The new house that we’re renting next month has a breezeway leading to the laundry room before it opens up to the back yard. The laundry room has washer and dryer hookups configured for a gas dryer. This feature of the house on Rucker Hill led us to our first major appliance purchase.
We first started looking on-line and found a stacked washer dryer unit for under a thousand dollars. It wasn’t just it’s lack of aesthetic appeal that made it so cheap it was how small a 3.1 cubic foot washer really is. We found that Sears and Lowe’s both sold that model, and we knew through their website that Sears did price matching plus 10% of the difference so we planned on making them our primary target. We headed to Lowe’s first because I needed a tape measure anyway to take some measurements, and I have an affinity for Kobalt tools for all the wrong reasons which include the way they look and the color scheme. If I’m going to buy mid-grade tools I figure I might as well like the way they look, I’m such a girl in this way I suppose. My boss calls tools like these, the “Do it her self kits.” This is the type of clever wit I endure throughout my week working in production.
After seeing that our original choice was entirely too small we headed to Sears for our second pick. On the second floor in the home appliance section we were approached with a clandestine sales attack beginning with an overbearing comment on how cute our children were, who I might say weren’t having the ‘cutest’ of days. The sales woman showed us only the top of the line and raved about their upcoming sale where we would save an additional ten percent. All in all it was a good deal, but the washer and drier were more than we needed about $500 more than I really wanted to spend. Especially considering just two weeks ago were were comparing used sets on Craig’s List. So after avoiding showing us any other models we headed back to the car.
At home I took the mid size model and compared it to the ginormous set over some consumer reports and Internet review sites. Somewhere in our search we came across the more affordable LG. When I first heard of LG around ’01 or ’02 I was a little weary of the Korean Company selling nice looking refrigerators and phones. I was younger and stupider and still held out on the ideals that America made the best products. I also didn’t trust the inner workings behind such a flashy exterior. I wasn’t really in the market for such appliance then either which simply allowed me to jump to what ever conclusions I felt like.
Having narrowed it down between the LG and the Whirlpool and checking out the reviews, I found that the most common complaint with Whirlpool was that the on board computer circuitry was failing immediately after warranty. LG had no reviews, which could be good or bad. But their impressive 7 year warranty made up for any lingering doubts. I called Best Buy, spoke to one of their representatives and asked the following questions:
Do they both qualify for conservation credits from the utility company?
Do you know of any known problems or complaints with either model?
Which do you sell more of?
Which have more returns?
And finally, Which one do you recommend if any?
It turns out that most people buy the LG, but this could be because the store sells more of their product. Both qualify for utility credits. There were no known problems with either model. And the only returns were from people who had the washer and drier on the second floor due to the loud noise from the vibrations, these models were made for the first floor only.
After visiting the store it didn’t take long to decide on the LG. The units are being shipped for free just in time for our move in two weeks. Immediately following the purchase and more importantly the next morning, neither of us felt any buyers remorse. The key to avoiding such guilt is being an informed shopper. Figure out exactly what you want, know why you want it, know the price, and you’ll walk away feeling great every time. $1600 is not a small purchase to any one I know, but we were able to walk away with free shipping, a $75 rebate from our utility company, a tax credit for this year, $35 dollars in store credit, and a $16 rebate from our bank. I think that the only thing that could have made this purchase more fun, would have been to pay with cash.