Sunday, 12 May 2013

How my chest got us a 'new' washer-dryer (kind of)

Wowee- it is the middle of May; almost at the half way point of our challenge.  So far, so good- (bar one umbrella), neither H, nor I have bought anything new and have stuck to our rules.

We had our first big challenge recently- one I was dreading... our very old, very tired washer-dryer machine broke down last weekend.  I felt really nervous about buying second hand electricals.  I think its partly because they are pretty reasonably priced first hand and I worried we would find ourselves saving just £50 on a second hand washer and then it being a pile of cr@p.

However- there are options for buying decent second-hand white goods.  British Heart Foundation have lots of lovely furniture and white goods warehouse type shops (we have one locally, in Ealing) where they guarantee their white goods for a year.  I have had a look at their washing machines before and whilst they are a little over priced for my liking (£200 for second hand is a bit steep I think) they will deliver and you do have the guarantee.

H was very clear with me, however, that we are going to need a washer-dryer when the little one comes.  The dryer in our Candy combo broke about 2 years ago so we have got away without one for a while but I think she is probably right. I imagine there will be times when we just need to dry the baby's bedsheets or whatever, quickly.

So- we started hunting.  I like Gumtree for second hand electrical goods.  I can't be bothered with bidding on e-bay, I find it a bit too impersonal- no number to call and just have a chat about the item and searching locally is just a bit of a faff.  With Gumtree- you just search for what you want where you want it and lo and behold we found a Hotpoint washer-dryer, 2 years old, in Kew (down the road) for £150!  We went to see it and it was the cleanest white good we have ever seen and after getting a good feeling from the seller (soooo important) we arranged collection.

Now.... how do you collect a washing machine??  We had a few options- our local taxi service said they would send a 6 seater and pick it up for £20 but we would need to do some of the lifting.  Possibly an option (the seller said he would help load it for us as obv I can't lift anything).  We could have also tried to put it in our car with the seats down.... but its not a good idea to lie a washer on its back as the concrete block in the top could have warped the whole thing.

What H said was, if we could get a trolley of some kind, she would wheel it the 1.5 miles home from the seller's house.  But where do you get a trolley from, Dear Reader?  Well, I went to Homebase and considered borrowing one but realised it was too heavy for me to get in the car and probably was considered steeling....and then I had an idea.  I wondered if our local (i.e. next door) recycling centre could help us.  I drove in, went to the scary portacabin (why are those places so intimidating?),  and explained that we needed to get rid of our washer and collect a new one and asked if they could lend us a trolley. Now it may have been because I was bending over slightly when I asked (to look through the little hole in the screen) and my new pregnant frontage did the trick or maybe they were just really nice guy- but they took me round the back (hold on) and gave me a Homebase trolley to borrow that they pulled out of the tip!

So- after a bit of furniture removal, we dumped our old washer at the tip, and wheeled ourselves the 1.5 miles to the seller's house, strapped the 'new' washer-dryer to the trolley and wheeled it home.  We did get some looks but we felt SUPER SMUG so we didn't care.

And it all ends well, Dear Reader- the washer is fantastic- it actually cleans clothes which is a bit of a novelty for us (why did we wait so long?!). It has a zillion programmes and is very quiet.  The dryer part is a bit temperamental but we aren't going to use it hardly so all in all, we are dead chuffed.  

H is currently working through a list of baby items that we need- I will report back on how we do, very soon.  

In the meantime- tell me, Dear Reader- have you scored some good second hand electrical goods?


Alice x

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