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A Complete Guide on Buying Kitchen Equipment Online

A Complete Guide on Buying Kitchen Equipment Online

With the advent of ecommerce, nearly everything can be bought online now. Combined with the current health and safety measures enacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the practice of online shopping has become a mainstay in the “new normal.”  However, it can have drawbacks—mainly that you cannot see the product in person or test its functionalities.

Buying kitchen tools, equipment, and other similarly-priced items online can seem high-risk for little gain. However, you can find great deals on essential and specialized equipment if you shop smart. This article will provide you with a top-to-bottom guide on buying kitchen equipment online.

What to Look for When Buying Kitchen Equipment Online

If this is your first time buying kitchen equipment online, here are some of the things you should immediately look for to have a hassle-free experience:

    1. Price

There is a vast array of kitchen equipment in the market with an equally extensive range of prices. These prices can vary depending on the equipment’s manufacturer, year manufactured, quality, and other factors. 

Knowing the ballpark estimate for the specific equipment you’re looking for can help you avoid suspicious listings that seem too good to be true. Additionally, any reputable shopping platform should clearly indicate a product’s price and if this total includes shipping or additional perks.

    1. User reviews

While you can’t test the product for yourself, user reviews can provide information on how the equipment works and performs in person. The key to properly browsing user reviews is to read both positive and negative ones. 

Even if a piece of equipment is highly-rated, negative reviews can give you insight into other flaws that may not be apparent from the positive reviews or the product description itself.

    1. Warranty

Sometimes, kitchen equipment can break without warning. Having a warranty for your equipment gives you a safety net for a certain amount of time, helping you avoid hefty repair or replacement costs. A warranty’s length and scope can differ between products, manufacturers, and retailers. 

Take note of the details for the available warranty while browsing product listings. Don’t be afraid to compare prices and terms to find the one with the most value. Some retailers will offer an extended warranty with longer coverage for a higher price.

    1. Energy consumption information

An essential part of planning out your restaurant kitchen is knowing how much energy a piece of equipment uses. Having energy consumption information on a product gives you more details to factor into your overall layout and helps you avoid less energy-efficient models. 

Steer clear from listings that do not provide these specifications. Otherwise, you may end up with a power guzzler or something incompatible with your current electrical setup.

    1. Delivery and installation options

When buying certain types of kitchen equipment, sellers may offer delivery and installation options. These will differ depending on the seller. The costs for these services can be included in the product price or paid as an add-on. 

Make sure to pay close attention to these details to confirm if you can avail them in your location. Weigh the pros and cons of having your chosen retailer make the installation over hiring a different contractor or service professionals.

    1. Customer service

Good customer service is a must at every step of the purchase, as well as after your item arrives. Even after the sale, you may need to contact customer service to clarify how to operate your equipment or coordinate with them to redeem the warranty. 

When buying from an online seller, familiarize yourself with their customer service channels—email, telephone, mobile phone, or even social media. If you’re purchasing from a retailer or reseller, take note if product issues should be coursed through them or brought directly to the manufacturer. 

Be wary of shopping sites that are unresponsive to customer inquiries or notorious for bad customer service.

    1. Return and exchange policy

A return and exchange policy comes into play if a product doesn’t work or is defective. Pay attention to the specific details in your chosen retailer’s policy—the length of time you can make returns, what defects are covered, whether you can get a full or partial refund, what you can exchange your defective product for, and so on. 

Keep documentation of your transaction on hand in case you need to file a return or exchange.

How to Get the Best Price Online

After checking the must-haves for the product listings online, it’s typical to have options to get the best value for your money. Take a look at the tips below to get the ideal price online for your allotted budget:

    1. Don’t settle for the first product you see

It can be tempting to settle on the first product you find, especially if you’re having a hard time finding listings of it. However, you might end up paying more than expected or with something that doesn’t work as well as you need it. With online shopping being available anytime and anywhere, take your time in finding the right listing.

    1. Check and compare across platforms and sellers

One of the most significant benefits of online shopping is that you can simultaneously check multiple retailers. This gives you a more extensive range of platforms and sellers to shop around. When comparing prices, look at the product’s base price and any inclusions like warranty, shipping, installation, and so on. 

If you’re shopping over a long period of time, check if prices change during certain months or seasons. There are online applications that let you view a selected product’s price change from different retailers. Pick the retailer that offers you a competitive price with benefits you’re sure to use.

    1. Look for discounts and rebates

Unless you urgently need to replace your kitchen equipment, delaying your purchase to line up with scheduled sales can help lower the costs. Many retailers and shopping platforms have sales throughout the year, making it easier to time your purchase.

Aside from sales, there are other ways to get products at a reduced price. Various retailers, third-party sites, and even payment modes offer discounts and rebates on purchases. These can come in the form of cashback apps, rewards or loyalty programs, credit card promos, and so on. Take full advantage of these opportunities, and don’t be afraid to ask if you can redeem them together.

    1. Ask for bundle options

If you’re shopping for multiple pieces of restaurant kitchen equipment, you can ask your chosen retailer for bundle options. With this, making multiple purchases with one seller can end up costing much less than buying each product individually from different retailers.

Some bundles allow you to purchase certain products together from a single store or seller at reduced prices. Alternatively, some retailers may offer inclusion bundles instead. Even though you may not get a discounted price, you may be given additional warranties, reduced or waived shipping fees, free installation, and more at no extra cost.

Tips for Buying Kitchen Equipment Online

Still second-guessing if you should buy your kitchen equipment online? We listed more tips and tricks so you can have an easy-peasy online shopping experience:

    1. Do your research

It is essential that you know what equipment you need and the specific requirements for each before making a purchase. Read user reviews and other online resources to identify specific models to consider. 

What may work for Michelin star chefs may not work for your restaurant kitchen. Instead, focus on what can make your setup functional and ease your kitchen’s workflow.

    1. Keep measurements in mind

Exact measurements are critical when buying kitchen equipment online. Before diving into product listings, measure the space you have for the equipment, as well as the spaces needed for airflow, wiring, door movement, and so on. 

Take note of and measure, as well, the spaces that the equipment will pass through before installation into your kitchen. These measurements can make or break your purchases—the perfect oven or refrigerator is useless if you can’t get it through the door.

    1. Set a budget

Kitchen equipment can be expensive, especially when it comes to high-end or more sophisticated models. Setting your budget before buying lets you manage your expectations and narrows down your search. When building your budget, you may need to consider both the upfront costs of your kitchen supplies and the costs for maintenance, operation, and other associated expenses.

    1. Never buy on impulse

The first step to regret is buying a product on impulse. Big sales, additional features, and innovative designs can be tempting. However, you are more likely to end up buying something that will not work for your current restaurant kitchen. Spend your money the smart way and plan out your purchases in advance.

    1. Double-check your cart

Some retailers will try to add extra items into your cart that you neither requested for and don’t need. Make it a habit to double-check all the items in your cart before checking out. Once the transaction is complete, confirm if the amount displayed lines up with the amount on your invoice and other payment statements. 

Build Your Dream Kitchen

As a consumer, it’s hard to trust online stores right away. It surely takes a lot of research, guesswork, and time. Luckily, Charlie’s Fixtures has made a commitment to always deliver quality kitchen, restaurant, and catering equipment. Shop now or simply browse our products today!

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