Are Brand-Name Appliances Good Value?

You pay a lot more for leading, top-end brand names than for own-label or lower-end appliances. So are they worth the extra expense?

Unnecessary Extras

The extras you get for a greater outlay may be largely cosmetic-more streamlined, contemporary looks-or the choice of more features. If you are happy with a standard appearance and are not likely to use a wide range of extra features, cheaper models should prove adequate.

Extra Repairs for Extras

Sometimes it’s the extra features that are the most likely to require servicing, so skip the bells and whistles. Automatic water and ice dispensers on refrigerators are notorious for breaking down, and the stain control components on washing machines are the first to go. Mechanical components are usually the best choice. Electronic components-those controlled by touch pads cannot be repaired on site with one service call, but must be replaced. You’ll have to wait for delivery and pay for  the component.

Department Store Brands

These are often your best buys. Sears’ Kenmore brand is, in fact, made by many different manufacturers, including Whirlpool, Maytag and Frigidaire; The Bay’s Beaumark appliances are made by General Electric. The quality is the same, although design elements are a bit simpler, and the prices are 10% to 20% lower.

Do Your Homework

Check out consumer reports on the various models you are considering. Halinet Consumer Reports has links to many different sites that report on customer satisfaction.