The Ultimate Guide to Shopping Scratch and Dent Appliances

So you’re on the hunt for new appliances, but let’s be real – appliances alone can easily swallow up most of your kitchen remodel budget. But I have good news for you! One trick I found for getting great deals on top brands during my own renovation: scratch and dent appliances.

These are appliances that may have a bit of cosmetic damage, such as a dent or scratch, but are otherwise in perfect working condition. And the best part? They come with major savings!

Don’t be dismayed by the idea of possible scratches – some are nonexistent or so hidden you won’t even notice, especially if your new appliance is wedged between cabinets and counters. These clearance appliances still work just like their full-price counterparts.

So, if your wallet’s feeling a bit light or you just love a good deal, scratch and dent appliances could be your secret weapon for a budget-friendly home upgrade.

What are Scratch and Dent Appliances?

scratch and dent appliances at Best Buy Outlet with a sign that reads "New arrivals weekly"

You’re in the market for new affordable kitchen appliances, and scratch and dent appliances, or open box appliances, might’ve caught your eye. These guys are essentially brand new but may have a bit of a rough-and-tumble past – scratches, dents, or maybe a slight blemish or two.

This can happen during manufacturing, transportation, or even while on display in a store. In some cases, these appliances can have zero imperfections, simply a discontinued design, overstocked inventory, or external packaging damage.

Despite these imperfections, scratch and dent appliances are fully functional and often come with the same manufacturer’s warranty as their pristine counterparts. The real win? You’re saving some serious money while getting a fully functional appliance. By overlooking minor damage, you can acquire top-notch, fully functional appliances at a fraction of the regular price.

Now, not every scratch and dent appliance is created equal. Some might have more noticeable imperfections, so it’s important to inspect the appliance thoroughly before making a purchase.

Only you can determine if the extent or location of the possible damage is a deal-killer. Many scratch and dent appliance outlets provide tags detailing the issues. But if not, don’t be afraid to ask questions to the retailer.

When considering scratch and dent appliances, it’s also important to keep in mind that availability is often limited. Sold on a first-come, first-served basis, if you spot one that checks all your boxes, don’t wait around! Grab it.

Benefits of Buying Scratch Dent Appliances

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s talk about all the perks of choosing open box appliances:

1. Cost

open box dishwasher by Bosch, markdown to 55% off.

One of the biggest advantages of shopping at an appliance outlet store is the unbeatable savings. Outlet stores often offer significant discounts on appliances that are overstocked, discontinued or have minor cosmetic imperfections.

Because of this, discounts can range from 20% to 85% off the regular retail price. We’re talking saving hundreds or thousands of dollars on those fancy appliances that usually cost an arm and a leg.

You may also get lucky and spot special offers, often marked by a Manager’s Special sign, which indicates discounts closer to 75% off or more. These items are often associated with more significant damage or excess stock.

2. Eco Friendly

When you pick scratch and dent appliances, you’re basically giving a second chance to these gadgets. They might have a tiny scratch or a dent, but they’re still in perfect functional order. By choosing these appliances, you’re helping cut down on waste and keeping them out of landfills.

3. Variety

Stores that sell scratch and dent appliances often have a very large selection to choose from. Because the brands, models, colors, and sizes are so diverse, so you can often find the perfect appliance to fit your needs without killing your budget. With new and discontinued products being brought out all the time, you may even find some models you wouldn’t be able to find at a regular retail store.

4. Quality Assurance

scratch and dent dryer for a discount but brand new in package.

Contrary to popular belief, scratch and dent appliances are not necessarily of lesser quality than those sold at regular retail stores. In fact, many stores offer the same high-quality appliances (some even brand new!), but you’ll often get a discount along with the full warranty.

Where to Find Scratch and Dent Appliances

Snag incredible deals on scratch and dent appliances by visiting my absolute go-to recommendation: outlet stores. The best part? Many outlets have ONLINE STORES!

