Shopping for refurbished kitchen appliances and home improvement tools is the smartest way to get more for your money

William Arsn

There are two ways to save money on big purchases like kitchen appliances and home improvement tools: you can wait and wait for the best sales, and then fight your way through the crowds to shop them; or you can buy certified refurbished merchandise for significant discounts. The best part? These refurbished products look, feel and function like they’re brand new.

In the same way that you can return clothes that doesn’t fit quite right when you get it home, you can return appliances and tools too. Those barely-used items go back to the store or manufacturer, but because they have been used or got a ding or two in the delivery and return process, can’t be sold as “new” anymore. What happens then? They get refurbished and resold.

“People could go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and look at a basic range for anything from $600 to $1000, or they could get something refurbished that’s similar but in a higher-end brand or better version for the same price,” says Ian Hawkins of Kitchen Guys, which has been selling new and refurbished appliances in Providence, R.I. for 25 years. The store refurbishes appliances in high-end and professional models through a careful vetting and repair process with its own certified technicians, then sells them online across the country for significantly less than retail. What you end up getting is high quality without the high ticket price that generally comes with it. 

When you purchase a refurbished appliance from a trusted seller like eBay or Sears Outlet, you’re getting an item that has been used and then returned within the short return window. It’s then repaired and certified to ensure it’s functioning like new, and sold at a significant discount. Sometimes, those items haven’t been used — they were just returned in opened packaging and so can’t be sold as “new” anymore, even if they are new.

Family Handyman recommends looking for floor models, which are often sold at refurb prices, even though they’re unused. Their other pro tips: check the warranties to make sure you’re well protected, shop around for the best price and watch out for hidden delivery fees.

In addition to knowing you’re purchasing something high quality through a manufacturer or certified reseller, you also have peace of mind of knowing that sites like Overstock and Crutchfield guarantee your money back if issues arise.

Here are 10 like-new certified refurbished items you can buy today.

A hand mixer is the home chef’s secret weapon — not only can you mix something quickly without the setup and cleanup of a stand mixer, you can mix right in the bowl (or the pan) to make the process a breeze. This KitchenAid 5-Speed Hand Mixer retails for $30 and comes directly from KitchenAid with eBay’s money back guarantee.

Some messes need more than just a wash to clean them up. That’s where a power washer comes in. This WORX MaxLithium Hydroshot Cordless Portable Power Cleaner is a pressurized water jet that has a portable water tank, so it doesn’t need to be attached to a water source to tackle a tough job. At $70, it’s 50 percent off the MSRP and has a manufacturer’s warranty.

Remember the dark ages, when you actually had to push a vacuum by hand to clean your house? Those days are over. This Shark RV750 ION Robot Vacuum Cleaner cleans your floors any time, even if you’re not home, because it operates on WiFi and can be turned on via its app or by Alexa. At $160, it’s 42 percent off the MSRP. 

Appliances that do double duty in the kitchen are the ultimate space-saving hack. This Wolfgang Puck Mini Oven combines the essential toaster oven functions with the hottest healthy cooking trend, air frying. At $150, that’s 25 percent off the suggested price of $200, and it comes with 12 months warranty and free shipping. Bonus!

No kitchen is complete without a high-powered mixer that can do everything from whipping cream to mixing cookie batter to kneading pizza dough. This Refurbished Artisan Mini 3.5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer comes with the KitchenAid warranty and retails for $200, which is 40 percent off full price.

This Dewalt power drill combination includes a 20V MAX cordless lithium-ion 1/2 in. compact drill driver and a 20V MAX cordless lithium-ion 1/4 in. impact driver, plus two 20V MAX lithium-ion battery packs, a charger and a ToughSystem kit box. The set comes from a Dewalt Authorized Seller, has a manufacturer’s warranty and is 40 percent off MSRP at $180.

If you suspect a handheld carpet cleaner isn’t powerful enough, check out this Bissell Pet Stain Eraser Portable Carpet Cleaner, which comes direct from the manufacturer. This machine can remove pet stains, food stains, spilled red wine and deep dirt stains from carpets, drapes and upholstery, and is 58 percent off at $50.

Knowing who’s at your door, even when you’re not home, is an invaluable tool in keeping your family safe. This factory refurbished Ring Video Doorbell Elite shows you in real time who has come knocking, has a two-way microphone and comes with infrared night vision and motion detection. At $250, it’s 30 percent off MSRP.

Think about how much money and time you’d save if you could have coffee house-quality espresso drinks at home. This Saeco Xsmall HD8645/47 Superautomatic Espresso Machine has a built-in coffee grinder and an automatic rinse cycle. At $200, it’s 60 percent off MSRP. 

Passionate home cooks know that the true difference in plain old food and exceptional home cooking is the quality of the equipment you’re using. If you want to cook like a pro, opt for a professional-quality range like this Frigidaire Professional Freestanding Electric Range, which sells new for anywhere from $1800 to $2100, or refurbished for $1300, which is up to a 38 percent discount, and comes with limited six month repairs and a money back guarantee. 

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