me a $50 credit (the stove was only about $400 on sale). They were really nice about it – and I was thrilled to save an extra $50!

    If you’re in the Boston area, check out New England Appliance on Wood Rd in Braintree – they have an awesome selection of slightly dented appliances and overstocks!

  • Courtney says:

    We buy ALL of our appliances discounted due to scratch and dent–you can often also get discounts on floor models so ask about those!
    We saved over $300 on a high-end washer that was returned because it was “too loud” according to the previous owners (they had installed it on a second floor and apparently their floor was not solid enough). We were able to buy the exact fridge and oven I wanted for under $1000 total due to one being scratched (on the side that would go against the wall) and the other being a floor model and the only one they had available.

  • Maranda Oliver says:

    this is so true. my husband and i bought a fridge from a scratch and dent (cause our old one went kaput) and saved!! The regular one was $1200 but we got ours for less than $500. after looking it over there wasnt even a scratch on it–turns out it was just a return, and since it was returned they put the appliances on the scratch and dent floor cause they cant sell them as brand new-so just wanted to say sometimes the scratch and dent are not even damaged!!!! 🙂

  • Cindy says:

    We did the exact same thing when we renovated our house. We paid $500 for a beautiful, high end stainless steel fridge that retails for $1300. We got all the kitchen appliances as well as our washer/dryer that way. We literally saved several thousand dollars!

  • Sara says:

    Hi! If you live near Dallas/Fort Worth visit the Sears outlet in Grapevine Mills mall exactly for this purpose. Sometimes they run sales too in addition to the already discounted scratch and dent prices. We also were able to get a nice stainless steel fridge when we bought our first fridge for pennies of what we would have purchased it for new. The dents are not even noticeable, as they are on the side.

  • Julie says:

    We also shop at Sears Outlet. I got a really nice HE washer & dryer combo for much less than retail. The washer had a scratch on the side, which is now up against the wall, and the pedestal has a little dent on the front. Trust me, NOBODY but me ever goes into the laundry room so no one sees it.

  • Jennifer says:

    We got our fridge for half-price the exact same way. It has a 6-inch long crease in the side that just happens to be… exactly where our cabinets line up with the fridge. 🙂

  • Emily says:

    Hello – I just wanted to throw in to the mix that sometimes you think you need a new fridge or appliance when all you really need is an replacement part. We have found with the availability of online blogs and stores that generally we can find troubleshooting for most any problems that arise with our appliances. Do a search for your appliance part number and look for bloggers that help you to narrow a problem down to a component this way and then you can look at your component and record the manufacturers part number. This way, you can search for stores that carry this part by searching the part number and manufacturer on Google. Then order *just* the broken part!
    This approach has saved us literally hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars! Otherwise we would have been in the market for a dryer, a fridge AND a power venter in the last 3 years!

  • Oh Melissa – we think alike. I just took a pic of our “new” dryer and stove top that I got at the Sears scratch and dent. Add that to the fridge we have from there as well, and it’s a win-win in appliance world. 🙂

  • Alexis says:

    I did this and we got a $2000 Kenmoor Elite trio for $850 🙂

    You don’t even see the dent. There is a small scratch on one of the handles I touched up with appliance paint

  • Bucky says:

    When you buy scratch-n-dent, make sure that it comes with a full warranty (they usually do). And don’t be afraid of machines with problems that affect function. Because with the full warranty, they will have to repair the appliance so that it works!

    A few years ago I got a new fridge that I knew had electrical wiring problems — the water/ice dispenser in the door didn’t function. It was a $1200 fridge that I got for $100. I went ahead and called repair and they couldn’t fix it after a number of attempts so they ended up replacing the entire fridge — with a brand new one.

    Total score on my part. Ended up with a new fridge for $100.

    Be aware though, that it can take a few months before they decide it can’t be fixed and needs to be replaced, and then a few more months before all the paperwork gets done and you get the replacement.

    So if you need to have something working right away, don’t go this route.

  • Jen says:

    We love Scratch and Dent also. When our washing machine gave out the day before Christmas Eve, right in the middle of washing, we had to find a washer fast. We found there was at least a week’s wait at the big stores, but we were able to load it right into our trailer the same afternoon at Scratch and Dent! This save the day for us! And the prices are also great. Thansk for the great post!

  • MJ says:

    We actually recently applied this concept to our new living room suit. We went to a furniture warehouse, and they had a display model that was 50% off retail price. The sales guy helped us look it over, there was no damage, no tears, no stains, etc. It didn’t come with a store warranty (sold as is) but we still get the manufacturer’s warranty on the frame, etc.
    AND to top that off, we wanted to get the spray treatment that helps prevent stains, etc… We got that for half price as well, because they couldn’t warranty the couch… the spray still works for the same amount of time, we just saved major money!

  • Sharon says:

    Yep. We used this same technique when we had to buy a refrigerator, washer and dryer for our home when we moved.

  • Traci says:

    Mel, Dave’s Plan is referring to Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. It is in book form, plus he has radio and TV programs. His plan is all about living debt-free and practical baby step tips on how to get there!
    Excellent info!

  • Jennie A says:

    My stepdad works for Whoirlpool in Ft. Smith Ar. Our fridge went out last Jan, and with 5 kids…we didn’t have a lot of money for a new one. Well, of course, employees get discounts. We were able to use my stepdads discount to buy a scratch and dent fridge. It is black side by side with in door water and ice 25cubic sq ft.! Less than 300 dollars! I still don’t know where the dent is. Great deal huh!

  • ADollarSaved says:

    Wow, I never knew this deal was out there, or I would ahve considered it when I brought a new refridgerator two months ago! Ugh, half off!! Oh well, its till a really good deal for those who don’t mind a scratch/dent here or there, including myself. It’s not like a scratch or dent makes it any less functionable, I guess it’s just one of those function versus fashion sort of things.

  • I had this experience a few years ago – but not intentionally! I had purchased a new fridge from Home Depot (the old one died) and when they were delivering it, they noticed a 6 inch long minor dent in the side. It was cosmetic only, and was on the side that would be next to the wall. The delivery people were going to put it back on the truck but I called Home Depot and negotiated a $100 discount. Sweet! I got my check in the mail the next week. If this ever happens, negotiate your discount while the delivery people are right there and they can verify the damage. Don’t wait until later, and don’t let the delivery crew leave until you have talked to management.

  • Kara says:

    My husband and I did this as well! We live about 40 minutes from a Sears Outlet store (metro Detroit), and they have great deals! Some are dented, some aren’t, some were just returned within their period, etc. We were able to save more than half on our refridgerator ($700 saved) and a lot on a washer and dryer. I definitely recommend checking to see if your area has a Sears outlet.

  • Viviana Rodriguez says:

    Please sed or mail me a catalog or pamphlet of very dicounted dented furniture , I am interested in buying

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