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Second Hand Freezers - Used Chest Freezer & 2nd Hand Upright

Updated on August 24, 2014

Buying a used freezer need not be a gamble if you know what you are looking for and plan ahead accordingly. You need to make sure you ask the right questions, plan how much you want to spend and not be pushed into spending more and know what to look for to ensure you are getting a good, fully functional second hand appliance and not a hunk of junk with a miriad of problems.

Firstly, decide exactly what kind of second hand freezer you are searching for. There are a number of varieties to choose from including used chest freezers, which take up more horizontal space than vertical but you have to reach down and inside to pull out your frozen food. Some people hate these and if you've ever had to dig your way to the bottom to find what you are looking for it is easy to see why. The alternative stand alone unit is a used upright freezer which has shelves or drawers and should allow you to be better organized but, some say, store less food inside. Or, you might want a fridge freezer combination which typically features either a fridge on top and frozen food section below with the space equally divided between each, or side by side doors or has a larger chiller section and a smaller frozen food compartment above it.

Whichever you are looking for, make sure you ask the seller beforehand if you are replying to an ad you have seen to ensure you don't have a wasted journey and that you are not swayed into buying something else just because the price looks appealing. You also need to make sure you assess how much space you have available as the size can vary quite widely. Ask these kinds of questions before you get to a seller's house or you are just wasting your time and theirs. If you're heading out to look at refurbished models or store sales then make sure you have these measurements with you and include height, depth and width measurement.

Once you have decided upon the kind of secondhand appliance you are in the market for you need to know where to look and what you are looking for. For most of us, we are considering a used model because its cheaper, although for others, it might just be because it is a greener alternative to reuse rather then contribute to the production of yet another kitchen appliance. Anyway, for most, its the price. We are trying to find an inexpensive replacement to a broken product or because we are moving somewhere new and need one in a hurry and haven't the funds to spend on a new one and we know the best way to find a bargain is to browse preowned freezers for sale.

Buying used is not the only solution however, you might also like to look at scratch and dent freezers and discounted models from online stores and offline retail markdowns as sometimes its surprising how much you can save. Some retail outlets often offer free shipping for larger items too so you can save money there as well.

There is a difference between a second hand freezer for sale by its owner through something like Craigslist and that of a refurbished freezer sold by a retail store or other professional refurbished appliance retailer. These appliances are taken by the refurbisher, fully tested and any malfunctioning or overly worn parts are replaced with new ones. Some of these places will also deliver and install it for you which can be a major headache avoided especially if you lack the kind of transportation which can effectively transport a bulky kitchen appliance back to your home. Typically you can expect to receive a warrantee with these machines too which will range from a few months to up to year with either on site or a return policy protecting your purchase. Be aware, as always, that unless you have that on site warrantee, you are going to have to return it yourself to the retailer and waiting for a fix or a replacement...not so great when you are talking about storing your frozen food somewhere until it comes back from being repaired.

Preowned freezers sold by the owner themselves are something more of an unknown commodity and should therefore be treated a little differently. You will not get any kind of warrantee with this kind of sale, although you can always ask them for something like a written agreement that if it breaks down in 30 days they'll give you your money back if you feel brave enough. When you buy an appliance this way you need to make sure you do a little of your own investigative sleuthing yourself to make sure you are getting something which is not already full of problems. You aren't saving money if you have repairs to do straight away or worse, end up having to dispose of it yourself because of unfixable issues.

One of the things to look out for is the condition of the freezer door gaskets. You need to make sure the lid produces a good tight seal or you are going to have problems with maintaining the internal temperature and icing up. The dollar bill test is recommended here - close the door on a dollar bill. If you can pull it out easily then it isn't sealing well enough, move on or get a discount as this is a repair you'll need to make.

Another thing to pay particular attention to is smells. If you are buying a used freezer (particularly from a private seller) then you need to make sure it doesn't have any weird odors which can happen with older models. You'd be surprised what people store in their frozen food appliances and a power outage of some kind can lead to food defrosting and worse, rotting in there. Those smells get into the lining and are really hard to remove once they occur and even when you think it has gone, the bad smell of something gross like rotting meat will continue to attract flies and bugs way down the line even if you can't detect it any more. They're sense of is much better than ours.

You want to check around the back and look at the coils and motor to see how well it has been maintained, paying special attention to things like rust which definitely should not be there and are a sign of more serious problems. If the freezer is off when you arrive, you should ask why and how long it has been sitting around without power. It's best if you call ahead of time and make sure it is actually switched on and running before you visit, if not, you are going to have to put a lot of trust in the seller's word. You can also check out things like the temperature and operating noise levels yourself to ensure there are no issues here.

Buying a used model from a private seller is always something more of a risk than buying remanufactured or refurbished freezer from a retail store but the savings can be better so long as you are careful and have the means to haul it away and install it yourself.

Buy New and Save 50% or Higher

There are a few alternatives to chosing to buy a secondhand freezer and that is to look for an inexpensive alternative at a discounted price.

Often retailers offer end of line freezers at discount prices to clear the last of their stock out of their showrooms. Or, you might find a shop floor model which has received a minor scratch or ding somewhere along the line being reduced in price and this too can save you money for what is otherwise a totally new and unused appliance. Some stores have their outlets online, others you will have to look locally for, a quick search on your favorite search engine for the name of a store you are interested in and the word "outlet" will quickly lead you in the right direction. For example, both Sears and BestBuy have their outlets online with some nice savings to be found therein. Scratch and dent freezers are another alternative and again, you will find these either in the store itself at a discount or in their appliance outlet stores. Appliances are something which tend to go on sale a lot as well with buy on get one free offers or big percentage discounts, especially around those special days like Black Friday, New Years Day sales etc. so if you are not in an urgent hurry to replace a broken appliance there are opportunities to save here as well.


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