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Give an appliance a home! Your guide to second-hand appliances

We give hand-me-downs to siblings, get excited over ‘vintage’ furniture and have cars with previous owners. So why not buy second-hand appliances too?

If your fridge, dishwasher, oven, tumble dryer or any other household appliances have given up and there is no way you can fix them yourself, don’t buy new, consider second hand instead.

Here we have a guide to buying second-hand appliances with everything you need to know such as where to buy, what to look for and how to ensure you’re getting a good deal!

Why buy second-hand appliances?

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Save money

Possibly the biggest benefit of buying second-hand appliances is how much you save. They are far less expensive than buying new and although used, can still work perfectly well or can be fixed up to their former selves.

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Save the planet

The UK alone throws away over 1 million tonnes of e-waste every single year! A lot of these electrical items are still usable or can be easily fixed. By giving a perfectly good appliance a new home, you can help to prevent the devastating effects e-waste has on our planet.

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No packaging

According to WRAP UK, the UK generates around 2.4 million tonnes of packaging waste each year. Second-hand appliances come without any packing. So again, you can prevent plastic and other dangerous materials from going to landfill and having a devastating impact.

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Help your community

Help your neighbours and those around you to responsibly depose of their unwanted appliances by giving them to a good home. Meanwhile, you get the appliance you need at a much better price, it’s a win-win!

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Get more for your money

Whatever your budget, chances are you’ll be able to get an appliance with added features or from a higher-end brand for the same price you were planning to spend on a new machine if you shop second-hand. Make the £££s stretch further!

Where can you buy a second-hand appliance?

There are so many places you can purchase second-hand appliances. Whether you’re looking for one that still works perfectly or to buy it super cheap and fix it up, here are some places to start.

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Charity shops

Charity stores such as the British Heart Foundation and Red Cross accept second-hand appliance donations to be sold in some of their stores. Check their websites to find the nearest store to you or check out the BHF eBay shop. You can bag yourself a cheap appliance and help a worthy cause too. 

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Facebook shopping

Facebook shopping has become a fantastic way for people to sell or give away their unwanted items. From sofas to Christmas decorations, the online platform lets people sell their goods and arrange collection and delivery, effectively cutting out the middle man. You can access it through your Facebook app by clicking the shop icon at the bottom.

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If you’d prefer a little more reassurance with your online purchase, you can buy your appliances on eBay. eBay is another fast and easy way that people sell their unwanted household appliances for a lot cheaper. Here you can purchase through PayPal, then if anything was to go wrong, you can go through the platform to claim your money back.

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Gumtree is another platform that brings buyers and sellers together, so you can purchase goods at a cheaper price. Although transactions are made through yourself and the seller, Gumtree also allows you to use PayPal and provides safety advice to help you make informed choices.

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Another great place to find second-hand appliances is Preloved. They allow people to upload adverts and information about their items and connect you through the platform. That way you can ask the questions you need before giving out any further information.

Tips for staying safe when buying online

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  • Always read the description. If it’s very cheap, there could be a reason for this.
  • Ask questions such as why they are selling it and if they have had any problems with it in the past. Don’t buy unless you’re completely sure it’s right for you.
  • Ask for the appliance model number so you can do some checks of your own before purchasing.
  • Ask for a video call so you can see the appliance and check for any faults or damages up close.
  • Remain on the platform and talk through there if you can. This way, you can record any conversations you have.
  • Pay for the item through PayPal or a similar secure system so you can get your money back if anything goes wrong.
  • Never meet anyone or enter someone’s house alone. Always bring someone with you or make sure someone knows where you are.

What to look for when buying second-hand?

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Check for safety recalls

If the appliance has a safety issue, the manufacturer will ask for it to be recalled. Before you purchase a second-hand appliance, it’s a good idea to make sure it hasn’t been recalled first. You can check this by following the advice on our website.

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Ask about warranty

Some appliances, especially if they aren’t that old, will still have a warranty attached. This means, if anything was to go wrong with the appliance, the manufacturer will help you fix it for free. It’s worth asking for the details of this as it could benefit you in the long run.

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Ask for user guides and manuals

It’s important to have these to hand when using a new appliance. There is lots of important information in the manual like usage guides, functions you may not know about and contact information should anything go wrong with your appliance. If the owner no longer has the manuals, you can download them from our website. Just have the appliance model number to hand.

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Look for signs of damage

While the odd dent or scratch is fine, make sure there isn’t any other significant damage visible. Look out for signs for electrical safety issues such as any frayed or damaged power cords, leads, cables or switches. If they have these, it can be a serious safety hazard and it’s best to stay away.

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Energy efficiency rating

If the appliance is more than 10 years old, it’s likely not as energy-efficient as newer models and will drive up the costs of electricity bills. Most appliances will have an Energy Efficiency Rating, which indicates how efficient they are so it’s best to check before you buy.

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Check to see if it can be repaired

Buying a second-hand appliance is great for saving money. But, if it breaks or develops a fault, you’ll want to make sure you can fix it so you can make the money-saving benefits last even longer. Which? has developed a way that you can check if appliances are eco friendly and can be repaired. Sometimes, you can buy an appliance that has a fault super cheaply, then fix it yourself to save even more! You can purchase all spares and accessories from our website.

Now you know everything there is to know about buying second-hand appliances, we wish you luck purchasing your machine. Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back for saving money and saving the environment too!

Before you begin your second-hand mission, it’s worth checking if your own appliance is savable first. We have over 600 how-to videos on our Advice Centre to help you diagnose and fix common household appliance faults so you can save even more!

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