R2I Housing - Shopping to Reacquire Appliances etc in India

As part of our R2I preparation, we did away with almost all of our electrical appliances, much of our electronic equipment, and a sizable portion of our household items over the last few months leading to R2I. Even so, when we shipped, to our embarrassment we still filled a 20’ container to the brim that too after disposing off our 2nd bedroom furniture set! As frugal consumers, this meant we had amassed more than we needed. Further, a lot of the big-ticket items we had such as the Roomba 530, golf sets, ski sets, lawn mower, GPS, exercise equipment, bikes, etc were either not needed or were not practical in our new locale. With that in mind, rather than replacing every single item that we disposed off, our game plan was to acquire things on an as needed basis. Besides, it is not as easy to pass-on used items in India, the used market is not as developed compared to the US.

We started living in our new home in India the first week of our move despite the fact it was just a shell barely livable by modern standards. Our immediate needs were for appliances and we spent the second day purchasing just that. Pricing for appliances are all over the map: a basic top-loading washing machine can be had for around Rs 10K (~$225) while high-end front-loading models are available at Rs 50K (~$1125) or so. Refrigerators start around Rs 10K (~$225) and go well into the Rs 1L (~$2250) for side-by-side premium versions. In general, we felt selection was wider in Indian stores compared to its counterparts in the US such as Sears, Home Depot, etc. Pricing stretched differently though – the good news is that no-brand low-end items can generally be obtained at a 30% discount compared to low-end pricing in the US. The bad news though was that the high-end commanded a premium upwards of 50% compared to US pricing – our best guess is that some kind of additional taxes (levied indirectly) is at work here. Below is a list of appliances we purchased during our first week:



As detailed in the spreadsheet, we chose branded items in the medium-high range with good Energy Star rating for the most part. For bigger appliances, purchase includes delivery, installation, and demo. The delivery crew can sometimes be different from the installation and demo crew which can imply a delay – that should not deter one from starting to use it, provided you know the ropes. The experience so far with our new appliances have been positive – we had to call warranty service only for the refrigerator when we detected a manufacturing defect in the magnetic lining on the door a few weeks after delivery – they replaced the door eventually, it took about six weeks and several calls.

2011 Update: In August 2011, the Prestige Induction Cooker stopped working and the bummer was that it was fresh out of warranty. Reviews on that product online are at best average. In our experience, it is a great time saver, although energy consumption is high compared to cooking gas – it is 100% efficient compared to 70% of regular gas cooktop. The service center pleasantly surprised us by repairing it free of cost. In December 2011, the emergency lamp stopped holding charge. The battery was replaced under warranty using a nearby service center - the process was relatively smooth although it took a couple of weeks.

2012 Update: The inverter broke and had to be replaced. Click for details. The main PCB board in the Samsung TV and the Sundirect HD receiver both broke apparently due to power fluctuations in the space of two months in September and November. They were replaced by the respective service reps at ~$2.5K each. Service levels were pretty good - the replacement happened within a few days. With the Sun Direct HD receiver, I had the option of repairing it but the rep could not provide an ETA as he was not sure whether the part is available. So, we went with a new receiver - that also meant we had to forgo the balance in the old receiver - something to keep in mind - never keep a high balance on set-top box accounts as they are tied to the receiver.

2013 Update: In February 2013, the washing machine developed an issue: burned rubber smell with smoke and the display showing Error Code 5D (some noise when working as well). The Samsung rep came by and diagnosed it: Needs to replace drum - the problem happens if incorrect detergent or water with more saline content is used. They replaced it although it took 3 weeks for a total of Rs 4.3K. 

2014 Update: In January 2014, the washing machine broke again: the main PCB was toast, apparently due to voltage fluctuations. The rep came by and replaced it within a few days for a total of Rs 4.2K. The rep had a very interesting comment: apparently, the parts for this machine is very expensive. It is a higher end product (front-load, fully auto, with premium features) and as such the volume is low and that is the reason for the parts to be so expensive. Also, some parts can become unavailable after a while. His suggestion was to go with a semi-automatic top-load machine when buying washing machines: they are far less expensive and as they are the most popular product category, the parts are always available and are relatively less expensive - something to keep in mind.

