I just bought a fridge from Sears and saved an extra $300 off the sale price, so I wanted to share how to get a better discount on appliances at Sears. I saved over $200 just by buying online instead of in-store!
I did not use a Sears credit card. I’ll explain why I don’t like the Sears credit card in point #5 here.
First, KC and I went to a brick and mortar Sears store to look at the fridge I had found online that I thought would work for us. A Sears salesman followed us around, but we already knew more about the refrigerators than he did thanks to a week spent on frantic fridge research while our fridge slowly died.
We told him we could get a better discount by ordering online, but we’d buy from him on the spot if he could match it, plus, we were ready to buy not just a fridge, but a dishwasher, built in microwave, and induction range too—over $4500 in appliances!
The Sears salesman said there was a super secret sale starting Sunday (say that five times fast) he was only telling special customers about. Right.
We asked if we could get the Sunday price that day (Friday). He “checked with his manager,” then backtracked and told us the price would be the same on Sunday. Seriously?
We told him we’d just order online then, and he replied that he works on commission, I guess to try to guilt us into buying from him at a higher price! We told him that Sears should give their salesmen more leeway to make deals, but since they don’t, we won’t pay a higher price in store for the same items we can get cheaper by ordering online.
Bottom line: Go to the store to look at your appliances, but buy from Sears.com so you can get extra discounts!
We also visited a Sears outlet (the one in Tempe, AZ). I expected a scratch-and-dent store, but many of the fridges reeked of rotten food, and one even dispensed water left in the water line! If we were willing to buy a used fridge, we’d buy a $100 fridge off Craigslist or Facebook, not pay 50% of retail price at Sears for a fish-stank fridge! While there are a few deals on unused, scratched items at the Sears outlet, it is the rare woman who willingly takes home a fridge with a gash across the front, even to save an extra $200. Skip the Sears outlet and wait for a good appliance sale at the regular Sears store.
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How to Get a Better Discount on Appliances at Sears
Don’t buy from Sears at all.
We could have gotten more cash back if we had purchased our fridge at Lowe’s instead of Sears. Unfortunately, we decided on a Kenmore fridge, and Kenmore is Sears’ exclusive brand. Sears rarely has the best prices on appliances for national name brands (Whirpool, GE, LG, etc.). Home Depot and Lowe’s usually have exactly the same prices and discounts, but Lowe’s offers cash back via Ebates (more details on Ebates in #2 below). JC Penney and Best Buy aren’t even in the running but it only takes a few seconds to double check their prices on the appliance model you want. You never know, and JC Penny often has 10% cashback on Ebates.
Sale price for my Kenmore fridge at Sears: $1699. Read on to find out how I saved $300 more!
Start at Ebates.
You can usually get 1.5% cashback by shopping at Sears.com via Ebates. That doesn’t sound like much, but this is how much a “measly” 1.5% cash back offer adds up to when you buy a big ticket appliance:
I saved $25.05 on my Kenmore fridge by using Ebates!
Sign up for a new Ebates account with my link and you’ll get a $10 gift card, plus you’ll be able to refer your friends and family for big bonuses! You’ll always get $5 per referral after someone makes their first purchase using your referral link, and right now, if you get two referrals between now and 6/30/17 you’ll get a $50 bonus!
Our fridge was dying, so we had to buy right away. If you can wait to buy your appliances, check Ebates every week or so to see if Sears has a better cashback offer so you can save even more!
After clicking through to Sears.com via Ebates, put the appliance(s) you want in your cart.
If you already put items in your cart, remove them and put the items into your cart again after you click through from Ebates, because sometimes Ebates won’t track shopping trips for items that were already in your cart.
Find a Sears coupon code that works on appliances.
Most Sears coupon codes do NOT work on appliances! Some people sell their paper coupons on ebay, but you’ll pay over $20 for the coupon, and you have to wait for the seller to mail it to you.
