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Buying a Dishwasher: Is it Better to Shop Online or at the Store?

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As you begin your search for a new dishwasher, you’re probably considering a couple important question: How can I find a high-quality model at a reasonable price? With dishwashers, you tend to get what you pay for, so unless you’re on a tight budget you should consider the performance of the less important models. You may save a couple hundred dollars but end up with less-than-pristine dishes. Rewashing them by hand will only cost you more with the energy bill and increase your dish washing time.

So you want a satisfactory dishwasher, but you don’t know whether it’s better to shop for one online or in person at the store. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. The first step you should take, however, before shopping anywhere, is to do your homework: Figure out how much space you have for a dishwasher and what features you must have. This way, you’ll be less easily swayed to purchase a model with flashy features you don’t need and won’t use.

Visiting the Store

When you actually visit an appliance store, you have the advantage of looking at, touching, and examining dishwasher models up close. There are qualities you may find that you wouldn’t notice on a computer screen, such as how the door latches shut, how easily the racks slide out, and whether the tines fold down easily. Do the controls look like they’re easy to navigate, or are they overwhelmingly complicated?

Salespeople are also available at stores to answer your questions. Their expertise and knowledge about the product can be hit-or-miss, depending on the store, but you should be able to tell if they truly know what they’re talking about or if they’re just trying to sell you something you don’t need. Some tips to make the store experience easier:

  • Don’t be intimidated by salespeople; they genuinely want to help you find something.
  • If you know in advance what you’re looking for, you’re less likely to be talked into buying something you won’t like.
  • Be prepared with questions and specific features you’re looking for.
  • Examine the models yourself or ask for a demonstration. Don’t simply listen to the salesperson’s spiel.
  • Find out about warranties, returns, delivery and shipping methods.

Remember, if you’re not satisfied with the salesperson’s help or information, consult another person or try another store.

Shopping Online

While it’s beneficial to go to stores and look at dishwasher models in person, you should hold off buying one right away. Go home and give yourself time to think over your options. This is also the time to look up models you liked online and read more about them. Confirm what the salespeople told you about their features and performance and read consumer reviews to get an idea of the pros and cons.

Consumer reviews can be very useful, but take them with a grain of salt. People may rave about their purchase and have nothing negative to say. These reviews sound encouraging, but consider that people tend to justify their purchases, especially for high-end models. Also check to see how long they have had the machine. Some models work great for the first year or so, then start to have mechanical problems. It’s difficult to know how durable a dishwasher will be and how long it will work properly; if there are several reviews highlighting design flaws, take caution.

There are certain advantages to shopping online. For instance:

  • There are no salespeople pressuring you to make up your mind and buy something.
  • You can take your time to review all the specifications and features and compare models.
  • Online stores have a wider selection of brands, models, and color options, some that you can’t find at your local appliance store.
  • Online sites frequently offer special deals, discounts, and rebates.
  • Some have 24-hour support lines with representatives that can answer your questions.

It’s crucial to research, ask questions, and shop around before making a final decision. The more informed you are, the more likely you’ll find a dishwasher that satisfies all your requirements and provides years of quality performance.

Brittany Rowland Brittany Rowland researches new developments in Appliances, Kitchen and CE products features with a vigor to which few would aspire… but someone has to do it. See more about Brittany

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