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What Does Scratch and Dent Mean?

by Albert Lee Appliance

A modern kitchen featuring a full suite of stainless steel GE Profile appliances.

At a Glance:

What Does Scratch and Dent Mean? 

Can You Fix Scratch and Dent Appliances?

Potential Issues with Scratch and Dent Appliances

How Much Money Can You Save?

Various Types of Scratch and Dent Appliances

Are Scratch and Dent Appliances Still Good Quality? 

Why Trust Albert Lee?

It is understood that buying brand-new appliances may not only involve shelling out a large chunk of change, but the process could also be overwhelming and intimidating. Well, have you ever heard of scratch and dent appliances? If you have ever been on the hunt for replacement appliances for your kitchen, laundry room, or outdoor space, then I’m sure you've run across that famous “scratch and dent” sale that’s so common in the appliance industry and beyond. 

Today we will be taking a look at scratch and dent appliances, what potential issues or red flags look for, and how much money you could save by purchasing a scratch and dent appliance.

Discover Huge Savings on Appliances

Scratch and dent appliances, open box products, clearance options: you'll find them all at Albert Lee.

Clearance Catalog

What Does Scratch and Dent Mean? 

Don’t let the term “scratch and dent” scare you away. While the term might indicate that the appliance malfunctions, is broken, or otherwise just won’t work, most of the time scratches and dents are simply due to cosmetic issues on the exterior of the appliance. 

Scratch and dent is a widely used term in the industry world to describe an appliance that has been either, you guessed it, scratched or dented, due to any number of reasons, including shipping or warehouse damage. While the cosmetic issues could potentially be a giant eyesore, a lot of the time you will find that an appliance that falls in this category only has issues in areas that can be hidden once the appliance is installed. For instance, in the back, side, or bottom of the appliance, and if it does have a scratch or dent on the front, they are usually very minimal. 

The beautiful thing about scratch and dent appliances is that these appliances are brand spanking new. They’ve never been in someone's home, returned, or been used by another customer, so, purchasing a scratch-and-dent appliance is an awesome way to get a brand-new appliance at a lower cost. We’ll talk here in a little bit about just how much money you could potentially be saving if you choose to go this route. 

You can find scratch and dent appliances either in store or under the clearance section online. If you’re in Puget Sound, make sure to visit your closest Albert Lee location. Many of our locations keep scratch and dent appliances in store and ready to ship.

Can You Fix Scratch and Dent Appliances?

So, you’re considering going with a scratch and dent appliance, and now you’re wondering if you could potentially fix said scratch or dent once you get the appliance home? Well good news because the answer is, yes, you most likely can. 

Scratch Repair

Depending on the severity of the scratch, it may just require a simple touch-up with nail polish or paint, which first needs to be flattened out with a detailed abrasive brush. The brush will flatten out the scratch, allowing you to get a smooth clean finish once you apply the paint or nail polish. If you don’t think that will get the job done, visiting your local hardware or home improvement stores is a great place to find scratch repair kits for various types of appliance finishes.

Dent Repair

Figuring out the location of the dent is the first and foremost step to properly relieving your appliance of damage. If the dent is on the corner of your appliance, then this is by far the trickiest area to fix, but it can still be done. You can try drilling a small hole in the middle of the dent, inserting a bent wire, and then pulling the dent out. You will need to fill the hole with either enamel or solder it, depending on your appliance's finish. If the dent is on any of the flat surfaces of the appliance, you can simply use a bathroom or auto-body plunger to remove the dent.

LG appliances are featured in a kitchen with blue cabinets

Potential Issues with Scratch and Dent Appliances

Buying scratch and dent appliances are worth it most of the time. But, in some cases, you can run into ongoing issues once you get the appliance home that will cost you even more than the original sticker price in the long run. 

One issue could be the function of the appliance, not realized at the time of purchase, which could cause you to throw money into constant repairs or end up in another replacement appliance. That is why it is extremely important to talk to the store about the manufacturer warranty, making sure that you don’t end up shelling out a ton of cash to keep your appliance working. You might even consider purchasing an extended warranty or service plan, ensuring that you are covered if something goes wrong. 

How Much Money Can You Save?

Now to the good stuff—saving money! While the extent of your savings can vary from appliance to appliance, you can count on around a fifteen percent savings on scratch and dent sales. Of course, you need to research the machine you are looking to buy and make sure that the amount that you are saving is worth it. 

Appliances fall under the “scratch and dent” for any imperfection, whether big or small. The severity of the blemish always dictates the percentage of savings, so an appliance with a more noticeable scratch or dent may have higher savings than others, upwards of 50% off or more. It is always worth it to ask the retailer if the price is negotiable, even if it already has a sales tag on it. 