I checked ebay to see which Sears coupon people were selling, then I Googled the same terms: “Sears 10% off appliances $499” and quickly found a Sears promo code that worked. The Sears coupon code I found is valid through 6/30/17: 982033773267
Sears coupon code: 10% off appliances over $499 plus earn $25 in Shop Your Way rewards points expires 6/30/17: 982033773267
Since the appliance you want is already in your Sears cart, you can enter the coupon code on the cart page to make sure it’s valid before you proceed. If not, keep Googling!
I saved $170 on my Kenmore fridge with this 10% off Sears coupon code!
Note: I’m not counting the $25 Shop Your Way rewards bonus that’s included with that coupon as part of my fridge discount. Just like I do with Kohl’s Cash, I will treat the Shop Your Way rewards points as “free money” instead of counting the points as a discount on my original purchase.
Beware the Sears credit card!
Don’t get sucked in to applying for a Sears credit card! Yes, you can get 5% off your appliance purchase, but if you don’t pay it off completely within 12 months, you’ll be charged interest from the date of purchase! Most regular credit card offers for 0% interest on purchases will only start charging interest on your remaining balance after the end of the 0% interest rate period.
I could have saved an additional $23 on this purchase by applying for a Sears credit card, but that was not worth it for the FICO hit on a card we’d probably never use again.
If you don’t have a credit card with a 0% interest rate on purchases, call each of your card services lines to request that offer, or apply for a card with a great bonus offer and a 0% interest rate on purchases so you won’t get stuck with a big interest charge if you don’t pay it off in time. (Plus, 0% interest rate offers typically last 18–21 months, and the Sears 0% interest rate only lasts 12 months.)
If you’re a Disney fan (who isn’t?), you can get my $200 Disney Gift Card bonus offer for the Disney Visa here: Disneyland Freebies! How To Unlock Free Disney PhotoPass Downloads! Or, read on for how to get my Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card referral, which is perfect for appliance purchases!
Get a Better Discount on Appliances with these Credit Cards Points Tricks!
You can get a MUCH BIGGER discount at Sears if you have access to two things:
- A grocery store that offers fuel points for purchases (I shop at Fry’s in AZ, which is a Kroger store) and
- An American Express Blue Cash Preferred credit card.
6. Save money at Sears by earning fuel points at the grocery store.
Fry’s grocery store always offers two fuel points per dollar on gift cards, so $500 in gift cards equals 1000 fuel points, which is $1.00 off per gallon of gas for a fill-up.
If you can wait for a 4x fuel points offer (Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Graduation, Back to School, Thanksgiving, etc.) you’ll get twice as many fuel points per dollar. I was in a pinch because the fridge was dying, so I had to buy the Sears gift card with just 2x fuel points.
Be careful here, though: It is possible to rack up more fuel points than you can use. Fry’s fuel points are good for the rest of the month in which you earn them, and for one month after. But, if you have points from last month to use up too, you might find yourself planning roadtrips just to use up more gas.
I did not buy Sears gift cards to cover the entire purchase price of the fridge for three reasons:
- I might not use up that many fuel points before they expire. If I had bought enough gift cards to pay for the fridge, we would have earned 3340 fuel points. That’s good for $1 off each gallon for three fill-ups, plus 30 cents off each gallon for one fill-up.
Right now, our son is playing Little League, so we’re not traveling much during April and May. K.C.’s commute is a whopping 50 miles…per week. It is highly unlikely we’d fill up the cars a total of four times before the end of May (four fill-ups instead of three, because we still have $1 off a fill-up from March fuel points).
- I like to earn fuel points in sets of 1000. Buying gift cards that equal 3340 fuel points would give me 3 sets of 1000 points with a pesky 340-point remainder, which I could lose if I don’t use it right away and accidentally earn more than 340 fuel points the next month. That’s because Fry’s doesn’t let you choose which month of fuel points to pull from; the gas station pump will automatically credit the most points available, not the points that expire first. So if I have 340 points from March, and 1000 points from April, the gas pump will credit me $1 per gallon and take the 1000 April points. The 340 March points (worth 30 cents off per gallon) may expire before I need to get gas again.
3. I buy my gift cards with an American Express, and I don’t want to freak Amex out. For some reason, American Express doesn’t like it when people spend a huge amount of money at one time at the grocery store.
