Save money with a scratch and dent tumble dryer without sacrificing quality or settling for used appliances

Buying a scratch and dent tumble dryer is quick and easy, and is an affordable way to pick up a brand new dryer for a fraction of the price, so long as you don't mind a few surface imperfections such as scratched paint and dinged panels. Because they are brand new, scratch and dent dryers usually include a full manufacturers warranty, so they're covered from mechanical breakdowns. And of course you'll still get that "new clothes dryer" look and feel.

Where To Buy Scratch And Dent Dryers

Nearly any department store or appliance store that sells washers and dryers will likely carry scratch and dent clothes dryers, but the challenge is knowing how to get them. Most stores don't actively advertise their damaged merchandise, nor will most salesmen even admit to having them on site (afterall, they sell for less money, which means a smaller profit or commission check).

Your best bet is to simply ask a store manager if they have any scratch and dent appliances. Tell them that you're specifically looking for a tumble dryer and see what he or she comes up with.

Or you could visit the store's website and look for "Scratch and Dent" or "Clearance." Either one is likely to turn up some good deals, as the stores themselves are willing to take a deep cut in sales price in order to move a unit that isn't selling on its own.

The following companies are great places to start your search. Begin by visiting the company website, and if you can't find what you want, give your local store a call. Or better yet, head down there in person, because that way you can ask all the questions you want and even inspect the selection:

  • Sears
  • RC Willey's
  • Best Buy
  • Home Depot
  • Lowes

Be aware that many stores don't keep their scratched and dented dryers or other home appliances on site, and instead send them to a clearing house with other perfectly functional washers, dryers, refrigerators and other appliances. This is especially true of the big, national stores. Larger cities sometimes even have a "collective scratch and dent store" where all the regional stores (regardless of the company) send their slightly damaged merchandise. Other than slight cosmetic damage, these units are just as good as the full-priced floor models sold at the stores, which makes stores like this an excellent place to save lots of money.

Considerations When Buying A Scratch And Dent Clothes Dryer

Each store will have different company policies regarding the sales of scratched and dented tumble dryers, so be sure to ask plenty of questions before making your final purchase. This list should help you get started:

  • Is a warranty included? If so, what does it cover? Most stores will honor the "new appliance" manufacturer's warranty, but it's a good idea to double check. Always know what's covered in case you have problems later.
  • Does the "Scratch" or "Dent" affect the dryer's operation? Make sure none of the control knobs or buttons are broken or missing, that the door opens smoothly, that the tumbler moves freely and that the entire appliance sits flat on the ground. If possible, ask to run the dryer to assure that the cosmetic dings haven't affected its performance, particularly the heating elements, bearings, blower and motor.
  • Is an instruction manual included? Or is one available for free on the Internet? Browsing through an instruction manual is a great way to familiarize yourself with any appliance before buying it. And it comes in very handy once it's at home, too.
  • Is a delivery service available? Dryers are big and bulky, and unless you've got extra friends and a large car, getting it home and installed is too difficult for one person. Most stores will honor their delivery services on their scratch and dent appliances, and even remove your old dryer if you have one, but be sure to ask.
  • What's the return policy? Can you return the dryer if it doesn't work?

Other Considerations

Finding a great deal and saving money on a scratch and dent tumble dryer is tremendously rewarding, but before you start shopping it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with a few things.

  • A Gas or Electric Dryer? Some utility rooms are built for electric tumble dryers, others are piped for natural gas ones. Typically your home will not be outfitted with connections for both.
  • Size and shape. There was a time when almost all household tumble dryers were of the same exterior shape and size, but not so much anymore. Know the space that your new appliance will sit in, including height, depth and width.
  • Capacity. How big of loads are you going to need dried? Think not only in terms of how many clothes you run per load, but the size of your biggest items, particularly bedding. A California King sized comforter will require a much larger capacity then, say, twin size or full size bedspreads.
  • Features. All dryers are designed to dry clothes, but beyond that the features are nearly limitless. Some offer different temperature selections and variable cycle times, others include anti-static systems and moisture-sensing controls that automatically adjust the dryer's run time and temperature.
  • How much damage are you okay with? Most scratch and dent clothes dryers only have minor surface damage that isn't noticeable until you're up close, but some are very obviously damaged. Know your aesthetic limit, and don't buy anything below your threshold, otherwise you'll soon regret your decision.

Above all else, never feel pressured into your purchase. A tumble dryer is a very substantial investment, and something that you'll have for a very long time; so make sure you're buying what you want, not what some high-pressure, comission-driven salesperson wants you to buy so that he'll enjoy a bigger paycheck.

Hopefully these tips have will help you find a scratch and dent tumble dryer at a price you can afford.