Buying a machine for your laundry isn't rocket science, as you probably know. But it does help to keep a few considerations in mind before you spend your money.
- Make sure you see the washing machine working, or at least powering up before you buy
This may not always be possible, the seller may have already disconnected all of the plumbing from the machine and may not be storing it near a power point. If a seller wants your money, he or she should at least be able to move the machine (with a little help) near to a wall socket so that they can at least show that it powers up.
- Get a receipt and guarantee that you can return the machine to the seller if it doesn't work properly
It's your right to ask for a receipt and to ask the seller to write a note on the receipt stating that you can return it if it doesn't work. You would want this, especially if for some reason the seller can't show it working. If the seller refuses to do this, politely walk away. If a seller tells you they won't accept a return at all, again, walk away.
- Why is the seller selling the machine?
It's not a rude question to ask, and the answer will help you ascertain whether the machine is working correctly. Maybe the seller has just bought a larger or more up to date washing machine, making th one he/she is selling surplus to requirement. Maybe the seller found it by the road (unlikely). If the seller is moving away, say that same day, and won't give you their new address, again, politely walk away.
- Don't buy a badly wired machine
Check the wiring of the washing machine. If it looks like somebody has been at it with a nail clipper and roll of transparent sellotape (or insulation tape), don't buy it. It may well not work at all, and even worse; you may be injured using it, it is an electrical appliance that holds water after all. While it may be expensive, it may be worth asking an electrician to view the machine with you before you buy.
- Don't pay before delivery, if the seller is able to deliver.
I'm sure you have enough common sense to figure that one out already, but some people do get caught out. If a seller can deliver to your house, don't pay until it actually arrives at your house, especially if you haven't seen the machine first.
- Don't buy from a man with a van who can deliver in 10 minutes
Further to number 2 above, we've all seen those ads on certain classified ad sites where the seller tells you he/she can deliver a washing machine to you right away, without you having to go and see it. You don't know where the seller lives in case you have to return the machine, not worth the risk.