Repair vs Replace

Repair vs Replace

40 years ago you won’t think twice about taking your TV in to get it repaired.  20 years ago you’d call an appliance repair guy if your fridge stopped working.  5 Years ago you’d throw away a cell phone if they screen got cracked.  Today we throw away TV’s simply because a better one came out.  People don’t think twice about buying a new fridge once it’s out of warranty.  Yet, there is a cell phone screen repair kiosk in most malls today.  How does a person decide repair vs replace things now days?


Cost is the biggest deciding factor on what you do when something breaks.  With the rising cost of a repair person many times the cost of repairing a major appliance is very close to what it a new one costs.  I know a few years ago I had my dryer break down.  Like many people I didn’t have the money to buy a new one. So I called a repair person and $200 later I had a new dryer belt and a working dryer.  Seemed like a great deal at the time.

Right up until 2 weeks later when my heating element went out on my dryer.  At that moment when the repair guy came back out and told me it would be another $250, all I could think is man I should have just bought a new dryer.  Lucky for me that was a few years ago and the dryer has worked since.  Things like this is the main reason people don’t even bother having things repaired anymore.  Too many times the cost of the repair is just as much as buying new.

Repairing Yourself

The funny thing about having my dryer fixed was watching the guy replace my belt and thinking I could do that.  Aside from the fact I work for a company that makes dryer belts, the belt was only around $50.  My fears of ruining my dryer was what stopped me from trying to fix it myself.  Had I just manned up, watched few YouTube videos, I could have saved myself a lot of money.  Most people don’t even think of repairing things themselves now days.  I know I sure didn’t before my dryer.  Just like I was, people are scared because things seem so complicated now days.

If it’s broke you can’t make it worse.  The worst case scenario is you have broken appliance in many pieces that you still have to replace.  There is something to be said for fixing it yourself.  It’s not just a cost savings thing.  That personal satisfaction that comes from being able to fix something is amazing.  I was a auto mechanic for almost a decade and trust me it never get’s old seeing something that was once broke working again.


Time can honestly be the biggest deciding factor on if you repair something or just go buy new.  Being that I work 2 jobs and do a lot of volunteer work I don’t always have time to repair things.  When you have a limited amount of time you have to decide is the time it will take me to repair this worth what it will cost me to buy new.  I personally estimate the time it will take plus 2-4 hours because I’m usually wrong then multiple it by how much I make an hour at work.  Many times this makes repairing cost effective.  However, when I figure time lost with my family it changes those number by a long way.


With every decision in life you have to weight your options.  When you are a person who loves the satisfaction of knowing you fixed something and saved money, your are going to fix it.  If you are the kind of person who values your free time over money you will just replace whatever is broken.  However, if you are broke you will do whatever you think is most cost effective.

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