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Shopping for Washing Machines

A new or used washing machine can save you time and money by avoiding the laundromat. Make sure you find a unit that treats your clothes well and fits your home and budget. Browse eBay to find a variety of affordable washing machines.

How do you know what kind of washing machine to buy?

When searching eBay for a washing machine, first consider size, capacity, and installation requirements. Most washers are either 24 inches or 27 inches wide. See the manufacturer site for details. Capacity is measured in cubic feet. Three to four cubic feet of capacity will wash 12-16 pounds of clothes. Once you have settled on a size, explore these four models.

  • A traditional top-loader washing machine is the most common model in the US and usually the least expensive. These models are also the least water- and energy-efficient.
  • A high-efficiency top loader saves on energy and water use but may cost more. You will need to use special detergent in one of these top-loader machines.
  • Front-loading washers have the highest spin cycles and are the most efficient to run.
  • A compact washing machine will often fit under a kitchen counter and may not require a plumbing installation. Some units attach to the kitchen sink.
The features available on washing machines

Basic features to look for on new and used washing machines are load size settings, water temperature settings, and a permanent press cycle to reduce wrinkles. Other more advanced features include:

  • Steam washing
  • Auto detergent, bleach, and fabric softener dispenser
  • Delay wash
  • Soil sensor
How do you know a washing machine is energy efficient?

The US Environmental Protection Agency awards Energy Stars to washing machines that operate efficiently. The EPA certifies models that use 25% less power and 33% less water than traditional washers. The machines usually have large tubs, which means fewer loads, and they have fast spin cycles that cut down on drying time.

Are there cheap washing machines available?

If you need an inexpensive washing machine, either look for a used washing machine or look for a compact or portable model on eBay. Remember when you're looking for cheap washing machines to inspect or inquire about any wear issues.

  • Check the spin speed. The spin speed can diminish over time.
  • See if the listing mentions any kind of noise when the machine is operating.
  • See if there are photos. Look out for rust, leaks, or mold.
  • Inquire about the service history of any used washing machine.