Illustration of woman with appliance in shopping cart for article on how to save on large appliances on Black Friday.

Savvy shoppers know that there’s no excuse for paying full price for a large appliance in November. Black Friday has grown from one day to cover an entire season, so you can skip the long lines and shop right now.

We combed through the sales advertised at Best BuyHome DepotLowe’s, Sears, Wayfair, and more, and found some of our top-performing large appliances discounted by 40 percent off—or more.

“But not every discount is a good deal, especially if you end up with a brand that’s repair-prone,” says Mark Allwood, CR’s market analyst for large appliances.

So do your homework before opening your wallet. Here are five things to know to get the best possible bargain.

More on Black Friday Deals

1. Not Every Suite Is a Sweet Deal
You might be tempted by offers and rebates on matching kitchen suites—typically a refrigeratorrangedishwasher, and microwave from the same maker. But Consumer Reports’ exclusive Appliance Brand Reliability Rankings show that it’s difficult to find brands that are tops for reliability across all four categories.

For instance, LG’s top-freezer and bottom-freezer refrigerators are far less repair-prone than other brands, but the reliability of its dishwashers is middling. 

Types of appliance by the same brand also can receive different reliability ratings. LG’s French-door and side-by-side refrigerators are just average. Among its ranges, gas models are more reliable than electric models.

Go to 
Consumer Reports’ 2019 Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider shopping tips, and much more.

2. Don’t Buy Large Appliances by Brand Alone
Some consumers are brand-loyal, and if you’re one of them, remember that not all models from one manufacturer are created equal.

We tested two Kenmore three-door French-door refrigerators of the same width and with comparable prices. One of our top performers, the Kenmore 73035, currently going for $1,200, earns Excellent and Very Good ratings in two crucial tests: thermostat control and temperature uniformity, respectively. Its brandmate, the Kenmore 73105, now priced at $1,700, earns an Excellent rating for temperature uniformity but only a Fair rating for thermostat control. So it has only a middling rank in our ratings.

3. Always Try for a Better Bargain
Whatever the listed price—even one that has dropped a lot for Black Friday—you may be able to get an even better bargain by haggling. In a member survey conducted by CR, 28 percent of major-appliance shoppers haggled for a better price, and those who succeeded ended up saving a median of $100. 

Among the most successful negotiating tactics when shopping for a major appliance were checking competing retailers’ websites to compare offers, and purchasing multiple items at once (of course, you’d probably want to return or cancel the items purchased at the higher price). Other effective steps our members used: Asking for a senior, veteran, or membership discount; referring to prices found at other walk-in retailers; and checking deals at price-comparison websites.

And here’s a winning trick: Ask whether you can buy a floor model or one that’s slightly blemished (in a spot that won’t show) for less.

4. Don’t Overlook Shopping Online
Though you wouldn’t think twice about buying a toaster or a coffee maker online, ordering a large appliance online requires taking a bigger leap. But it’s one that more and more shoppers are willing to make, especially if they go to a store first. Among our recently surveyed members, 18 percent bought a large appliance online—a jump from 11 percent in our 2014 survey.

After all, you’ll probably want to get a firsthand look at the materials and controls of the refrigerator or dishwasher you’re considering. Ordering online often comes with free shipping, though you probably can’t skip out on tax. And you can still attempt to barter by contacting a customer-service rep either by phone or in an online chat.

5. Get Those Free Extras
Even if you fail to chip away at the sale price, there are other ways to save on a large appliance, such as asking the retailer to waive fees for shipping or delivery. Many already offer this service and also include free haul-away of your old appliance. Ask whether installation is included, especially if you’re just replacing one appliance with another rather than undertaking an entire kitchen remodel.

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