You might not be aware of some hidden gems among them, featuring the very best brands like Williams Sonoma Outlet, Best Buy Outlet, Lowes Outlet, and the Kitchenaid Outlet.

Check out my curated list of the “Top 10 Appliance Outlet Brands: Mastering Discount Appliances” for the inside scoop!

Factors to Consider When Shopping

Assess Condition

Examine the appliance for scratches, dents, or chips. While a little cosmetic boo-boo might not harm performance, only you can be the judge to ensure it’s not too serious. A tiny dent on the fridge’s side? No biggie. A dent on the door? That could be too unsightly or potentially mess with the seal and energy efficiency.

I recommend you thoroughly inspect any attached tags— they often explain the location and extent of damage to the item. When purchasing from Amazon’s Open Box Warehouse online, items are tagged anywhere from “Like New” to “Acceptable.”

If you are unable to find any visible damage, ask an employee— they often have additional insights, such as the item being overstock or a discontinued model.

Warranty and Return Policies

Some appliances might still have a full or limited manufacturer’s warranty from the retailer. Dive into the warranty terms and return policies to understand what’s covered and for how long.

Limited Selection

Although there are typically hundreds of items to choose from, if you are looking for a very specific brand or model, you may come up empty handed. When visiting a scratch and dent appliance store, it’s best to keep an open mind to snag the best deals.

Brands That Are Commonly Available

scratch and dent viking fridge

I’ve spotted loads of different brands across all product types when checking out open box appliance deals. Here’s a list of the typical brands I’ve come across:

  • BOSCH
  • Cafe
  • Frigidaire
  • GE
  • KitchenAid
  • LG
  • Maytag
  • Samsung
  • SMEG
  • Thermador
  • Viking
  • Whirlpool

HOT TIP
Make sure whatever brand you want has service technicians in your area. In case you encounter any issues with your appliance down the line, having accessible service technicians in your area ensures prompt and efficient assistance.

Type of Appliance selections

Alright, let’s dig a little deeper into the most common scratch and dent major appliances you can find:

1. Scratch and Dent Fridge:
inside of scratch and dent fridge shows handle storage

Of all of the appliance types, scratch and dent refrigerators are probably the most stocked up. When visiting the Best Buy Outlets, I was met with rows upon rows upon rows of them in all shapes, sizes, and brands. But make sure to keep an eye on the handles! If they’re MIA, chances are they’re stashed inside, so open up that fridge to confirm.

3. Scratch and Dent Stove:

Everything from gas to electric to induction, scratch and dent ovens are a great way to cut down on your kitchen renovation budget. I picked up my own open box stove for 50% off from Williams Sonoma’s online outlet and I could not be more thrilled. I shaved a whopping $2,649.44!

2. Scratch and Dent Washer and Dryer:
scratch and dent washer and dryer

Washers and dryers are another common type of scratch and dent appliance but come with a unique challenge— finding a match! Since they typically sit side-by-side in your laundry room, finding the same brand and model may prove to be a challenge. As we know, scratch and dent appliances are often due to returns or imperfections, so the chance of a complete pair being available may be less likely— though not impossible! I have still seen plenty of sets up for grabs.

4. Scratch and Dent Dishwasher:

Scratch and dent dishwashers are some of the most discounted of all of the dent appliances I’ve seen. I once spotted an LG dishwasher, originally $1,149, hanging out at the Best Buy Outlet for just $161. That’s a jaw-dropping 85% off! There was a noticeable small scratch in the front, so make sure to thoroughly inspect it to see if it’s actually a scratch or possibly just residue (very easily removed). Scooping up a deal like this could be perfect for rental property replacement appliances or a cheap upgrade.

scratch and dent dishwasher

Negotiating The Best Deal

When it comes to snagging the best deal on scratch and dent home appliances, a little negotiation can go a long way. Let’s dive into some practical tips to help you master the art of haggling and make the most out of your appliance purchase.

