Thrift stores, consignment shops and estate sales are three of the best non-conventional places to purchase appliances. Buying from an estate sale or thrift store can save a purchaser significant money on appliances that are in good condition, but be aware that warranties and returns are not usually included.
Small appliances such as blenders, mixers, toaster ovens and microwave ovens are often plentiful at thrift stores and consignment shops. While these items are often older models, in most cases they have much of the functionality of newer models at a fraction of the price.
Larger appliances are more difficult to locate at thrift or consignment stores, though some larger consignment stores do take refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers into inventory. Specialized appliance resellers are a better bet for those looking for large kitchen and laundry appliances. These consignment dealers typically inspect used wares for usability and safety, so buyers run less of a risk of buying a dangerous or non-functional appliance. Some resellers sell appliances that are new enough to still be under warranty, so it is important to determine if the warranty transfers to new owners when purchasing such an appliance.
Both small and large appliances are available at estate sales. Depending on when the appliances in the estate sale were purchased, it may be possible to get nearly-new devices at a discount with careful shopping.