A couple of months ago, our washer started making a racket during the spin cycle. It’s health declined from there, until it was grinding at every turn of the basket. When my husband called the repair company, the man said, (over the phone, mind you), “It’s dead. It’ll cost more to fix than to get a new one.” We suffered through the noise for a few weeks, but finally broke down to look for a new washer when it smelled like something was burning. It was time to face facts that we needed a new washer.
The first step in my research process was to go to a store to essentially “kick the tires” of the washers so that I could get an idea of what features were generally available, which ones we might need or like, and how much the bells and whistles cost. It’s been since 2004 that I’ve bought a washer, so I needed to educate myself on what was available. I also had the advantage of using my mom’s newer washer in the interim to see in action which features are most important to us.
Making a Spreadsheet
Of course I needed a spreadsheet to parse out my options and features. I put my top three favorite features in columns to mark yes or no, the model number for handy reference, and even calculated out the discount I could get from each store using a formula. I gave Bryan the model number to check the reviews online to be sure we weren’t buying a dud.
I was super lucky to have my washer break down during an appliance sale at Best Buy. This was my first option to look in store and eventually buy due to the fantastic bonus you can get at Best Buy from Swagbucks. (Check out my article here to learn how to use this bonus to get a discount on Disney gift cards.) I did price check with Lowe’s, too, since we have some Lowe’s gift cards saved up from a previous Amex Offer. While the prices were comparable, Best Buy’s sale, plus all of the other extra discounts I could get there made Best Buy the stand-out winner.
Researching Discounts: Price Match
Here’s where the magic happens. Best Buy has member pricing when you are an “elite” rewards member. I am an elite in their program from buying so many Disney gift cards there last year. (I do have some work to catch up to $3500 in spend this year.) When I looked online at the model we settled on, the price was different than in store because the online price showed the special member price. I made sure to screenshot the price so that I could easily show the salesperson in the store if there was a problem. Price match doesn’t just cover competitors; it also covers deals available online.
Researching Discounts: Amex Offer
I was very excited because just two weeks ago, I added an Offer to spend $250, earn a $25 statement credit at Best Buy. Cha-ching! I’m pretty sure I knew in the back of my mind that I’d be using it for this purchase. I didn’t love that I would be using that Amex to pay since it would only earn 1% cash back and not 1x Ultimate rewards, but it is what it is. I probably could have used two different cards and only put $250 on the Amex, but the transaction was already insanely complicated due to the member pricing not showing up in the register.
Researching Discounts: Swagbucks
I have an entire post devoted to buying Disney gift cards at Best Buy to earn Swagbucks because it can be difficult to manage. Basically, Swagbucks rewards you in two ways for an in-store purchase (or weekly ad purchase online). First, they pay anywhere from 2-5% back in SB on your purchase total before taxes. Then they pay a tiered bonus depending on how much you spend: $50-$99.00 earns 250 SB, $100-$499.00 earns 750 SB, and over $500 earns 1500 SB. I was in the 1500 SB category with my new washer, of course. When you click through online, Best Buy can track your purchase through cookies. In the store, they track your purchase through a QR code that the cashier has to scan. Click here to read how to do this in the store. You can scroll down to “Steps” for the directions.
Researching Discounts: Best Buy Rewards
Best Buy Rewards are free to join. You can move up in tiers when you spend over the course of a year at their stores or online. Each tier earns a different percentage of cash back in the form of points you can redeem for certificates. You can then these certificates in the store to get a discount on your purchase. The top tier earns 2.5%, while the lowest tier earns 1%. Since we are top-tier, we earned at 2.5%, or around $15. The reward points post about two weeks after the purchase, so they are not immediately available. You have to issue a certificate when you are ready to redeem your points, so plan that ahead of time.
Missed Discount: Redeem Best Buy Rewards
I was going to redeem some rewards that I had saved up, but I forgot to ask the cashier to apply the certificate I had issued that morning. Usually they will ask you if you want to apply it, but, as I said, this was an insanely complicated transaction, and we both missed it.
For those of you following along at home, here’s a breakdown of my discounts and rewards when applied. In the end, I saved over 43%!
|My Best Buy Member Pricing
|Amex Offer: Spend $250 at Best Buy, receive $25 credit
|Swagbucks Shop (1710 SB)
|Swagbucks Bonus (1500 SB)
|Best Buy Rewards
|Total ($347 in savings)
Take Your Time
I was feeling some pressure to complete this deal quickly. The kids and I are leaving next week to Six Flags, and Bryan wondered how he would get along without a washer. Since I had been going to my mom’s to do laundry for the kids and I, I suggested he go to his, especially since his parents live in the same neighborhood. Maybe he didn’t think of that, or maybe he was feeling like a kid again by asking to do laundry at his folks’ house. I guess he won’t have to because our new washer will be delivered while I’m gone with the kids. We’ll get to test it out when we get back with all our clothes covered in messy theme park fun!