Posted in Finding Qaulity Used Appliances, Saving Green

Tips from Appliance Repairmen on Buying a Used Washer and Dryer

Matt and I just bought our first washer and dryer. Since we didn’t know much about what made a good washer and dryer when we began looking, I did some research online. I found a ton of useful information on how to buy a used washer and dryer from Ryan Finlay, who earns a living refurbishing old machines and teaching others his trade.

We also learned a lot from Larry of Larry’s Appliance Castle in Salem, OR  who owns a  refurbished appliance and repair shop and who has been in the business for nearly 30 years. He was kind enough to show us how they refurbish machines, talked to us about the benefit of different machines, and then explained important tips on selecting the right used washer and dryer. The tips provided below are a compilation of information from the article I mentioned above, advice from Larry, and our experience purchasing a used washer and dryer.

1. Buy Whirlpool Made Machines- Whirlpool made several other brands over the years including Kenmore, but only during certain spans of time, so a good rule of thumb is to stick with machines made before 2010 and of the Whirlpool brand or a brand that they manufactured (for a full list of brands Whirlpool manufactures scroll to the end of this article).

2. Buy 2010 and Older Used Washing Machines- They tend to be made to last longer than newer models. Why? Read about it here.

3. Get a GuaranteeMany appliance shops offer warranties. Look for one who offers a year warranty. The guarantee provides an incentive for the shop to provide you with a machine in good working order–after all they won’t want to have to come by to repair the machine on their own dime later.

The guarantee on our machines is only 90 days, but Larry assured us he would take care of us for the year if anything goes awry. He seems trustworthy and we believe he will honor his promise, but getting a year guarantee in writing is probably best.

3. Buy from a Local Business who Inspects their Appliances Before Selling Them- While I know many people purchase appliances secondhand, I read articles that advised against this practice. We were also told by Larry, that the reason buying from others is risky, is that there are many ways that machines can get damaged during the process of moving them. Having the right tools to move washers and dryers keeps them upright and doesn’t put pressure on the wrong parts of the machines leaving you with a damaged machine. He also mentioned that like used cars, people can be misleading, or possibly aren’t aware of the issues their machines have when they sell them to you. So, if you do buy from an individual you must be more informed and inspect the machine more closely.

Look for used appliance shops that take their machines apart, clean them, repair and replace parts, and then test them before selling them to you. It is in a small business’ best interest to provide good service and quality products since negative reviews could easily destroy their local business and this means better customer service for you should you have trouble with your machine down the road. Referrals and reviews are the lifeblood of small bussinesses like these and customer service is where they can truly differentiate themselves from large appliance stores.

5. Buy a Set- If you ever need to re-sell your machines, a set is easier to sell. An employee of Larry’s informed us that people are more much more likely to want to buy a matching set, even though as far as functionality goes it really doesn’t matter.

6. Ask for a Discount for Paying in Cash- Larry offered to give us a $20 discount on the delivery fee for paying in cash. I’ve learned with many bussinesses that it never hurts to ask about discounts and specials, especially small businesses, the worst thing they can say is no! Maybe we should have tried to negotiate a free delivery, but we felt were receiving a good value with the discount, the low-cost machines, and free instillation/testing so we didn’t push for free delivery.

7. Don’t Buy Samsung Brand Washers and Dryers. They manufacture great phones and other electronics, but are known for making terrible washing machines and dryers in the appliance repair community.

8. Be careful Transporting your Used Machine- If you opt to save money on the delivery fee, read about how to transport washers and dryers properly.

Best of luck in your used washer and dryer search! I hope this article and the links I included provide you with some helpful information. For more detailed information about how to buy a high quality used washer and dryer check out How to Buy a Used Washing Machine.

Thinking about  buying a new washer and Dryer? LGWhirlpool Duet brand, and Speed Queen have been mentioned as being high quality options.

Do you have a favorite brand and model you would recommend when buying a washer and dryer? Please tell us about what you like about it in the comments below. 

Click on the following link for more information on Whirlpool Brands and how to figure out the age of a Whirlpool washing machine or dryer using its serial number.

Whirlpool Brands:


  • Kitchen Aid
  •  Roper
  • SinkGuard
  • Estate (This is the type of machines we ended up purchasing)
  • Inglis (Canada)
  •  Norcold
  • Partners Plus
  •  Conquest
  •  Coolerator
  •  Crystal Tips
  • Hampton Bay
  • Jordan
  • Sub-Zero
 In 2006, Whirlpool bought Maytag, whose brands are listed below: 
  • Admiral
  • Amana
  • Caloric
  • Crosley
  • Glenwood
  • Hardwick
  • Imperial
  • Jenn-Air
  • Maycor
  • Magic Chief
  • Menumaster
  • Neptune
  • Litton
  • Modern Maid
  • Norge
  • Speed Queen
  • Sunray

The lists shown above were found on Electrical

I participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites, however the opinions expressed in the article are my own.