Author Topic: New or used....washing machine!  (Read 5442 times)

alsoknownasDean

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New or used....washing machine!
« on: November 14, 2014, 05:03:07 PM »
Hello all,

I moved into my own apartment a bit over a month ago (was previously sharing), and since then I've been using the laundromat for washing clothes. It's a short bike ride away, but at $4 a load it gets expensive (and it's a nuisance to get the change as the machines don't take notes and there's no change machines there). Hence I'm looking at buying a washing machine.

I've naturally had a look around on Gumtree, and there's plenty of used (front loader) machines including delivery for around $300. Alternatively, I can get a new unit for around $500.

Whilst I'd be keen to save a little money, I'm wondering if, given the small price difference between used and new, I'm better off just biting the bullet and getting new.

I could probably get a little bit cheaper if I picked it up myself, but most people I know who could help me with it don't live nearby.

What does everyone here think?

Rezdent

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Re: New or used....washing machine!
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2014, 05:08:19 PM »
I'm not sure how well this would work in Australia but we got our current washer for $0.  The previous one cost us $25 and lasted 10 years.
300 seems pricey for used to me

JustTrying

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Re: New or used....washing machine!
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2014, 05:11:43 PM »
I am all about used appliances, but I agree that $300 seems pretty steep for used. (That being said, I don't really know much about washers or why a front-loader is special). I've always had used washing machines, bought for $50 or less (or that came with my house/place of living), and I've only had to replace one. At $50, I feel like there's not much to lose if it does break down at some point.

Hotstreak

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Re: New or used....washing machine!
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2014, 05:18:16 PM »
I'm not sure how well this would work in Australia but we got our current washer for $0.  The previous one cost us $25 and lasted 10 years.
300 seems pricey for used to me
Agreed. 

alsoknownasDean, are you looking at used washers through a store?  Those prices would make sense for that.  If that is the case, try buying it from an individual instead.  I got my washer/dryer set for US $100, and they work really well. 

To answer your original question, it depends on the specific washer.  Normally I would say go for used, but with the prices being so similar, I would look at warranties, what repairs have been done, reliability of the model, etc., pretty closely before deciding.

GardenFun

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Re: New or used....washing machine!
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2014, 05:37:09 PM »
If you can find one for $100 and you use it 25 times without an issue, you paid for your investment (compared to the Laundromat).  At $500, you have to use it 125 times before breaking even.  Depending on how much laundry you do and whether you plan on moving anytime soon, it would probably be a good choice to find a cheap used one.  Unless water is really expensive in your area, be open to a top loader.  They do clean quite well. 

alsoknownasDean

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Re: New or used....washing machine!
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2014, 05:43:21 PM »
Most of the ones I was looking at were at stores. Getting the thing home is the issue otherwise (although some do deliver). :)

The main reasons why I was looking at front loaders are because they're better on electricity/water (although I tend to only do two loads a week), and they have space on top for storing buckets/washing baskets/etc (small apartment).

Thing is, top loaders do tend to be cheaper, I've seen one as low as $80, and another at $130 where they'll deliver.

Tough one, I'd prefer a front loader, but I'd save a fair whack of cash if I got a top loader. I could probably store some of the stuff in the bathroom cupboard and the rest elsewhere. Planning on being here maybe two years or so.

GizmoTX

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Re: New or used....washing machine!
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2014, 08:22:08 PM »
Another option is to rent a washer & dryer, if available where you live. DS was in a college apartment last year with 3 roommates & the complex had no laundry room, just hookups in the units. The rental cost was $30 per month, which included both machines, delivery up the stairs to their unit, hookup, & pickup at the end of the rental. If either machine malfunctioned, which they didn't, the rental company would have replaced it promptly for no additional fee. The guys saved time & money while not having to do any moving & storage. This year they moved to a different apartment which came with a washer & dryer, so it was nice not to have those appliances to deal with.

Hotstreak

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Re: New or used....washing machine!
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2014, 09:53:07 AM »
Another option is to rent a washer & dryer, if available where you live. DS was in a college apartment last year with 3 roommates & the complex had no laundry room, just hookups in the units. The rental cost was $30 per month, which included both machines, delivery up the stairs to their unit, hookup, & pickup at the end of the rental. If either machine malfunctioned, which they didn't, the rental company would have replaced it promptly for no additional fee. The guys saved time & money while not having to do any moving & storage. This year they moved to a different apartment which came with a washer & dryer, so it was nice not to have those appliances to deal with.


