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Black Friday: Big appliance buys at the big box stores

Consumer Reports News: November 23, 2011 08:08 AM

Sears, Home Depot and Lowe’s want you to enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving with your friends and family. While they plan to open their doors early on Black Friday like other retailers, these big box stores have already started their sales events including substantial discounts on new appliances that’ll ease your holiday cooking and cleaning up. We saw prices slashed on some of the refrigerators, dishwashers, cooking appliances and laundry equipment that Consumer Reports recommends as well as discounts on models we didn’t like so much.

“It’s a great time of year to shop for appliances because our suppliers give us a lot of special offers that save our customers money,” said Bob Baird, merchandising vice president for appliances at Home Depot, adding that some consumers take advantage of the deals to upgrade their kitchens for holiday entertaining while others see the purchase "as a gift for the entire family.” Below are some of the deals we found at Home Depot, Lowe's and Sears on models tested by Consumer Reports. The list is not exhaustive so check the retailer's website for more information. All prices were current at press time.

Home Depot
Home Depot is offering up to 40 percent off select appliances through November 28 while supplies last. The retailer is also offering discounts on kitchen suites by LG, GE and Maytag and washer/dryer combos by LG, GE, Maytag and Admiral as well as 20 percent off Dyson vacuum cleaners. Delivery is free and Home Depot will haul away your old appliances. Here are some models to consider and others to avoid.

Refrigerators. The Maytag MFX2571XE[W] French-door bottom-freezer refrigerator, a recommended model, has been marked down from $2,699 to $1,798. Another recommended refrigerator, the top-freezer LG LTC22350[SW] was originally $999 and is now $798. But the GE Profile PGSS5RKZ[SS] French-door bottom-freezer model only scored 35 (out of 100) in our Ratings so the markdown from $2,599 to $1,798 may not be such a great buy.

Ranges. LG’s LDE3015ST electric range scored a respectable 81 in our Ratings but did not make the recommended list. Originally $1,199, it is now $898. At less than $700—marked down from $850—Maytag’s MER7765W[W] is affordable but with a score of 69 it landed in the middle of the pack.

Dishwashers. Two dishwashers with middling scores are also being discounted. The GE GLD5766V[SS], which scored a 58, has been marked down from $550 to $400. And the LG LDF6920[WW], which with a score of 79 did a little better, has been discounted from $799 to $598.

dishwasher_Whirlpool_DU1055XTVQ.jpgLowe’s
At Lowe’s consumers who buy a Samsung kitchen suite can save up to $1,200 with combined discounts. And matching washer and dryer sets from Samsung and Whirlpool are being marked down as much as $1,100. Select refrigerators are being discounted by 40 percent and you can save up to 45 percent on a Samsung over-the-range microwave. But take note, not everything is a bargain.

Refrigerators. The price of the Samsung RF4287HA[RS] French-door bottom-freezer refrigerator, a model we recommend, has been dropped from $2,999 to $1,799. And one of our CR Best Buys, the Samsung RS265TD[WP], is now an even better buy at $999, marked down from $1,599.

Ranges. While the ranges in Lowe’s sale have attractive prices, we didn’t find them to be stellar performers. One of the better models included in the sale is the Whirlpool WFE371LVB electric range, which scored 76 in our tests. The sale price is $499, down from $599. Two other Whirlpools did not fare as well. The Whirlpool WFE361LV[Q] electric range scored 62 and is selling for $540, down from $699. And the Whirlpool WFG361LV[Q] gas range, which scored 51, is selling for $499, down from $599. Samsung’s FTQ353IWUX electric range, with a score of 70, is now $699, reduced from $999.

Microwaves. If you need a good microwave at a good price, you’re in luck at Lowe’s, one of CR’s Best Buys, the Whirlpool WMH1163XV[Q], is on sale for $139, marked down from $199. The Samsung SMH8165[B], which we also tested, scored a 65 so it’s up to you if you want to take advantage of the price cut from $299 to $189.

Dishwashers. Two dishwashers we liked, including a recommended model and a CR Best Buy, are being discounted. A Best Buy, the Whirlpool DU1055XTV[Q], is now only $289 marked down from $449. And the price of the Samsung DMT800RH[W], which we recommend, has dropped from $699 to $499.

washer_Kenmore_40272.jpgSears
Sears is featuring up to 20 percent off Kenmore appliances and offering free delivery on appliances $500 and more. Some of Consumer Reports recommended models and CR Best Buys are on the list. The retailers is planning other doorbusters for Black Friday. There are a few clunkers on the list so don’t be swayed by a low price tag.

Refrigerators. The Kenmore Elite 7205[3] one of our recommended French-door bottom-freezer refrigerators, is on sale for $3,000, down from $3,540.

Ranges. The LG LRG3091SW gas range, a CR Best Buy, is selling for $900, down from $1,300. LG’s LDE3017ST electric range has also been reduced $400, from $1,700 to $1,300 but it only scored a 69 in our tests.

Microwaves. Two fair to middling microwaves are on Sears sales list including the LG LMV1813[SW] over-the-range model, which scored a 70 and is selling for $250, reduced from $320. With a score of 57, the LG LMV1680[ST], over-the-range model did not perform as well but doesn’t cost as much either: $200 reduced from $250.

Dishwashers. The Kenmore Elite 1396[2] dishwasher, which we recommend, is selling for $700, down from the original $1,270.

Washing machines. At least two CR Best Buys are on sale at Sears including the
Kenmore 4027[2] front-loader for $753, down from $941 and the Samsung WF331AN[W] front loader for $600, reduced from $1,100.

Dryers. The Kenmore 6800[2] electric dryer is also a CR Best Buy and is selling for $725, reduced from $823.

Mary H.J. Farrell

   

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