The Appliance Cycle
As most retailers working in the product category know, major household appliances represent infrequent and costly consumer purchases—these appliances are often bought less frequently than family vehicles, and some major appliances follow their owners from home to home without incident or need for repair. In spite of this, recent research done by the firm of Wilkie and Dickson indicates 36 percent of all of consumers' major appliance purchases were due to equipment failure, which forced replacement. An additional 24 percent purchased appliances because their existing units needed repair.
Some repair specialists wish to debunk the idea that a major appliance in need of service should necessarily need to be replaced.
"The very question, 'How long should an appliance last?' totally ignores the fact that all appliances are composed of thousands of different electrical and mechanical parts made at different factories all over the world," says Scott Brown, chief appliance repair expert from New London, NH's Samurai Appliance Repair. "The term, 'appliance life expectancy' actually refers to the collective life expectancy of all these different, interacting parts. Appliances don't actually die, you know. They're not people—they're machines. Their internal parts break or wear out, and, most of time, broken or worn parts can be replaced cost-effectively The whole machine doesn't always have to be trashed if it stops working."