Shopping A Scratch-And-Dent Appliance Sale (and what we bought for our Farmhouse Kitchen!)
Garrett and I went to a scratch-and-dent sale at the Albert Lee warehouse in Seattle last weekend and we left with a truck load of discounted appliances. It was our first purchase (and surely the biggest) for our upcoming kitchen renovation. And I can’t wait to share what we got!
Since this was our fourth time to this sale (it’s usually put on twice a year - the first weekend in March and November), I also wanted to share some tips and tricks that we’ve learned for making the most of scratch-and-dents sales. Read on for more about this kind of sale, what we bought, and our tips for getting the best deals.
What is a scratch-and-dent sale?
A scratch-and-dent sale has appliances with cosmetic damage, as well as brand new, out of box, or display models for sale. The sale we attend is hosted twice a year, but I’ve heard of warehouses you can shop anytime.
our scratch-and-dent appliances in action
Before we talk about last weekend’s sale, I wanted to share some of our previous kitchen renovations that we’ve done with scratch-and-dent appliances.
Ravenna House Kitchen
All appliances at the Ravenna House were “scratch-and-dent”, although none had any visible imperfections. These appliances marked our first haul from the Albert Lee sale and we were hooked! You can read more about the Ravenna kitchen renovation here.
Tacoma Converted Garage Kitchen
All appliances at the Tacoma Converted Garage kitchen are scratch-and-dent. The fridge came at a big discount due to a dent on the door, which worked just fine for this rental. You can read more about the Tacoma kitchen renovation here.
What we bought for our Farmhouse
Last weekend we found some really great appliances for our Farmhouse. We got things for both the kitchen and laundry room and discounts ranged from 23% to 67%. Here’s a breakdown of our favorite buys from the weekend:
Range: 36” Gas Convection Range, BlueStar, MSRP $4729.99, our price: $3599.99. Garrett’s dream range! No noticeable scratches or dents, this one was out-of the box and a toe kick panel had been replaced. (psst: we were able to snag the floor model since we were first, but they also sold new-in-box versions at the sale for $4089.99.)
Refrigerator: 36” French Door Refrigerator, GE Café, MSRP: $3779.99, our price $1949.99. There are a couple small scratches in the bottom of the freezer door and the side of the refrigerator. You’ll never see the side of this refrigerator, and as far as the front scratches go, Garrett likes to say, either we buy it with a couple scratches and get a discount or our kids can scratch it later. 😉
Washing machine: Front Load Washer, LG Appliances, MSRP: $1209.99, our price: $549.99. Small scratches on the sides and top of the machine. You’ll never see them since we’re tucking it under a countertop.
Dryer: Electric Steam Dryer, Electrolux, MSRP: $1399.99, our price: $449.99. This also had small scratches noted on the sides and top of the machine. You’ll never see them since we’re tucking it under a countertop.
Tips to scoring the best deals
Here are a few tips to making the most of a trip to a scratch-and-dent warehouse sale:
Get up early.
We got in line at 4:30am. Yes…4:30am. We were sixth in line and came prepared with camp chairs, blankets (it was only 30-degrees out!), and audio books to listen to during our wait. Once the doors opened at 9am, we walked straight to the ranges, spotted our dream range, and grabbed the tag for $1200 off of the MSRP. Anyone who arrived before noon also received a coupon for $50 off each orange tag item (of which we bought 4). It pays to show up early!
Go in with a game plan.
If you’re shopping for more than one appliance, know which one is most important to you and start there. We started at the ranges, moved on to the fridges, and then on down our list. We also tried a new strategy this time and instead of Garrett and I splitting up, we stuck together the entire time. We were able to make quick decisions and traversed the sale faster than ever.
Have a Budget.
I recommend having a budget before walking into an appliance sale. There will be beautiful appliances there, and they will be tempting especially because they are such good deals (I’m looking at you Wolf ranges). So having that budget will keep you focused on the deals you can afford and not waste timing dreaming about the things that are out of reach.
Bring a tape measure and all the dimensions you need for each appliance (maximum and minimums). It’s also helpful to bring a truck, but if not Albert Lee has a reasonably-priced delivery option, and I’m guessing many other scratch-and-dent sales will too. You’ll also want to note when each appliance you purchase can be removed from the warehouse (our range wasn’t available for pickup until the day after we bought it).
At a sale like this, matching brands may be difficult to find. You may have to buy grey laundry machines instead of white. And you’ll be faced with plenty of small scratches in otherwise beautiful appliances that will leave you wondering if that’s really so bad deal-breaker. And of course you’ll have to decide all these things on the fly, and quickly, in order to get the best deals.
Have you ever shopped a scratch-and-dent warehouse sale? Do you have any wisdom to share from your experience? Drop it in the comments below!