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Don't buy extended warranties

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Buying a car?  You get the pitch.  Purchasing a major appliance?  You get the pitch.  Shelling out a chunk of your payday on a new TV?  You get the pitch.

Don't 'buy' into any pitch pushing you to purchase an extended warranty.  They're not worth it.

First off, if you are buying a quality product, there really is no need to purchase an extended warranty.  The standard warranty provided by the manufacturer is ample. 

Second, the odds of having to make a repair on the product you purchased range from 5 - 37% according to consumer reports. 

Third, the cost of the repair - IF that happens - is much more likely to be less than the cost of the extended warranty being offered.

Let's say you're buying a used car, average miles, 2-years-old...  The salesman is really pushing you to buy a 12-month, bumper-to-bumper extended warranty at a cost of $1,700 (figured into your car loan, adding another $30 or so to the monthly payment).   The likelihood that you'll have a $1,700 repair on a 2-year-old car in the next 15 months (a typical 90 day dealer warranty + 12 month extended warranty) is slim and remember that the salesman is pushing the extended warranty because he works on a commission.  He is NOT offering you an extended warranty because it's in your best interest.  Frankly, if a salesman is pushing that hard, I'd be looking for a vehicle at another dealership.

Suppose you purchase a new laptop computer for $700.  The guy at Best Buy convinces you to purchase a "Protection Plan" for 2 years for another $100.   You make the purchase on your cash rewards credit card.  Odds are, nothing will go wrong with your laptop.  If something does happen, it's most likely to happen soon after purchase and will be covered by the manufacturers warranty.  While you're waiting for something to 'go wrong' with your laptop, you're paying interest for a 'Protection Plan' that isn't being used (unless you have the good habit of paying off purchases every month... but that's another story for another day....)  And if by chance something does happen and it's past the manufacturer's warranty, you're probably covered by your credit card company.   Did you know many cash reward cards offer to double the length of the manufacturer's warranty, free of charge?  That's information you could use before making the laptop purchase.  Check with your card company.

Don't get marketed.  Avoid the exclusions and fine print that extended warranties come with.  Keep that money in your pocket.

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