For stabilized multifamily everyday appliances include stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators and microwaves (built in). Unlike disposals and locks, unless there is secure storage on site, keeping reserve appliances on hand is seldom a good idea. It's amazing how often a refrigerator can "grow legs" if left un-attended for several months. Here are a few options for just-in-time appliance buying.
Buying Used. For stoves, electric and gas, used stoves can be a good buy assuming they look good. There are few moving parts and replacement parts are easy to come by. For all other appliances going the used route is much more difficult. Microwaves and dishwashers are just too inexpensive brand new to consider a used appliance considering the labor involved for install.
Refurbished. Great for stoves, no so good for refrigerators. Stoves have just a few moving parts so if the item is structurally sound, and tested, then refurbished stoves can be a great buy. For refrigerators, like buying used, having to replace even one delivered item can be a major inconvenience for everyone including your tenant.
Home Depot vs. Lowes. When prices are similar it is the people that make the difference. My suggestions is to stick with those that provide you with the best service, selection and price- in that order. Great prices without good people backing it up has a higher costs in the end.
Bulk Purchase From Manufacturer. With appropriate credit accounts established, GE will deliver right to your door. Most manufacturers have specific credit and volume requirements to assure their major retail outlets remain competitive. In other words, selling direct to you has to make business sense without under-cutting their bread and butter re-sale customers.
Local Appliance Supplier. They have great buying power on the local front. In most circumstances they can procure a better pricing from the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) than you can. Give them a chance. Sometimes the best deal is right under our nose.
Mail Order/Drop Shipper/Direct From Manufacturer. Using distant product providers requires strong operators and strong relationships. The issue is returns and shipping; the hassle factor for returns and the costs of shipping. Best used for parts rather than full, free standing appliances.
Auction Houses. All sales final. Buy at your own risks. Kind of like "Storage Wars" your purchase is of unknown quality. Even "new in the box" purchases can have damage.
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