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Broken DryerMy wife was doing a load of laundry the other day, but when she went to put the laundry in the dryer, the clothes would not dry. Has this happened to you? If so, you know how frustrating it can be. As a temporary solution, I went to the store and bought some inexpensive clothesline so that we could dry our clothes the old fashioned way. I felt like I had been transported back in time as I looked at our clothes hanging over every chair and on a piece of string on the back patio.

My Youtube Experience – Why Wont My Dryer Heat

I found a video explaining why my dryer wouldn’t heat and I realized that it might not be worth fixing; At least not worth me trying to fix it. I looked up the part that I thought needed to be replaced, a heating element, and it was going for around $140. I only paid a total of $150 for both the washer and dryer a few years ago on Craigslist, so I thought I should look into replacing the dryer instead of fixing it.

The Used Appliance Shop

My next move was to call B & B Appliances, the used and slightly dented appliance shop that I have gone to before. I gave them a ring and the salesman told me it would be $219 for a reconditioned model and another $40 for delivery. That didn’t even include tax, so we were looking to pay around $300 to buy one from their store.

The Retired Elevator Repair Guy on Craigslist

I then decided to check Craigslist for a dryer that looked similar to the one we had and I found one for $75 with free delivery. I thought this might be too good to be true, however, since I had purchased the set before for $150 with free delivery, I decided to give him a call. The gentleman’s name was Bill but he went by the nickname “Scrappy”. He was a well-mannered, older gentleman who retired from his job in Boston as an elevator repairmen. He said that he buys broken washers and dryers, fixes them and then resells them. Not only that, he includes a 30 day warranty, to put your mind at ease of buying a used appliance.

He brought out the dryer that he was planning to sell to me but unfortunately the knob fell off on the way over to my house. Instead of the trip being wasted, he asked if he could check out my dryer. After testing it, he said that he should be able to fix it back at his shop and that he would bring it back the same day. And that is exactly what he did. He fixed our dryer and delivered it back to our home for a total of $75! This was even better than I had expected AND we were able to keep the dryer that matched our washer.

Buyer Beware

Now, I am sure that some of you who are reading this are really skeptical of this whole process and how trusting I was of this guy “Scrappy” that I had never met before. Here are some points to keep in mind to assist you if you ever find yourself in this position:

1. Make sure they have a reason to come back – Since he took my broken dryer, it is possible that he would have not returned it. However, he had multiple washers & dryers for sale, so if he couldn’t fix it I would have bought one of those from him. So he had an incentive to come back.

2. Look for signs that verify the legitimacy of the person you are buying from – He had an actual sign on the back of his trailer that said “Scrappy’s Used Appliances”. I understand that anyone can make a sign, but this guys story lined up all the way with which made me more comfortable about the whole ordeal.

3. Ask them questions to make sure they know what they are doing – I had asked him about his experience as an elevator repairman and how long he had been fixing broken appliances. He had been doing it for a number of years and he said that dryers were much easier to fix the elevators. He also said that it gave him an outlet to use his tools and kept him productive during retirement.

4. Ask to see the parts – He showed me the old broken heating element and explained how the dryer worked. This guy was genuine and I could tell that he knew what he was talking about.

Buying used items on craigslist is a risky process. I don’t recommend it for everyone, however, it has the potential to save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over the long run. Please make sure to proceed with caution and ask the right questions.

The Takeaway

Don’t let your emotions take over in an experience like this. It can be easy to get frustrated and want to get brand new, top of the line appliances from Best Buy. However, you have to buy what you can afford. If it is not within your budget to spend $1,000 on a washer and dryer combo, then consider using Craigslist to find yourself an affordable solution.

Has your dryer ever broken? What did you end up doing?

Image Credit: Biblioteca de Arte