A new survey predicts 2012 will be a year of cutbacks, with shoppers spending less money on everything apart from food and clothes.
Spending on electricals and home improvements is expected to drop by about £900m, according to experts from retail research firm Verdict, as households rein in their spending. But if you do have an essential appliance that’s nearing the end of its days, Which? has put together five top tips to help you get the most for your money.
1. Repair the old one
A recent Which? investigation revealed that, in general, household appliances are more difficult than ever to fix cheaply, but there are some faults you can correct yourself, for free. Our interactive tools will help you diagnose and fix minor faults, and advise you when a problem is more serious – see our washing machine repair tool and dishwasher repair tool.
2. Buy the best with Which?
At Which?, our in-depth reviews go further than other reviews so our Best Buy products are noticeably better than the rest on all the important aspects – for example, this video shows the differences you’ll see with a Best Buy washing machine.
Which? members can log in to read all of our reviews. If you’re not a member, you can sign up for a trial to Which? for £1 and get access to hundreds of product reviews as well as other member benefits, such as our Money Helpline and members’ recommendation site, Which? Local.
3. Choose a reliable brand
All our Best Buys are reliable products or have a market-leading warranty. We survey Which? members and the general public to find out how reliable they’ve found the products they own, and include reliability scores in all our major product reviews, from washing machines to cars. Have a look at our best tumble dryer brands pages for an example.
4. Shop around
At Which? we’ve surveyed more than 11,000 shoppers to find out which shops they rate the best and worst for product range, product quality, customer service, pricing and returns.
The results of our survey will help you pick the best retailer for a hassle-free shopping experience.
5. Buy at the right time
While January is typically a great time to pick up a bargain, it’s possible to get good deals all year round.
Our deals calendar lists when shops clear their old stock and sell it at a discount to make way for new products.
- See our guide to the best bargains in the January sales
- Find out when is the best time to grab a home appliance bargain
- Read our guide to your shopping rights