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How to Price a Used Washer & Dryer

Lorna Hordos

Pricing a used washer and dryer involves a bit of homework, so that you don't undersell, as the vendor, or overpay, as the buyer.

It doesn't matter if you're on the buying or selling side of a washer and dryer purchase, making a fair deal is a main goal. Setting or spotting a fair price involves looking at the condition and comparisons particular to each appliance.

Condition Counts

Just because a washer or dryer is relatively new -- maybe less than five years old -- doesn't ensure that it's in excellent operating condition. If the pair were workhorses to a family of nine, compared to seldom-used appliances owned by a retired couple who spent the winters away, for instance, that's going to make a difference. Familiarize yourself with common washer or dryer problems, such as a faulty start switch or failing heating element, so that you know what to look for on the buying side.

If you're selling a poorly functioning machine, note the problem and lower the value accordingly; or, get it repaired and offer the receipt as proof, tucking the cost into the price.

Apples to Apples

As when shopping for a new toaster or car, the washer and dryer manufacturer, make and model matter, so noting these descriptions is best. Providing the original price in the ad is OK, especially if it was a costly top-of-the-line set. If you can't remember how much you paid for the pair or individual machines originally, research today's prices for similar ones. You can expect to charge up to half the price of new appliances, depending on factors, including condition and age.

Also, consider features and function; originally, a new, top-notch gas dryer, say, may only have cost 10 percent to 15 percent more than a new electric one of equal quality, but the gas-heated version can reduce the energy cost by about half comparatively, explains the Consumer Energy Center. List this money-saving perk, and if either machine has a steam setting, is high-efficiency, a large-capacity model or front-loading.

Price Points

Resources to help you set the appliances' prices or the set's price include:

  • Classified ads, listing similar machines.
  • Used appliance shops, but note that their appliances probably are overhauled and come with a short warranty.
  • Secondhand stores.

Use these venues to shop for cheap washers and dryers, too, but also watch the online and print freebies listings, if you're looking for no-cost bargains.

About the Ad

You can expect to find or list a used laundry duo in one or more advertising venues:

  • Newspaper classifieds -- online or in print.
  • Classified advertisement websites, such as Craigslist or Kijiji.
  • Local bulletin boards.
  • Social media feeds.

If it's feasible, post a photo of the pair, showing color, age and condition to boost the chance of a sale. With an online ad, you may be able to include additional pictures, zooming in on the washer and dryer settings panels, the brand logo, any energy-saving stickers, which are especially important for appliances that heat, such as dryers, and any major dents or scratches to show honesty -- and avoid pointless showings to shoppers who won't buy appliances that appear in rough condition. If the price is negotiable, write that; if you plan to offer delivery -- for a fee -- note that too.