How to buy a large appliance now

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Are you shopping for a major appliance right now? Be prepared to wait. Supply shortages that started at the start of the pandemic are still plaguing the market for large kitchen and laundry machines. If there’s one particular dishwasher you covet for your vacation cleaning, you might not have it for weeks or months, experts say. And if you’re desperate to replace a broken refrigerator, be prepared to compromise.

“The new standard is less choice,” says Ken Miele, CEO of Monroe, NJ-based Appliance Dealers Cooperative, which supplies major appliances to more than 200 independent appliance dealers. “We, the resellers, can only sell what we have.”

“My backorder list has not diminished,” says Rodney Neuenschwander, store manager at Home Appliance in Massillon, Ohio. “Some products are available for a while, then the manufacturers run out of parts and we can’t get them anymore.”

Expectations of four to eight weeks for certain products are not uncommon, says David MacGregor, home appliance industry analyst at Cleveland-based Longbow Research. And the wait for some high-end items can be three to four months, says the senior acquisition agent who buys large devices for CR testing.

MacGregor predicts that the lack of supply could mean far fewer big sales over the next holiday season. “Why promote something that you have a hard time delivering? ” he asks.

Read on for the latest information on home appliance supply chain issues, how to figure out your best course of action, and tips for buying home appliances now and during the next vacation.


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