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All About Warranties

All About WarrantiesWhen purchasing a new product online, it is important to check the warranty of the item before you buy – especially if the item you are buying is expensive such as a TV or kitchen appliance. A product warranty guarantees that the product you are buying is free from manufacturer defects and will work correctly for a specified period of time. Although most name-brand products are built fairly well, things can always happen and your purchase may break unexpectedly which is why it is important to have a good warranty.  A long warranty will give you the peace of mind of being able to enjoy your new purchase without the stress of what-if’s . It is important that you find out what is covered by the warranty and what is not. Some product warranties such as those on a blender may only cover the blender and motor but the blades might not be covered for the same length of time.  Often times batteries on items such as laptops carry a much shorter warranty than the laptop itself. The best warranty will cover 100% of the product for the lifetime of the product under any circumstance.


Warranty Lengths

Most brand-name products you purchase have a minimum 1-year manufacturer warranty. This is the industry standard for items such as electronics and computers. Some lower-quality products have shorter warranties of only 1-3 months so make be cautious of these and always do your research prior to buying.


Lifetime Warranties

High-quality products will often come with lifetime warranties from the manufacturer. This generally means that the product is covered by the warranty for as long as you own it. These kinds of warranties are often found on cookware, tools and luggage. Of course, you end up paying more for these products that carry a lifetime warranty than ones with shorter warranties but they are generally worth the extra money. Do some price comparisons on the products, such as those here in our Reviews section, to see if the product is worth paying extra for and evaluate if a lifetime warranty is a valuable feature for you to have.


Buying Extended Warranties

Many retailers will offer you the option of purchasing an extended warranty. Be very careful with these as the warranty is generally through a third-party company and not connected to the retailer or manufacturer. Although the warranty may claim to cover your product for an additional 1-5 years for a low price, it can be difficult to make a claim with these companies and there is lot of small details and fine print. Think twice before purchasing an extended warranty, especially on items like digital cameras where you will probably only keep for a year or two before upgrading to a new model.


Additional Warranty Coverage from Credit Cards

Many credit cards provide additional warranty protection on products purchased with the card. Making a purchase with a credit card, either online or in-store, is always the safest since the credit cards can often refund a purchase even if a merchant refuses to do so. Some credit cards also provide extended warranties or 1 year or more. Contact your credit card provided directly to find out the details of the coverage they provide.


Warranties on Refurbished Products

Be careful if you purchase a product listed as “refurbished” and this means that the product was repaired once under warranty already. Although the manufacturer has fixed the product to its original state, the warranty on these products is generally 30 days or less.


Where To Find Your Warranty Information

Before making your new product purchase online, always read the warranty information first. This is generally found on the sellers website or product listing page. If no warranty is listed, contact the seller to find out if there is a warranty, what is covered and for how long the warranty lasts, before you purchase the product. Once you purchase your product, the warranty information is generally found on the back of the product packaging or in the product manual. Some products with lengthily warranties will come with a separate warranty booklet.


Making a Warranty Claim

If your product breaks and is still under warranty, it’s best to first call the store you purchased the  of the product from to inquire about returning it for repair or replacement. Some stores will direct you to call the manufacturer directly but most will take care of the warranty themselves.  The store will ask you to return the product to them either by mail or in person and after they examine the product to ensure it indeed broke or malfunctioned due to problem with the product, they will provide you with a new replacement product of the same make and model of the one you purchased. In some cases the store will offer to repair the product for you but this is generally not a good option as repair could take a while and you will usually not receive a loaner product for free. Always ask for a brand new replacement whenever possible.


Important
: You should always save your product receipts or invoices and store them somewhere safe and easy to retrieve.
Most online retailers save your order history online which can easily be retrieved later as proof of purchase.

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