Should You Buy the Extended Warranty on New Electronic or Appliances?

You’re on that so-called shopper’s high, having just purchased that new electronic device or appliance you’ve been longing for and now the salesperson is pushing you to buy an extended warranty for your new purchase. Your emotions say ‘Yes!’, and want to protect your new toy at all costs, but then your rational side kicks in and wonders if the extended warranty is really needed. Use these guidelines to help decide if you should buy the extended warranty on new electronics or appliances or if the free manufacturer’s warranty is all the protection needed.

Defect Coverage

Product defects will typically show up soon after purchase and will be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. These free product warranties usually cover the first 30, 60 or 90 days after purchase and any manufacturing problem will be discovered within that time frame. So if purchasing a defective product is your only concern, don’t buy an extended warranty.

Laptop Warranty

If you carry your laptop with you everywhere you go, the likelihood of needing repair service is strong. In this case, buying an extended warranty would be cost-effective and give you peace of mind knowing that tech support is just a phone call away no matter where you are.

In-Home Service

Large home appliances, like refrigerators, flat screen TVs or treadmills, will be difficult for most consumers to return to the place of purchase in case of a breakdown. In-home service may be needed on these type of large appliances that are used daily or have heavy moving parts, but the manufacturer’s warranty may not cover in-home service. Read the fine print and purchase the extended warranty if the manufacturer does not cover in-home service for large items.

Short Coverage Time

That extended warranty may not cover the product for as long as think. The clock starts ticking the day you make the purchase, not the day the manufacturer’s original warranty runs out. Purchasing a two-year extended warranty may only buy you 18 months of coverage when it runs concurrently with the manufacturer’s 6 month warranty.

Repair Cost

If your new purchase breaks down 5 years from now, will you really want it repaired? After 3 years, the extended warranty often costs more than a repair and after 5 years most people prefer to upgrade than to repair the electronic or appliance and a long-term warranty may cost more than a new, upgraded replacement.

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