Twice, I’ve had to stand at the grocery store checkstand and call American Express when my total exceeded $1000. That’s actually great because it prevents fraud, and they pick up the phone right away, and release the card immediately.
But, people have reportedly not received their cashback points when they make big purchases at the grocery store. You’ll read why that could be a big problem in idea #7 here. My grocery store Amex purchases have always credited 6% cashback, including those purchases over $1000 each, but I don’t like to tempt fate, so I try to keep my grocery store purchases in what I’ve arbitrarily determined is a normal range, $550 or less.
I saved $17 on my Kenmore fridge by buying a $500 Sears gift card at Fry’s grocery store and earning 1000 fuel points.
1000 fuel points = $1 off per gallon for one fill-up up to 35 gallons. My car takes 17 gallons of gas, so for each fill-up, I save $17. If you have a bigger gas tank (up to 35-gallon capacity), you’d save more!
7. Save Money at Sears by using American Express Blue Cash Preferred card for 3% cash back!
The American Express Blue Cash Preferred card is my favorite credit card. Yes, it’s even better than the Disney Visa. And Amex Blue Cash Preferred keeps getting better: if you apply with my referral before 5/3/2017, you’ll get an extra cashback category that’s amazing: 10% cashback on restaurant purchases for 6 months, up to $2000 in restaurant charges—that’s a $200 bonus you could easily earn with all the extra dining out during summer vacation!
To get my referral for the best American Express Blue Cash Preferred card, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Amex Referral” in the subject line, and Amex will email you directly with my referral offer, which includes 10% cashback at restaurants if you sign up by 5/3/2017!
This is why Amex Blue Cash Preferred is such a great card for families:
- $150 bonus cashback after you spend $1000 within 3 months.
- 10% cashback at restaurants in first 6 months up to $2000 spend (you can earn $200 cashback!)
- 6% cashback at grocery stores up to $6000 spend each year (you can earn $360 cashback!)
- 3% cashback at gas stations (no limit!)
- 3% cashback at department stores (no limit!)
- 1% cashback on everything else (no limit!)
The annual fee is $95, which leaves you with a $55 cash bonus the first year. ($150-$95=$55) For future years, you can offset the $95 annual fee by spending just $133 at the grocery store each month—the rest of your cashback is gravy!
I got over $1200 cashback from Amex just from the Blue Cash Preferred card last year, and my spending habits are not crazy! The annual fee on this card is definitely worth it! My husband is opening his own Blue Cash Preferred card now so we can get the 10% cashback on restaurants this summer!
I saved $65.10 on a Sears fridge by using my Amex Blue Cash Preferred card:
- That $500 gift card I bought at Fry’s to earn fuel points in idea #6 also earned me $30 cashback on my Amex Blue Cash Preferred card:
I saved $30 on my Kenmore fridge by earning 6% cashback on my $500 Sears gift card purchase at Fry’ grocery store with my Amex Blue Cash Preferred card!
- After I applied the $500 gift card to my fridge purchase on Sears.com, I paid the remaining balance with my American Express Blue Cash Preferred card, which earns 3% cashback at department stores:
I saved $35.10 on my Kenmore fridge by getting 3% cashback with my Amex Blue Cash Preferred card!
8. Save money on a Sears appliance by paying less sales tax.
- Pick up your appliance at a Sears in a city with a lower sales tax rate
You probably can’t do this if you buy a fridge, but if you buy a lighter appliance (like a dishwasher or kitchen range) you may be able to pick up your appliance at the store of your choice.
Sears usually offers free delivery on appliances over $400 but you will be charged the sales tax rate at the delivery site, i.e., your home.
That’s great if you live in a city with a low tax rate relative to nearby cities, but in my case, I live in the city with the highest sales tax rate in the Phoenix metro, so I do everything I can to NOT do business in the city of Glendale, AZ, especially for large purchases!
If I had just bought a dishwasher, or something easier to transport than a refrigerator, I would have picked up the appliance at a local Sears store with a better sales tax rate.