Various Types of Scratch and Dent Appliances

You might be wondering what kind of appliances you can get that fall under “scratch and dent” sales. While we aren’t going to cover all of them, we’re going to look at five different appliance categories that cover a wide variety of household needs. 

Cooking Appliances

On clearance sections for online stores, you will find various types and reasons for the savings like closeout sales, rebates, and open box (scratch and dent) sales. These sales are perfect opportunities to purchase high-end luxury appliances at a fraction of the cost.

➝ Learn More: Albert Lee's Cooking Appliance Buying Guide [Wall Ovens, Cooktops, and More]

With the cooking appliance clearance section, you are looking at saving big on middle-of-the-road appliance brands like Frigidaire and GE, as well as large savings on luxury brand models from Monogram, Miele, and Wolf

Any type of cooking appliance could fall under the clearance section at your local retailer, like anything from cooktops, ranges, wall ovens, microwaves, hoods, and more. 

Explore Our Clearance Cooking Catalog


Purchasing a scratch-and-dent refrigerator doesn’t limit you to only traditional refrigeration options. You can find some of the best deals on high-end refrigerators that come in multiple configurations like French-door refrigerators, bottom mount refrigerators, or even panel-ready refrigerators like the Fisher & Paykel Series 9 15.9 Cu. Ft. Integrated Column Bottom Freezer Refrigerator. 

➝ Learn More: A Guide to Refrigeration Shopping [Buying Guide pt. 1]

In addition to refrigerators, you can even find things like wine coolers, beverage centers, and ice makers. 

Explore Our Clearance Refrigeration Catalog

Stainless steel Frigidaire appliances are installed in a well lit kitchen


Owning a dishwasher that you know will effectively clean your dishes is important to most homeowners, if not all. Dishwashers can be described as your hardest working appliance, so you want to make sure you invest in one that you can trust. Contrary to popular belief, you can still achieve those basic needs by saving and purchasing scratch and dent dishwashers. 

➝ Learn More: Shopping for Home Dishwashers [Buying Guide]

Surprisingly, you can purchase luxury dishwashers from brands like Cove or Dacor for savings of up to $500 or even more, depending on the brand and extent of the dent and scratch. 

Explore Our Clearance Dishwasher Catalog

Outdoor Appliances

This is an appliance section that not a lot of people might consider, but there is still a wide market for these luxurious items, and you can still purchase them with scratch and dent or clearance sales. You can browse outdoor appliances like grills, outdoor ice makers, grill carts, or even pizza ovens. 

Explore Our Clearance Outdoor Appliance Catalog

Laundry Appliances

Last, but certainly not least, laundry appliances. Whether you are single or a part of a large family, you know the importance of having an efficient washer and dryer set. When we need our clothes cleaned and ready to go, having a reliable washing and drying set brings relief and comfort when we need it most. Don’t count scratch and dent washers and dryers out, just because of their name. You can still purchase perfectly functioning washers or dryers, all while saving big on brands like Samsung, LG, GE, Beko, Bosch, and more. 

 Explore Our Clearance Laundry Catalog

Maytag top load washer and dryer are situated in a white, well appointed laundry room

Are Scratch and Dent Appliances Still Good Quality? 

The essence of scratch and dent appliances is that they are still “brand new”. They have never been used and are just like any appliance you would buy brand new from a retailer, just with minor bumps or bruises. So, if you think of it in that way, scratch and dent appliances are just as good of quality as any other appliance straight off the lot. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, but most of the time you can be confident that scratch and dent appliances are still in perfect working condition. 

Why Trust Albert Lee?

Since 1939, Albert Lee Appliance, a three-generation, family-owned business, continues to grow and serve the greater Seattle area with quality you can count on and service you can trust. We are proud to have served this community for so long and wouldn’t be here without our loyal customers. There is a reason why we are Washington’s largest independent appliance dealer, and it’s not a secret. Simply put: We have the experience. We are the original appliance experts for over eight decades (and counting).

Shop Scratch and Dent Appliances at Albert Lee

At Albert Lee Appliance, we provide quality name-brand appliances for great prices. Shop scratch and dent appliances online or visit us today at one of our six locations in Puget Sound, WA. In the meantime, browse our website to shop Albert Lee appliance sales and check out Albert Lee appliance reviews online to ensure every purchase is an informed one. More available than ever, our experts at Albert Lee Appliance are always happy to help you, whether you call us or use our online chat feature. Contact us today!

Learn More: Ultimate Guide to Appliance Financing