What You Should Know When Shopping for a New Appliance or TV: The Model Number Matters

by on July 27, 2012

in Tips & How To's

When you’re in the market for a new appliance such as a refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher, range, etc or TV, it’s very important that you know you’re comparing the same two appliances or TVs when you’re comparing prices.

The best way to do that is to start at the manufacturer’s website. Manufacturers list all their current model numbers right there online. That will be your common thread when comparing prices, reviews and more.

Sometimes when you search appliances or TVs online or in the stores, you’ll see what’s called a SKU number or item number. That is not the same as a model number. SKU numbers are unique codes only relevant to the particular store using it. Stores use them internally to easily manage inventory, but they’re worthless to a consumer for comparison shopping.

To give either the big box stores or the independent store a competitive advantage manufacturers offer derivative models.  A derivative model is an exclusive model to the retailer. For example, you may find a washing machine at one store that looks just about the same as a washing machine at another store. They might both be white top load washers made by GE. But the one you found at the first store is a derivative model and the one you found at the second store is the regular manufacturer’s model. They look the same, but do not be surprised if there are a few features that are different.  That’s why model numbers are so important when you try to compare the prices of machines at different stores. It could be like comparing apples and oranges.

Finally, model numbers will indicate the color of the appliance. So it’s very important if you want a stainless steel appliance to be sure that you’re not getting the price (or even worse, ordering) a white or black appliance. Heads up… every brand is different on how they identify a color in their model number. For instance, Frigidaire color reference is the 10th digit in the model number and they have 16 letters that represent colors. Below is an example of a Frigidaire Refrigerator FGUN2642L”?” that comes in three colors…. “E” means Ebony Black, “F” means Stainless Steel and “P” means Pearl White.

Frigidaire French Door Refrigerator in Stainless Steel FGUN2642LF

Mrs. G TV & Appliances sales consultants are trained and knowledgeable about the products we offer and happy to answer any questions you have. When you call or stop in with a manufacturer’s model number we just might have a derivative exclusive to the independent retailer that gives you a few more features for the same competitive price or maybe less.

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