On the lookout for a new refrigerator? We've put together some handy tips on how to buy the right refrigerator for you online. Whether you know you need one of the best side-by-side refrigerators (opens in new tab), or you’ve got your heart set on the best French door refrigerators (opens in new tab), knowing where to find the top fridges can be time consuming.
With many of us spending more and more time at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, our appliances have become ever more important. Another effect of being stuck at home, also means we’re shopping online more for things we might have previously gone to see in a store.
There’s nothing more frustrating than paying out for a new appliance and then being disappointed with it once it arrives, so with these handy tips and tricks, we’ll give you all the advice on how to find the best refrigerator online.
With many huge retailers offering a vast range of refrigerators, and some offering cheap refrigerator deals (opens in new tab), here’s where you can start on your search for the perfect fridge at the right price.
1. Decide on your budget
Whether you want a fancy fridge or just one of the best mini fridges (opens in new tab), deciding on a budget is crucial so that you don’t overspend. Buying a fridge online can offer up an overwhelming amount of choice, and quite often, retailers will be promoting and pushing some of the most expensive refrigerators.
Factor in extra costs that come with buying a refrigerator online, such as delivery costs, installation costs, any prep work you may need doing beforehand, and potential removal of your old refrigerator. Take note that certain refrigerators with plumbed in ice makers will need a professional to fit a water pipe if you don’t already have one.
Aside from all that, the size of the refrigerator you need may dictate how much it costs too. For handy advice on making sure you take the right measurements, head over to our feature on how to measure up for a new fridge (opens in new tab).
2. Make a list of what’s important to you
While this sounds basic, making a list of what you need from your new refrigerator is key to narrowing down what could be an enormous search. For example:
- Is the overall look of the refrigerator the most important thing to you?
- Do you have your heart set on a certain color?
- Do you need a large capacity for storing plenty of food?
- Does the freezer need to have wide shelves or automatically defrost so you don’t have to manually do it?
- Do you want a refrigerator with smart features that you can control from your phone?
Perhaps, your list is more focused on how much you’ll need to spend and how much the refrigerator will cost you to run. Either way, once you’ve got your list, you’ll be able to use the retailer’s websites and use the search filter options to narrow down the results further, saving you time.
3. Decide on a new or an older model
This may sound strange as you might be thinking, why would you want an older model, but there’s good reason for this consideration. A brand new model from a brand will normally cost more and it won’t have been around for long enough to accumulate lots of user reviews. However, newer models are often, but not exclusively, more efficient and have more modern features.
A new, but older, refrigerator model will often be cheaper as newer versions are released. However, if you are opting for an older model, consider that spare parts may not be as widely available. If you’re unsure how long a refrigerator has been in production, the full specifications should list when it was first released.
4. Take note of the energy rating
If energy efficiency is high on your agenda, most retailers have filter options that let you select Energy Star rated refrigerators. If a fridge has this rating, it’ll be cheaper to run in the long run, but may cost more upfront because of that.
If your budget is tight, you may have to opt for a model that isn’t Energy Star rated, however, most modern fridges are more efficient than older ones now anyway.
5. Look at the warranty
Refrigerators should last around 10 years if they are of decent quality and well maintained. That’s why it’s important to take a look at how long the warranty is valid for, if it comes with one.
Many retailers and brands will offer warranty schemes where you pay a certain amount to protect your new appliance. Check first what your refrigerator comes with in terms of the warranty, before you splash out for any additional protection.
6. Check out the user reviews
If you’re going to be parting with a fair bit of cash, you want to know you’re getting good value for money. Taking a look at user reviews is a great way to gauge how good, or bad, a product is.
Whilst you obviously don’t want your new refrigerator to arrive damaged, try not to get so caught up in tales of dented deliveries, and instead focus on user reviews that state issues with the fridges themselves, as well as the benefits.
It’s worth looking at best sellers too, as quite often, they are best sellers for a reason.
7. Check the delivery information
If you’re going to buy your refrigerator online, it’s likely you’ll want it delivered too. Take note of any additional delivery charges and how long you can expect to wait until your new refrigerator arrives. It’s at this point, you can also take a look at user reviews that mention the customer service each retailer offers. Just in case you’re not 100% happy with your new refrigerator when it arrives, it’s also a good idea to check the returns policy.
If you’ve got an old refrigerator you need to dispose of, see if the retailer will take away your old model so that it can be recycled.