Your Appliance is Damaged Upon Delivery. Now What?

Steve Sheinkopf  |  July 29, 2017  |  6 Min. Read

Appliance Delivery

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Before I talk to you about the very real and increasing appliance damage problem, I have important advice: First, never sign for any deliveries without inspecting the appliance.

Second, open every Package. Yes, even the small ones.

I will tell you why at the end. But if you do not read another line in this post, just remember to sign only when you are sure your product is free of any damage.

In the meantime, I will tell you why some products may be damaged upon delivery and here’s what to do about it. Damage could be a good opportunity to save money. More often, it could be a nightmare and a total waste of your time.

Why is Your Product Damaged?



There are a couple of reasons why your new product is in such rough shape.  First, the appliance business used to be in the Midwest, so the shipping was centrally located with a minimal amount of handling.

However, now you are buying your products from LG, Samsung, and Electrolux, which are based out of different parts of the world. More shipping means more handling and a greater chance of damage.



Back when I started, the packaging was all encompassing. You had the cardboard box, Styrofoam, and pallets underneath. Today appliances are shipped without boxes on many brands to save money, so they are more vulnerable to damage.

Free and Bad

Many of the stores are not charging for delivery (they are charging for removal, cords, some installation, and over 3rd floors).

Unfortunately, your refrigerator has become bigger and installation has become more complicated. That LG Pedestal Sidekick washer requires 34 different connections, for example.

Deliveries are a serious business. You need to hire professionals. Anything less and damage could occur.

Now you know some of the reasons. What you do depends on one question:

Can You live with a Damaged Appliance?

This would apply to damaged pieces like the side of a refrigerator, as an example. It is hidden by the cabinet so it should not be an issue. Check the interior.  Damage should be surface only.

Can you live with aesthetic scratches on the front of the product? For laundry in a basement, then maybe yes. 

What is Damage Worth?

5-10% is standard for cosmetic damage. You could negotiate more, especially from an internet retailer or box store. The sheer cost of transporting the units back to their warehouses should be worth 10%.

If you live in California and bought from an internet retailer in NYC, then hold out for more. Some of these guys cannot sell open products.

So, never, ever accept this...ever.

You should refuse products with damage to functional parts.

So, you have a refrigerator with a damaged door? Do not opt for a discount and/or a door exchange from most stores. Why? That door will probably never arrive or be installed properly.

Any customer can order parts.

Sign Only When Ready


I will finish where I started. When you sign your name to accept responsibility for your appliances, you are absolving the dealer of any responsibility for damage.

If you noticed the glass door is smashed on your new stove, it now becomes your problem. Read most store reviews, the good ones will help, but most will not.

We video every delivery, product, and premises (I will write about damage to your home in another post) because it is a huge industry problem.

Do not get caught up in it. Refuse anything suspicious. Sign only when ready.

Worried? This is only one problem. We have developed a delivery checklist encompassing waiting times, damage, floor protection, water issues, and installation. You can download it for free here.

View our Delivery Checklist

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Why Should You Trust Us?

It seems that every appliance review has nothing but glowing comments about almost every product, yet you read customer reviews and they are almost universally bad.

We are here to fill in the disconnect. We'll give you the best features, and the drawbacks as well, including reliability based on over 37,000 calls performed by our service team just last year. Our goal is to give you ALL the information so you know what's right for you.

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Steve Sheinkopf

Steve is the third-generation CEO of Yale and a lifelong Bostonian. He currently resides in Boston, one mile from where he was born. Despite being one of the worst goalies of all time, he is a huge hockey fan of college hockey and the Boston Bruins. The love of his life is his daughter Sophie.

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