Should You Repair Or Replace That Broken Item?

(Memphis) Repair or replace? It’s a question we all face when a product or appliance breaks down.

WREG is On Your Side with an easy guide that will hopefully save you time and money when answering that question.

You’re likely going to have to spend some money, but when and whether to repair or replace a product often makes the difference in how much you shell out.

To eliminate some of the guess work, Consumer Reports compiled a year by year timeline for appliances, electronics, and lawn equipment.

Celia Kuperszmid-Lehrman is a Deputy Content Editor at Consumer Reports. She spoke with WREG via Skype.

“You can look at our timelines and you can see this is about what it costs to buy a new one, we also have information about what the average costs of repairs are,” Lehrman said.

It’s all based on how old the product is when it breaks.

Consumer Reports’ rule of thumb is, don’t spend more than 50 percent of the cost of a new item on repairs.

For example, let’s say your television goes out and the new one you like costs $300. You should then spend $150 or less on repairs.

Lehrman said, “I think it’s good for people to have a general idea of at what point it starts to really not pay to repair something.”

Consumer Reports also found some products break more easily than others.

Side-by-side refrigerators with ice makes have a repair rate of 31 percent.

Laptops have a repair rate of 24 percent and front loaders, 22 percent.

Another way to save is to do it yourself.

“Depending on where you are, it can cost you $75, $80 just to have a repair person show up to your house,” Lehrman said.

Sites like Repair Clinic and of course YouTube are great options for consumers who want to tackle the job themselves, or just take in a bit more information.

Lehrman said, “It also may mean that, that gives you a comfort level because when the repair person comes to the house, you kind of already have a sense of what the parts are going to cost and what work is involved.”

Experts say if a product breaks while its still under warranty, call a factory-authorized repair shop.

Otherwise, get plenty of quotes.

Also, whether you’re going to repair or replace, make sure to haggle for the best deal.

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