Why do appliance repairs (dishwasher, laundry, fridge, etc.) seemingly cost as much as the appliances themselves?


Why do appliance repairs (dishwasher, laundry, fridge, etc.) seemingly cost as much as the appliances themselves?

In: 5618

Repairing an appliance takes expertise, time, and replacement parts. Add all of that up with a fair price for the technician and it comes out to about the same price as a new unit just because of the economy of scale for manufacturing. Basically, it’s not because repairing is expensive, but because making new stuff is cheap. Repairing made more sense in a time when such items were harder to come by, but with such optimized production and delivery processes, they are much more accessible.

Because you are paying for somebodies expertise and time, and parts, and labour. So for example if I take my car into a garage (technically it is an appliance, just a very big and complex one) – I haven’t the faintest clue how to solve an issue with the engine management system, and it would take me months possibly years of training to find out how to solve that issue myself, which simply isn’t viable for most people. So we pay somebody to fix it instead.

Labor! Trained technicians bill at like $100-150/hr, so the time it takes to diagnose the issue, replace the part, re-install, etc. can take 3 hours plus the parts and you are correct that the repair is close in cost to a new unit. Cranking out 1000’s of the same units on a factory that’s heavily automated and/or located in a country with lower manufacturing wages mean the repair labor is a much higher amount than the per unit labor to make it initially.

However, if you’re handy and willing to learn from YouTube, etc. videos many of the repairs are not that hard and can be done for the $20 or $50 in parts.

There is no diagnosis in a factory assembly line. Shit just just gets slapped together, tested, boxed and shipped out. Machines earn no wages.

Repairs always take the full attention of at least one person, plus travel time.

There is simply less time / energy invested in building a device as opposed to repairing it.

A few reasons:

* [Planned Obsolescence](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_obsolescence). The longer a product lasts, the fewer the manufacturer will sell. Manufacturers who engineer long-lasting products tend to go out of business, and we’re left with the ones that break often enough to keep the manufacturer in business.
* Difficulty of repair. The time and skill required to do the repair increases the cost of the repair. Learn to do them yourself and save lots of money. Youtube instruction videos are invaluable here.
* The cost of the replacement part can be prohibitively expensive itself. This tends to happen when the manufacturer wants to avoid you doing your own repairs, and the part is specific enough that there are no alternatives. Find an alternative anyway.

That last point happened to me when a piece of plastic broke for my Samsung dishwasher at 1 month after the warranty expired.

* The replacement plastic piece costs as much as the dishwasher and could only be acquired from Samsung!
* The plastic piece holds the dishwasher door closed.
* It was uniquely shaped and very specific to each model and version of the dishwasher.
* The forums were filled with Samsung customers complaining about this plastic piece breaking within months of warranty expiration (Planned Obsolescence)
* Replacing the plastic piece would take hours because of how it was housed (difficult to repair).
* Dishwasher would not function without this plastic piece because of a sensor to determine if it was in place.

In order to “fix” it, I “fooled” the sensor mentioned above and used a babyproofing cabinet lock to hold the door closed.

It’s been working ever since.