The experience of buying a used washing machine has a lot of similarities with purchasing second-hand cars; you’ll get a good deal if you know what to look for. On the flip side, you can easily end up with a lemon if you don’t have a clue on what to look for.
Here is a quick rundown of some of the questions to ask the seller so that you can gauge whether the deal is good or not:
- What is the model name?
- How old is the unit?
- How much is it vs. the original price?
- Is it still in good condition?
- How many times has it been repaired?
In this article, we will better explain the factors to consider when buying a used washing machine, and what to look for in a unit to help minimize the chance of you buying a lemon.
Know the make and model
Knowing the model name of the unit is important as you can use it to research the benchmark price of the model.
If you can physically inspect the item, check the rating label on the back of the unit (for front load models, the label may be located on the inside of the washer door). The brand and the model name can be seen from there.
Now that you know the model name, you should check its price from online sources or brochures. You should also ask around other people if they have good and bad experiences with that brand or model.
Know its age
Now that you know the model name, you should also know the age of the unit. While you can give the seller the benefit of the doubt when he gives you the age of the washing machine, you should also know when the model was manufactured to see whether the details checks out.
The best way to know when the unit was manufactured is through the serial number. Same as before, you can check the serial number (SN) on the rating label of the washing machine. Serial numbers often contain the year that that particular unit has been manufactured. Most manufacturers put it in the front of the string, while others put it somewhere near the front, as
From there, you should compare it against the average lifespan of washing machines, which according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is 10 years. Standalone dryers (whether gas or electric) average at 13 years.
Note: Since this study was done in the USA, the models referred here are fully automatics and does not include semi-automatic twin tubs and single tubs.
With that, you should be aware of the risks of buying an older washing machine. Buying a 7 year old washer is certainly more affordable, you should temper your expectation of its remaining usable life. Using the benchmark as a guide, you should expect at least 3 more years of use for the unit. That is, of course, unless it has a breakdown early on. Calculate whether your investment is worth the risk and the hassle of repairing and replacing parts.
In the next section, we will show you a technique to estimate the ideal price range of a used washing machine.
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to pricing a used washing machine, but we will try to give you at least a benchmark to compare against to see if the deal is good or not. For this, we will use the same concept used in calculating a car’s depreciation rate.
A good rule of thumb to follow is that the value of the washing machine goes down by 15% the moment it leaves the appliance store. After that, the value goes down by 12.5% of its original price every year. To illustrate this, we’ve created a table below, which assumes that you are buying a model with an original price of ₱24,998:
|Year||Rate||Price||vs. Original Price|
As you can see, the value of the washing machine at the 3rd year should be around half of what the original price was. Of course, this is only a benchmark. The value of the washer can be further depreciated if it is in a particularly bad condition. We will discuss this in the next section.
What condition is it in?
As they say: it’s not the years, it’s the mileage. Most of the time, the condition of the item is the deal breaker when it comes to a used washer.
If you can, you should physically inspect the unit to make sure that it is in good condition. We’ve made a list of the commonly seen flaws in used air washing machines, and we’ve divided it into acceptable (working condition – can be repaired/you can probably haggle the price down further) and unacceptable (compromised performance – requires extensive repairs/no-go zone)
- Minor dents and scratches
- Broken plastic parts
- Loose gasket
- Leaks, holes and corrosion
- Lid switch issue
- LED controls not working
- Not spinning
- Noisy operation
Always ask the seller if the washing machine has been repaired at any point of its life or if they have been experiencing issues with it lately.
If the washer has been repaired before, chances are it will experience the same issues as before in the future. Do not buy a used washer that has been extensively repaired before as you will surely end up with a lemon.
We hope that the information we’ve given was helpful in your search for a used washing machine. Always keep this pointers in mind to avoid bad deals and lemons.
Miguel Mores worked for 5 years as a member of the product management team for a home appliance company in the Philippines. He started 101appliance to answer the most common customer questions that he has encountered during his time in the industry. He now works in the digital marketing field and manages a small online bookstore on the side.