You can find used appliances for sale from a number of different places.  There is nothing wrong with a second hand fridge, freezer, oven, stove, or microwave.  In fact, they make a lot of financial sense for anyone that needs to replace a kitchen appliance, but is a little short on cash at the time they need to make the purchase.  There are a number of different places you can look to buy them pretty cheaply, and there are some things you will need to check carefully to make sure you don’t get a junk one that’s ready to quit working.  I would like to share some information with you, so you can make an informed decision when you look to buy used appliances for sale.

Checking Used Appliances for Potential Problems

While you can buy second hand appliances from eBay, Craigslist, or online sellers, you really want to be able to check it out for defects.  This is truly a buyer beware kind of purchase, so being able to inspect it in person can be very helpful.

Freezers:  There are a number of different things you need to check with used refrigerators and freezers you find for sale.  First, you will want to make sure the compressor doesn’t tick or shut off and on when it should not be.  This is a bad sign and if you find it, you need to pass on the refrigerator.  In addition, you can check the condenser coils to make sure they are not covered with substantial ice and look to see if the gasket is still in good repair by closing a dollar bill into it.  If it removes easily, the gasket is bad and it reduces the energy efficiency of the unit.

Ovens:  One of the most common issues that come up with ovens are heating elements that don’t work well.  Checking them can be somewhat difficult, but in general, if the oven heats up in a reasonable amount of time, it is probably okay. With electric, LP gas, and natural gas models, you also need to make sure the source of heat is supplied, whether it’s by the gas or the electricity.  You will also want to check the gasket, which you can also do with the dollar bill trick explained earlier. 

Microwave Ovens:  There are a few things you will want to check to make sure any used appliance for sale, including microwave ovens, are any good.  First, you want to make sure it rotates properly, if it is equipped with one.  In addition, you want to make sure the buttons all work properly and the microwave starts and stops as you command.  It is actually a good idea to make sure it works and the easiest way to do it is with a cup of water.  Put the cup of water into the microwave for 30 seconds and see if it is hot when done.  This is the simplest test you can do to ensure that a used microwave for sale is working as it should.

Dishwasher:  What you should really do is wash a load of dishes.  If it won’t turn on, the most likely culprit is the door switch.  When it doesn’t seal right, the dishwasher will not turn on at all.  This is not overly expensive, but you can use it to buy the dishwasher cheap as a negotiation, assuming that is what’s actually wrong.  Since you probably cannot tell for sure, just look to make sure it turns on and off properly and has hoses in good repair, without checking and obvious damage.

Clothes Washing Machines:  The first thing you need to do is plug it in and look for error codes, if there is a digital display.  If not, there are several things to check, including making sure the spin cycle works properly.  With used washing machines for sale, if it doesn’t spin or agitate properly, it could be as simple as getting a new drive belt.   Beyond checking the clutch and drive motors, which require extensive knowledge, you want to make sure it fills and drains properly.  If not, the repairs can be quite expensive.

Clothes Dryer:  If it doesn’t heat properly, this used appliance for sale can make you go bonkers trying to fix it.  It could be a heating element, wiring, or a thermal fuse.  Diagnosing the problem generally starts with the easiest one, the fuse, and testing to see if it works.  If the drum does not tumble, it can be as easy as a bad belt, but it could also be a sign of a burned out motor, especially if it only makes a humming sound.  This is expensive and won’t be a cheap repair, even for a DIY person.

Getting Cheap Used Appliances

You will find many for sale, but in order to make sure you get the best deal possible, you have to consider some of the additional costs commonly associated with them.  The items listed below are some of the considerations you will have to make when you try to determine the entire price and not just the purchase price.

Appliance Cords:  Many appliances need special cords and they are not very cheap.  This can quickly add a lot of money to the total price you will pay.

Shipping Charges:  If you buy used appliances online, you will have shipping charges.  This is not so bad if you are purchasing a toaster or even a microwave, but for major kitchen appliances, it will be very expensive and quickly add to the overall price you pay.

Haggle:  If you buy anything secondhand, you have an opportunity to haggle and save some money on your purchase.  Ask for a reduction and see what happens when you make an offer.