Buying A Dishwasher
Buying A Dishwasher : Getting the Best Deal, Online or in a Store
The key factors when buying a dishwasher are knowing what you need and knowing what is available. Both of these factors will require you to do some work but the good news is that there is lots of help. I was in this same position that you are in now, and created DishwasherGuru to be a place that can give you all the guidance that you will need. If you take the time to work through the information then you will be prepared for any sales person when you walk into a store. You will know the questions that you need to ask and you will understand the answers.
The first question that you have to answer is what type of dishwasher are you looking for? The home page of this website will introduce you to the various categories of Dishwashers that exist. You will also find full descriptions of each type and when they are a good or bad choice. Look through these pages and get a good understanding of the basic selections that you can make. You may find a few surprises that never even crossed your mind.
Is this your first dishwasher or a replacement for an older model? In either case, the selection of features that you can choose from with modern dishwashers can be overwhelming. Just relax, and take each feature one at a time. You'll soon get to grips with them. Start by reading the article on Basic Dishwasher Features.
If this is a replacement then it is a good idea to measure the existing model so that you have an accurate idea of how much room you have for the new appliance. If you can find the original user manuals then they will probably have installation details that list the measurements accurately. Even if the user guides are missing then have a look online at the manufacturer's website. A lot of them have user guides for their whole range of models that you can view online to get the same information.
Preparation : Doing Your Homework
Once you've chosen the type of dishwasher that you want, and you've familiarized yourself with the many features that are possible, the next step is the hardest. Now you need to figure out which of those features you really need and which ones are a waste of money. Figuring this out will mainly depend upon how well you've understood the features and what they do. It can be easy to simply say yes to every feature, and convince yourself that you must have them all. You can, but you will pay for them. This is far easier for those who already own a dishwasher. Even though your current brand has 6 wash programs, how many times have you used them? Do you alway end up just running the same program each time? Maybe it has adjustable or removable racks. Have you ever taken the time to actually change them or do you simply fill them up until there is no room left. Then leave the remaining dishes in the sink until the next load? Do you currently use a rinse aid when you wash dishes? If you don't then why get excited about an adjustable rinse aid dispenser?
Knowing which features you need (and a few that you might want) gives you power. When you look through a brochure or talk to a sales person, you can focus on the important items and steer clear of the things that don't matter. All of the modern dishwasher features sound great and are very tempting unless you can take a step back and give yourself room to decide whether you will use it or not. If you are in this analytical frame of mind it means that coming across a new feature that you've never seen before won't be a problem. You will just ask what it does and continue to decide if you want it or not. You will be in control, not the sales person.
Apart from this current website, there are many others that you can look at to gain knowledge about dishwashers. A very good source of information are the manufacturers themselves. Looking through the website of a good quality manufacturer will not only show you their current models, but a selection of other useful information, too. We will cover more on this later but also check out the following page for Links to other websites that show you things like the recall history of most brands.
The end result of this work is that you will create a list of the dishwasher features that you need to have. A real list - something on paper that you can carry with you to the store. Use it to check that all of your necessary features are in the model that you are being shown.
Going to the Store
A lot of people are intimidated by sales people. You just want to look around and instead you are pounced upon by someone who needs to make their weekly quota of sales in order to win their commission bonus. The truth is that sales people can become your best resource when trying to buy something. To make a sale, they MUST help you to buy. That means that they are there to answer your questions. To show you how some features work. To demonstrate why one model is better than another one. When you enter a store, and you have prepared your checklist of features, then you are in charge. If they want their commission then they have to earn it by earning your respect. If it is clear that you now know more about dishwashers than the sales person, and you still have questions, then find another sales person (or even another store).
The best reason for going to a store is to see the real thing. You can actually touch the dishwashers. You can see how easy it is to adjust the top rack. How simple is it to re-configure the flip-up tines and to move the cutlery basket from one side to the other? Are the control panel buttons easy to read and to operate? Do these things for yourself. Don't just listen to the sales person talk about the features. Get in there and find out. Little clips that hold your stemware in place can sound great until you try to make them work and then find out how tricky they can be. If you can't do it right away in the store then you'll probably never take the time to do it at home if you buy that model.
A lot of people forget to bring along any of their own dishes to the store. You can use the few 'demo' dishes that they might have but I bet all of them fit easily. You won't bring along a full load but make sure you bring one or two items from your normal breakfast and dinner sets. Even better, take some odd shaped or larger items too. Got a serving platter that you use regularly, that never fits in your current model? Now's the chance to buy a model that can handle it. You will discover that your knives and forks will fit better in some cutlery baskets than others. Find these things out now rather than later.
Don't forget to ask about warranties, guarantees, delivery charges and shipping policy. If you live in a top floor apartment, will the item be delivered to your kitchen or only to the bottom of the stairs? Which days do they deliver? What return policy do they offer, if any?
A really good question for a salesperson is to get them to demonstrate how quiet a model will be when it is running. Some showrooms cannot show you an operating dishwasher. Ask them how they are going to show to you how their 'quiet' model really is quiet?
Another way to get the most from your sales person is to ask them about other stores that you have been to or plan to visit. Ask them why you should buy a particular model from them instead of their rivals. At the very least, this will give you some more information, and may even lead to a few 'extras' added to any deal that they were offering you.
When you visit a store, try to collect more information. Grab any brochures that they have and scribble notes onto them. This will make it easier to remember which models you looked at and whether you liked them. When you get home, use the pictures in the brochures to 'see' what the model will look like in your kitchen.
It may seem odd but the best thing you can do in a store is to leave it without buying anything. Even though you are convinced that you were just looking at the dishwasher that you are going to buy. Go home and think about it. Give yourself time to remember about the question you forgot to ask or the feature that you forgot was in the other model rather than this one. Most of all, give yourself the chance to go online and verify what the sales person may have said. Check the website of the store that you went to and make sure that your understanding of the warranty and delivery policy is accurate. Research online about the model you looked at and see if anyone has anything bad to say about it on any of the review websites. Has that brand or model ever been recalled? Can you get the same model for less money elsewhere? If you can then maybe the store will match that price.
Buying a Dishwasher Online
Apart from being able to touch it and test it with your dishes, buying a dishwasher online is very similar to getting one at a store. You have to go through the same process to decide what type you want and which features you need. There is still no shortcut through the research you have to do. However, there are big advantages to looking and buying online.
The selection of manufacturers and models offered online is impossible for any store to match. You can compare and contrast websites from all across the country in minutes. You can also compare the warranties and guarantees being offered, along with the delivery policies and charges.
Often you will find websites have special discounts or deals that you won't find in the stores. You can can even find deals online at the website of the store you just visited, deals that the sales person did not know about.
Sitting at your computer also means that you can 'visit' whenever you want and take your time. Look at the details about a feature in the User Manual online. There is no sales pressure whatsoever. However, if you have any questions then most good websites have 24 hour support lines that you can call. This gives you access to knowledgeable people whenever you need them.
Going for it !
If you have followed the advice given above then there is nothing to stop you from buying a dishwasher that will perform well and benefit you for years to come.
This is your money that you are spending and no-one should be making your decisions for you. That is why we have tried to provide you with all of the information you might need, right here at Dishwasher Guru. We want you to feel proud of what you have achieved so far. You have learnt a great deal, and are ready to apply it towards buying the best dishwasher possible.
So, once you've bought your dishwasher, Contact Us and tell us how it went. Let us know how helpful you think this website was or if you think that there is something important that we missed out. We are always happy to hear about improvements that we could make that would help other people going through the same process.
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