Shopping for appliances can be a fun experience. The latest appliances have every imaginable feature. Looking at the most innovative technology is enjoyable, especially if it is something that could make your life better.

When you are looking for an appliance store, choose one with superior customer service and high-quality items. Remember that spending too much money can put a serious crimp in your personal finances. Make sure you think about your budget before beginning your search.

LOOK ONLINE

Your first step is to search the Internet.

Your neighborhood might have many appliance stores. They might all look the same. So how you can tell them apart?

Business review sites will give you a good idea of the service offered by various companies. Take customer complaints lightly, however, since people who have negative experiences are more likely to talk about them.

Consumer Reports (www.consumerreports.org) and the Better Business Bureau (www.BBB.org) are also great resources for finding reputable businesses. To qualify for listing on the Better Business Bureau site, the business must be reliable and honest.

Many stores also have message boards for customers to leave comments and reviews for the services and the products they sell.

LOOK FOR ADS

Check weekly advertisements, either in your mail, local newspaper or online. Some appliance stores offer specials on certain products.

Other stores will use price-matching to stay competitive. Not all stores have policies on price-matching, so be sure to ask. If you can find a lower advertised price on the exact same product and model elsewhere, many stores will sell you the product for that price.

As always, conduct research on the appliance you need to make sure you are spending money wisely. Not all appliances are the same; just because one manufacturer was excellent two decades ago doesn't mean the quality will be the same now.

STORE POLICIES

Review the store's policies about warranties and repairs. When the appliance comes with a one-year manufacturer's warranty, you might not need an additional warranty from the store.

Appliances have a yearly sale price cycle. Washers and dryers usually go on sale during the winter. Refrigerators are often discounted in the spring, and stoves and ovens in the fall. If you don't need it right away, consider shopping seasonally for the the best deal.

You could also haggle for a price. Salespeople are typically prepared for this process. If you are too shy or afraid of haggling, ask the store for an extended warranty or free delivery and set-up. It never hurts to ask. They just might give it to you.

Other factors to consider when finding a good appliance store: delivery window, warranty options, repair services and range of products offered. When you have these questions answered, then you can purchase your appliances with confidence.

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