Price Comparison

Start by doing your homework. Do a quick Google search to compare prices from various stores, such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Best Buy online. Knowing the price range across different retailers arms you with valuable information when negotiating.

Best Buy Outlet is a great place and has handy QR codes that will link to the exact item on their website. It’s important, though, to double check against other retailers, as I found cheaper prices elsewhere in several cases.

Haggling Strategies:
  • Friendly Approach: A smile can go a long way. Build rapport with the sales associate by being friendly and polite.
  • Flaw Awareness: Point out any imperfections in the appliance and inquire about a potential price adjustment. Retailers often have policies for extra discounts on scratch and dent items.
  • Walk Away Tactic: If the initial negotiation doesn’t yield results, don’t hesitate to walk away. Sometimes, this prompts the sales associate to revisit the offer with a better deal.
  • Bundle Discounts: Consider bundling multiple appliances in your purchase. Retailers might be more inclined to offer a steeper discounted price when you’re buying in bulk.

Delivery and Installation

Once you’ve secured your deal, it’s time to think about getting your new appliance home and set up.

Transportation Tips:
  1. In-Store Service: Many retailers do provide delivery for free or an added fee. Make sure to ask before checkout!
  2. Third-Party Service: There are some amazing transportation apps at your fingertips. Check out my post on Third-Party Delivery Options.
  3. Measure and Prepare: Ensure your vehicle is the right fit. Measure the appliance and your vehicle, and secure the appliance properly with tie-down straps.
  4. Use a Dolly: A dolly or hand truck can make maneuvering easier and reduce the risk of injury.

Installation Services

If the thought of DIY installation makes you uneasy, consider professional installation services.

  1. In-Store Services: Find out if installation is included or a possible add-on package. Best Buy Outlet, for example, offers this.
  2. Verify Credentials: Ensure the installation service is licensed and insured to protect against potential issues.
  3. Clarify Services: Understand what’s included in the installation. Will the installer handle connections to electrical or gas lines? Will they dispose of your old appliance?
  4. Check Availability: Confirm that installation services are available in your area, as some retailers may have limitations.
  5. Budget for Extras: Be prepared to pay an additional fee for installation services, varying based on the complexity of the installation.

By applying these negotiation and logistics tips, you can not only score a great deal on your scratch and dent appliance but also ensure a smooth and safe transition to its new home.

Real Stories: Scratch Dent Appliance Success

scratch and dent cafe oven

In addition to my own success purchasing a scratch and dent oven, I wanted to share some follower testimonials as well. Hearing from real people always makes me feel more confident in making an open-box purchase.

Here are some comments I’ve received from followers regarding their own open-box appliance experiences (usernames have been omitted for privacy):

  • Follower 1: “Bought an open Box KitchenAid 30″ Pro Range WITH factory warranty— love it!”
  • Follower 2: “Heck ya! I bought my first fridge from a Sears Outlet and saved a lot of money! There was a small dent but it was on the side where you’d never see it!”
  • Follower 3: “Yes! We go to the one [Best Buy Outlet] in the Orlando area to check stock! You never know what you’ll find.”
  • Follower 4: “I saved $900 on a Samsung fridge because of exterior damage on it. The fridge is only 3 months old. Manufactured Sep 2023.”

If you have more testimonials you want to add, email me!

Are Scratch and Dent Appliances Worth It?

Overall, appliance outlet stores can be a fantastic option if you’re seeking discounted cooking appliances without compromising on quality products.

These stores offer a wide selection of scratch and dent appliances, from refrigerators and washing machines to stoves and ovens, at low prices compared to traditional retail stores. With savings ranging from 25% to 85% off (or more!) of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, you can transform your home at a fraction of the cost.

And what’s not to love about that?!

online open box outlet graphic on laptop

Want to find outlets near you? Click here!

I am an independent blogger and I am not affiliated with any company. The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are solely my own and based on my personal experiences.

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