How to Buy Scratch and Dent Appliances: Smart Shopping Tips

Have you ever passed by an appliance store and seen a refrigerator or oven with a tiny scratch or a minuscule dent and thought, “Who would buy that?” Let me answer that for you: smart shoppers. Yep, those savvy individuals who recognize the true value hidden beneath superficial blemishes. If you’re looking to become one of them and exercise the power of smart spending, you've come to the right place. 

In this guide, we'll cover: 

What Are Scratch and Dent Appliances? 

Scratch-and-dent appliances are almost perfect, brand-new appliances with minor cosmetic damage. Fresh from the factory, pristine in performance, but somewhere along their journey, they've experienced a little mishap. 

Maybe during shipping, or during the unpacking process, the surface can be dented or scratched. A little story and a little mark, but the appliance’s core and function remain unscathed. 

While seemingly insignificant, these cosmetic blemishes play a major role in pricing. Most consumers aim for aesthetic perfection, especially for items prominently displayed in their homes. Thus, they can't position these appliances at full price alongside their flawless counterparts. But here's the kicker: these blemishes are just that: cosmetic. Beneath that superficial mark, these appliances are champions in disguise, ready to perform with the same zeal and efficiency as any brand-new item on the shop floor. 

Buying Scratch and Dent Appliances: Pros and Cons 

This is a world of strategy, a balance of aesthetics and value. While the pros often gleam brighter than the shiny surfaces of these appliances, it's crucial to consider the potential downsides that might lurk in the shadows. Let’s peel back the layers, shall we? 


  1. Spectacular Savings: This isn't about pinching pennies; it’s about folding bills. Opting for scratch and dent can mean significant savings, allowing for that extra indulgence you've been contemplating. 

  1. Undercover Champions: Don't be fooled by the minor blemishes. These appliances pack the same punch, power, and prowess as their undamaged siblings. They’re top-tier performers, merely in incognito mode. 

  1. Warranted Assurance: Quite often, these products still come under the manufacturer's warranty. A win-win, really. You get a discount and a safety net. 

  1. Environmentally-friendly Choice: Purchasing scratch-and-dent appliances is also a nod to sustainability. Instead of heading to a landfill, these appliances find homes, reducing wastage and environmental impact. 

  1. Decreased Depreciation: The moment a brand-new appliance exits the store, its value decreases. With scratch and dent items, since you're already getting it at a reduced rate, the depreciation sting isn't as sharp. 


  1. Cosmetic Compromises: While the appliance functions mightily, there's no denying the cosmetic imperfection. If the heart of your home decor beats for perfection, this might give you a pause. Although you can find options with hidden damage, not being an issue for your decor. 

  1. The Hunt: Unlike regular shopping, the scratch-and-dent world demands a keener eye and a tad more patience. Also, those unique finds might require some travel to check the condition in person and close the deal. 

  1. The Unknown Story: While many blemishes occur due to benign incidents, you might not always know the backstory. Was it a mere shipping error, or did someone return it? Make sure to always check for manufacturer warranty registration or if there are any claims for that serial number. 

  1. Varied Selection: The stock isn't consistent. You might find a fantastic oven one day and nothing the next. It’s unpredictable, like a treasure hunt without a map. 

  1. Warranty: Some manufacturers might limit the warranty on damaged items, usually the functionality portion would be fully covered. But any other finish warranty such as painting or rusting could be out of the manufacturer’s policy. 

Pros Cons

Significant discounts 

Cosmetic blemishes 

Full manufacturer’s warranty (most times) 

The thrill of the hunt (not everyone’s game) 

Perfectly functional 

The “I don’t do imperfect” stares 

Eco-friendly (reduces waste) 

Unpredictable stock availability 

Reduced depreciation 

Possible limited warranty 

How to Buy Scratch and Dent Appliances: Things to Look Out for 

While snagging a deal feels fantastic, it's essential to shop smartly. After all, wisdom dictates that every bargain isn’t necessarily a wise buy. Here’s your compass: 

Factor 1: Warranty 

The protective shield of a full manufacturer’s warranty is non-negotiable. It's your armor against potential internal mishaps that the exterior doesn’t reveal. Ensure that the appliance still holds its warranty. If the blemish is just skin deep, your investment should remain sound internally. 

An option here is purchasing appliance extended protection plans, a fraction of the savings you get while purchasing scratch and dent appliances, they can guarantee coverage for anything the manufacturer wouldn’t. 

Factor 2: Return Policy 

Get this clear. The return policies can be different for new and scratch and dent appliances, so it is better to have this safety net. 

Factor 3: Extent of Damage 

Assess the scar. Is it a mere beauty mark or a deep wound? While most damages are cosmetic, don’t get too lost in the discount haze. Sometimes, what seems minor might hint at a deeper internal issue. Investigate thoroughly. 

Factor 4: Vendor Reputation 

Trust but verify. The market is sprawling, and not every vendor plays by the rulebook. Opting for reputable stores ensures authenticity. No one wants a branded look with knock-off performance. 

Factor 5: Spare Parts 

Future-proofing your purchase is wise because that tiny scratch or dent today might escalate to a more pressing need for a part replacement tomorrow. Ensure the appliance model has readily available spare parts. 

Factor 6: Operational Testing 

Online photos are like curated social media profiles – often showing just the glamorous side. Whenever feasible, test the appliance firsthand. Feel its vibe, and check its functions. Let your senses, not just the discount tag, guide your decision. 

We are here to help you find the best appliances 

Coast Appliances is locally owned and operated, we have 40 years of tradition and commitment to customer satisfaction. Whether it’s one of our showrooms or this website you can do true comparison shopping, understand your options, and get expert advice that helps you make the right decision. 

We carry a very unique blend of clearance and scratch & dent appliances coming from multiple sources. Unfulfilled special orders, Floor models, End-of-line stock, Open box items from delayed or canceled commercial projects, and scratched or dented items from commercial projects. 

FAQs on How to Buy Scratch and Dent Appliances 

Can you negotiate scratch and dent appliances? 

Absolutely! Prices for scratch and dent appliances are often negotiable, especially if the damage is significant. 

What is a typical scratch and dent discount? 

Anywhere between 20–80%. The deeper the scratch, the deeper the cut. 

What is a scratch and dent policy? 

A scratch and dent policy refers to the retailer's terms and conditions for selling these appliances, which might cover aspects like returns, warranties, and repairs. 

What does “scratch and dent refurbished” mean? 

“Scratch and dent refurbished” refers to appliances that have not only had cosmetic damages but have also been restored to full functionality if there were any operational issues.