I had a similar situation I just got out of.  $30/month would be $720 over the two years the poster says they plan to stay at their appt, versus $130 for a delivered top loader or $300 for a delivered front loader.  Rental is convenient, yes, but also very expensive.  Considering how cheap it is to repair a basic washer, or just buy a new one, renting becomes a very difficult proposition.  If you're comparing it to a $900 new washer and/or moving in a few months that's a different idea.

GizmoTX

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Re: New or used....washing machine!
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2014, 10:05:38 AM »
I agree. The minute the rental term becomes long enough, buying is worth it. We usually buy & repair forever, but there are situations where renting is the better choice.

justajane

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Re: New or used....washing machine!
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2014, 06:38:05 PM »
We bought a used top loader for $150 ten years ago and it is still going strong. If you don't live in an area with a water shortage or super expensive water, then I would go for the top loader used. I agree with the consensus that the price difference between the new and used for the front loader isn't very good.

EricL

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Re: New or used....washing machine!
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2014, 07:35:53 PM »
Get a manual washing machine.  They look like blue plungers and you can get them from Amazon.  You'll also need a five gallon bucket which you can get new (mine was $20 at a hardware store) or free from a restaurant or handyman if they have a clean one available.  It's handy but not necessary to have two.  If you have a really clean sink you can use that instead.

It takes about 1-2 gallons of cold water and tablespoon of detergent to do a 3-5 items like t-shirts and underwear or one pair of jeans or fluffy towel.  It takes about five minutes of manual plunging to do the load.  Dump the wash water, wring out your clothes, (this is where an extra bucket comes in handy) add 1-2 1/2 gallons clean water and about a 1/4 cup of white vinegar.  Plunge for two minutes, wring out, and hang to dry. 

You can get an electric wringer somewhat cheaply or an old model manual one for cheaper (the type with two rollers and a crank).  But if you live in a hot climate they can go straight to a line. 

Bad news first: You'll be doing a laundry load 3-4 times a week.  More if you're living with someone who's conned you into doing theirs.

The good news: Each load, minus line drying time but including folding, takes about 15-20 minutes.  Most of it can be done watching TV or listening to music (a good rock soundtrack helps).  And generally you'll only need to do one load.  There is no commute, no money spent on coin washers/dryers, electricity and considerably less for water.  (Top loading machines use 40-50 gallons per Wash)  You'll probably realize you have way too much clothes but that just means you don't need to buy more except for certain special items.  It also means laundry isn't this mountain of drama you have to contend with every weekend. 

homehandymum

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Re: New or used....washing machine!
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2014, 11:50:40 PM »
If it's the storage on top of the machine that is tipping you towards a front loader, use a big basket to put that stuff in.  You only need to lift the lid of a top loader in order to load and unload - less than a minute each time.  The rest of the time, the surface *can* be used for storage.

Jesus Christ

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Re: New or used....washing machine!
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2014, 12:51:35 AM »
Stick with the Top loaded washer for a $50. That's a bet you cannot loose.

I recently spoke to a guy that refurbishes washer/dryers for a living and he only deals with Whirlpool and Kenmore.  The GE models made in Asia were shoddy with numerous quality issues. (As of 2013 they are now made in Kentucky which is great)

stripey

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Re: New or used....washing machine!
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2014, 01:08:04 AM »
Hi there! Thought I should add an Australian comment in here. I have purchased several front loader washing machines second hand over the years, and am shortly going to purchase another, as the one I have had for four years prematurely died (the inner metal drum came loose and cheese-grated the outer plastic drum... it was impressive).

All up I am a much bigger fan of front loaders. They use less water, use less detergent and (in general) tend to be gentler on clothes (this is important as I have a very small wardrobe).

I'm currently in Perth, the land of crazy-high-salary and FIFO but the best hint on Gumtree is to look for something which looks relatively new and the reason for selling is moving (maybe put 'moving' as part of your search terms). Don't pay more than $200 to $250 for a decent one, although you'll get something that is serviceable for much less of course.

If you do decide to go with second-hand, when inspecting pay particular attention to the gasket on a front loader- these are expensive and fiddly to replace (but definitely within the realms of doable for a mustachian). Also pay attention to the smell of the drum. Most people don't clean their drum, leave the door shut so it is humid all the time and/or use far too much detergent and fabric softener so it smells. The smell is pretty straightforward to get rid of, but you can usually use it to bargain down a private seller.

