Major appliances such as refrigerators, gas ranges and freezers generally need little in the way of maintenance and repairs. Another key point: They are often the most expensive to purchase in squeaky-clean, brand-new condition.
Those large appliances are the most costly, but they also have the longest lives. A full-size refrigerator can last around two decades with almost no maintenance. A stand-alone freezer has roughly the same life expectancy [source: Mr. Appliance].
Yet people regularly cut loose their big appliances, even if those products have years of life left. Perhaps they remodeled their kitchen and the old fridge looks horribly out of place. Or maybe an elderly gentleman with a bad back just can't stoop to use a side-loading washing machine anymore.
These cast-off products are in great working condition, and you can nab them for a fraction of the new purchase price. Even if your bargain buy conks out after just a few years of use, there's a very good chance you'll still have saved money in the long run.
A couple of exceptions might be built-in refrigerators and gas cooktops. Consumer Reports indicates that these particular products are often more trouble than they're worth, especially if they ever need any sort of repairs [source: Consumer Reports]. Similarly, if you're trying to decide between repairing a broken appliance or buying another one, the Consumer Reports advice is simple -- if the cost of the repair is more than half of the price of a new (or great, used) product, don't even consider the repair.
Your local appliance store can be a bonanza for bargain shopping if you know where to look and which questions to ask. You just have to do a bit of investigating.
Although they don't technically count as used, the scratch-and-dent sections of appliance, hardware and home furnishing stores often have unbelievable deals. You might find a top-end refrigerator with an unfortunate but superficial dent on the side, and at a price hundreds of dollars lower than models in mint condition. For those kinds of savings, you can find plenty of ways to disguise that flaw.
Holidays are an especially good time to find deals on items with surface damage. And if your store doesn't seem to have any, you can always inquire about floor models. Many outlets will part with these demonstration models (which have been pawed at and caressed by hundreds of potential buyers) at a steeply discounted price.
With floor and scratch-and-dent deals, you may not get a full warranty, but you might well receive what's left of the active warranty, which you probably won't find from a private seller. A warranty (albeit a shorter and more limited one) is even more likely if you choose a refurbished or remanufactured model sold at a retail outlet. You'll save a lot of money and have the added benefit of peace of mind.
And here's another pointer: When it comes to damaged or discolored appliances, there are two miraculous words that can change everything: spray paint. Many appliances have surfaces that look wonderful with a fresh layer of aerosol paint. Just be sure to ask paint experts at your hardware store to ensure that you're buying the kind of paint that will stick best. With the tiniest bit of effort, your scratched-up bargain can look almost new.
....excerpt from https://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/budgeting/5-appliances-to-buy-used2.htm