You've been shopping around for a new washer for months. You constantly check the websites of appliance stores in your area. Every morning, every lunch break, and every night after work, you scour the clearance sections until your eyes hurt and you invest in blue light blocking glasses.
Your search becomes a source of stress, a source of hope, and a source of devastation day after day as the deals you want are sold out. You start to sacrifice your standards, hunt for a deal that's harder on your wallet so it can be easier on your mind.
Your friends ask you, is it worth it? Is it worth the sacrifice? Is it worth the emotional labor? Just when you start to give up and search for a full-price appliance, you learn about scratch and dent.
Clearance isn't your best option.
You can find clearance items at home improvement stores like Lowes, but you can find even better deals on scratch and dent appliances. It's like buying a dented can from the grocery store. Is there anything wrong with the garbanzo beans inside?
Nope. The packaging was just imperfect. Maybe a bean broke in half as a result. While there may be a scratch or a small dent on your new refrigerator, it's still in perfect working condition.
Take this Lowes scratch and dent refrigerator, for example. You could buy a similar product from Lowe's at retail value for about $1,900. Or you could buy it from a third-party retailer that markets scratch and dent appliances for a third of the price.
Either way, the product will be brand new and perfectly functional. The difference is that the packaging got damaged in transit, so the product can no longer be sold directly from Lowes. It's a great way to get large appliances at an amazing price, especially if they're still under a manufacturer's warranty.
Is scratch and dent sketchy?
It's a perfectly legitimate way to buy and sell surplus inventory. This sort of company buys products that consist of customer returns, overstock, end-of-life products, and refurbished merchandise. Third-party retailers simply re-package the merchandise and pass it on to you, which keeps the prices low.
And if you're worried about having to buy in bulk, know that you can purchase liquidation goods by the box, pallet, or truckload. The best part is that you can find products from the sales floor that need to be moved.
The products are of high quality.
Okay, you might not find a Ferrari at a scratch and dent store, but the products are still high quality. In the past, third-party retailers have sold a narrow assortment of tier-2 or 3 brand major appliances.
Now, you can get tier-1 products in many different categories including clothing, electronics, home improvement, tools, health and beauty, furniture, and general merchandise. To prove that their products are worth it, many companies offer warranties on refurbished products to alleviate any non-working issues.
Sure, it's possible that your new appliance will have a small scratch. But isn't it worth it to have a gorgeous stainless steel Kitchen Aid dishwasher that you bought for only a third of the regular value?
Is there a limited stock?
Yes. But one thing we've learned in the age of COVID-19 is that there is a limited stock of everything, even things you once thought would never run out (looking at you, toilet paper).
When it comes to scratch and dent for an in-store purchase, there are still plenty of options. It may even make the decision to buy easier for the casual shopper and the analytical personality alike.
Whether you're looking for large appliances like dryers and dishwashers, or something smaller like microwaves and even t-shirts, you can try outlet stores. However, to find an even better price, try a third-party retailer for a great deal on all of your shopping needs.