Don't get a dryer if you live in Melbourne and only do 1-2 loads per week if you're not in a humid climate (I have lived most of my life in colder parts of Australia than Melbourne, with minimally heated houses, and have never needed one). All that lint you see in the dryer is clothes wearing out. Also- consider making some laundry liquid about 10L for about AUD3.00, and it's dead simple. Google has a heap of recipes, or I will post mine if you want.



alsoknownasDean

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Re: New or used....washing machine!
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2014, 02:58:16 AM »
Hi there! Thought I should add an Australian comment in here. I have purchased several front loader washing machines second hand over the years, and am shortly going to purchase another, as the one I have had for four years prematurely died (the inner metal drum came loose and cheese-grated the outer plastic drum... it was impressive).

All up I am a much bigger fan of front loaders. They use less water, use less detergent and (in general) tend to be gentler on clothes (this is important as I have a very small wardrobe).

I'm currently in Perth, the land of crazy-high-salary and FIFO but the best hint on Gumtree is to look for something which looks relatively new and the reason for selling is moving (maybe put 'moving' as part of your search terms). Don't pay more than $200 to $250 for a decent one, although you'll get something that is serviceable for much less of course.

If you do decide to go with second-hand, when inspecting pay particular attention to the gasket on a front loader- these are expensive and fiddly to replace (but definitely within the realms of doable for a mustachian). Also pay attention to the smell of the drum. Most people don't clean their drum, leave the door shut so it is humid all the time and/or use far too much detergent and fabric softener so it smells. The smell is pretty straightforward to get rid of, but you can usually use it to bargain down a private seller.

Don't get a dryer if you live in Melbourne and only do 1-2 loads per week if you're not in a humid climate (I have lived most of my life in colder parts of Australia than Melbourne, with minimally heated houses, and have never needed one). All that lint you see in the dryer is clothes wearing out. Also- consider making some laundry liquid about 10L for about AUD3.00, and it's dead simple. Google has a heap of recipes, or I will post mine if you want.

I'm a fan of front loaders, especially considering I've had stuff ruined by a top loader before (my fault for overloading it of course). That and the reduced power/water consumption is a plus.

I had a look around on Gumtree, and I figured there'd be more due to the end of the university year, but didn't find much, especially ones that delivered.

Ah, my last place had a dryer and I barely used it except in the dead of winter. Otherwise I'd just leave stuff on the line a week until it was dry. Though the dryer did a better job at removing cat hair from sheets. No cat at my new place, so that's not a problem anymore :)

I ended up walking to the secondhand shop near my place and buying one of the $300 secondhand ones (planning to check out cheaper top loaders as well, but bought a front loader Samsung). I googled the model number of the $130 top loader on Gumtree and found it wouldn't fit in my laundry. Free delivery that afternoon, not too bad.

Oh well, it still works fine. Better than having to get gold coins for the bloody laundromat.

Get a manual washing machine.  They look like blue plungers and you can get them from Amazon.  You'll also need a five gallon bucket which you can get new (mine was $20 at a hardware store) or free from a restaurant or handyman if they have a clean one available.  It's handy but not necessary to have two.  If you have a really clean sink you can use that instead.

It takes about 1-2 gallons of cold water and tablespoon of detergent to do a 3-5 items like t-shirts and underwear or one pair of jeans or fluffy towel.  It takes about five minutes of manual plunging to do the load.  Dump the wash water, wring out your clothes, (this is where an extra bucket comes in handy) add 1-2 1/2 gallons clean water and about a 1/4 cup of white vinegar.  Plunge for two minutes, wring out, and hang to dry.

Haha, I never even considered a manual machine. That's rather badass :)

EricL

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Re: New or used....washing machine!
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2014, 03:14:51 PM »
It sounds a lot more badass than it feels. Unless you're doing laundry for the Brady Bunch it's a pretty easy.  And like I say it saves money, time, and enables you to get buy with a smaller wardrobe. 

alsoknownasDean

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Re: New or used....washing machine!
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2017, 03:09:05 AM »
Update: Said washing machine has started playing up, and the error code indicates it's a motor or PCB issue, so probably outside my expertise (and expensive for a technician to repair). I asked on one of those diagnostic web sites and apparently they've suggested for me not to try and DIY repair it.

I'm debating whether it's worth getting repaired or just buying a new one (this time brand new). In hindsight, spending $300 for a used one might have been a bit penny-wise, pound foolish.