On this purchase, I could have saved an extra $9.18 by driving an extra 8 miles roundtrip to a Sears store in Phoenix with a 8.6% sales tax rate instead of paying Glendale’s 9.2% sales tax rate. That was definitely money worth losing, since the delivery guys easily wheeled the fridge into my home and hooked it up to the water line for me.
I saved $15.64 in sales tax on my Kenmore fridge because I lowered the purchase price by 10% thanks to that great online coupon I found (see idea # 4).
On a large purchase like a fridge, you can see why it’s so important to get the very lowest price possible: not only will you pay less on the purchase, you’ll pay less sales tax too!
How to get a better discount on appliances at Sears: Results!
$1699 sale price of Kenmore fridge (model 51862 in white; remember to start at Ebates!)
-$170 10% off Sears appliances coupon code 982033773267
-$25.05 1.5% cashback from Ebates
-$17 gas discount from 1000 fuel points earned on $500 Sears gift card purchased at the grocery store
-$30 6% cashback Amex Blue Cash Preferred on $500 grocery store purchase (gift card)
-$35.10 3% cashback Amex Blue Cash Preferred on $1170 department store purchase (Sears.com)
$1421.85 Total I paid for Kenmore fridge after all cashback and discounts!
-$15.64 extra discount on sales tax because I saved $170 by buying online with a coupon code the salesman wouldn’t offer me in the store!
$1406.21 total before tax.
Including sales tax, I would have spent $1855.30 if I bought the fridge at a Sears store.
After all discounts/cashback and including sales tax, I spent $1562.62 by buying online at Sears.com.
I saved more than $300 using the various discounts outlined above, instead of paying the sale price in-store like a chump. However, I could have used the fuel points discount and/or the American Express Blue Cash Preferred discount if I bought in-store, so I’m only calculating the EXTRA savings I got by ordering my fridge online:
I saved $210.69 by buying online—that’s only counting the discounts I got online that were not available in-store:
- -$25.05 Ebates cash back
- -$170 10% coupon code
- -15.64 sales tax saved on the $170 coupon discount
$210.69 Total money saved by buying my fridge online instead of in-store!
That’s an extra 12% off the sale price, and with all my discounts (including fuel points and Amex cash back) I saved 16% off the sale price!
Plus, I got a free $25 Shop Your Way rewards bonus points (as part of the terms of that 10% off Sears appliances over $499 coupon) in addition to $15 in Shop Your Way rewards bonus points for the dollar amount of my purchase. I am not counting these freebies in my savings, but it’ll be great to get free stuff from Sears or Kmart—they always have cute Disney and Star Wars t-shirts, so I’ll get $40 of Disney vacation clothes for free!
How you can save even more money on Sears appliances
I was in a hurry because my fridge was dying, so I missed out on some extra savings. If you can plan your appliance purchase a couple months in advance, you can get these extra discounts:
- Buy enough Sears gift cards at the grocery store with your American Express Blue Cash Preferred card to cover your entire purchase, and buy your Sears gift cards during a 4x fuel points promotion so you get double the gas savings. (If you don’t use a lot of gas, spread this out over several 4x fuel points promotions.)
- If I had done this, I would have saved $423.09 or 23% off—and if I did tandem gas fill-ups (details in Disneyland on a Budget) or had a bigger gas tank, I could have saved even more!
Also, I’ll be checking Sears.com weekly to make sure Sears doesn’t run a better sale on my fridge, because Sears will do a price adjustment within 30 days of purchase.
Here are the links once more to help you get the best discounts on appliances:
- Get an extra $10 gift card when you sign up for a new Ebates account with my referral!
- Email me at email@example.com with subject “Amex Referral” to get the best Amex referral including 10% cashback at restaurants if you apply by 5/3/17!
- The email invitation will come directly from American Express, I don’t need any of your personal information!
- Did you miss the 5/3/17 cutoff for 10% cashback at restaurants? You can still get all the other bonuses and benefits for the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card with my referral, and I’ll update here when Amex offers any additional cashback bonuses.
Did I miss any discounts that you use? Is brick and mortar shopping dead? How do you get the best price on big purchases like appliances?