Consumer Confidential: buying a refrigerator

Make sure you know exactly what you want before you go shopping. You'll avoid paying for bells and whistles you won't use.

If your refrigerator is preforming poorly â?? it may be on the fritz.

Now is a good time to be on the lookout for deals as stores will be making way for new models before the end of the year.

When large appliances, like the refrigerator, donâ??t operate properly or break down, homeowners often face a difficult decision: do I repair or replace it?

Hereâ??s a good rule of thumb: If itâ??s more than ten years old and itâ??s broken down, you might want to consider a new one - especially if the cost for repairing it is half the cost of a new refrigerator.

When buying a refrigerator there a lot of different styles and types you can choose from. First, you want to consider what you want in your refrigerator because you could end up paying for lots of bells and whistles that you may never use. An average refrigerator may cost about $400, but you can spend up into the thousands for one. Also remember you want to be sure that it matches your current appliances because that is going to help with your resale value.

It pays to comparison shop when buying a fridge. Donâ??t be afraid to negotiate on the price, or haggle on additional fees such as delivery, installation or an extended warranty.

You could also find a scratch and dent refrigerator for hundreds less. Most are brand new and come with a full warranty.

Some dings are barely noticeable, but make sure the dents wonâ??t prevent the appliance from running properly.