2015 Update: The Exide inverter battery capacity went down drastically and had to be replaced.   Click for details


Related Posts:






No comments :

Labels

401k ( 15 ) Abad Turtle Beach ( 1 ) Abrams Capital Management ( 5 ) Acoustic Electric Guitars ( 1 ) Acoustic Guitars ( 1 ) ACT ( 1 ) Activist ( 4 ) Address Change ( 2 ) Advanced Placement ( 4 ) air asia ( 2 ) airlines ( 2 ) Akre Capital Management ( 18 ) Alex Roepers ( 5 ) AP ( 4 ) apartments ( 2 ) Appaloosa ( 15 ) ARIUS ( 1 ) Arlington Value Capital ( 3 ) Atlantic Investment Management ( 5 ) Ayemenem ( 1 ) Bangalore ( 3 ) Bangkok ( 2 ) Bannerghatta National Park ( 1 ) barbuda ( 2 ) Battery Park ( 1 ) Baupost ( 2 ) Baupost Group ( 17 ) bay area ( 2 ) BDCs ( 3 ) Benjamin Graham ( 2 ) Benjamin Graham Model ( 2 ) Berijam Lake ( 2 ) Berkshire Hathaway ( 30 ) best sites ( 9 ) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ( 14 ) Bill Ackman ( 19 ) Bill Gates ( 15 ) Blue Ridge Capital ( 14 ) Blum Capital Partners ( 12 ) books ( 4 ) Boone Pickens ( 2 ) BP Capital Management ( 2 ) Brave Warrior ( 3 ) Brave Warrior Advisors ( 12 ) british honduras ( 2 ) Bruce Berkowitz ( 19 ) Bruce Fund ( 13 ) Camcorders ( 3 ) canada ( 4 ) cancun ( 3 ) CANROYs ( 7 ) Cantillon ( 12 ) carl icahn ( 9 ) Carl Ichan ( 8 ) casino ( 3 ) Casio ( 2 ) CBRE ( 2 ) CEF ( 2 ) Charles Akre ( 15 ) Charlie Munger ( 14 ) Chase Coleman ( 14 ) Chou Associates ( 19 ) Christmas gifts ( 7 ) Christopher H. Browne ( 7 ) Chuck Akre ( 13 ) Cisco ( 2 ) Class Action Settlements ( 2 ) CLEP ( 1 ) Coatue Management ( 14 ) Cochin ( 2 ) coin collecting ( 266 ) collectibles ( 266 ) Consumer Product Reviews ( 29 ) cook islands ( 2 ) coonoor ( 2 ) Covered Calls ( 2 ) credai ( 4 ) Daily Journal ( 14 ) Dalal Street ( 8 ) Dan Loeb ( 10 ) DAT ( 1 ) David Abrams ( 5 ) David Einhorn ( 22 ) David Swensen ( 17 ) David Tepper ( 15 ) David Winters ( 15 ) DCF ( 2 ) Digital Piano ( 3 ) Dinakar Singh ( 14 ) Donald Yacktman ( 10 ) dry bulk shipping ( 2 ) Duquesne ( 19 ) Education ( 37 ) Edward Lampert ( 15 ) Egerton Capital ( 14 ) Egypt ( 3 ) Elementary Education ( 10 ) Elementary School Textbooks ( 5 ) eReaders ( 2 ) Eric Mindich ( 13 ) ESL Investments ( 10 ) ESPP ( 6 ) ETF ( 2 ) ETN ( 2 ) Eton Park ( 13 ) Everyday Musings ( 58 ) Exam Prep ( 7 ) Exiting the rat race - how to? ( 19 ) EXPLORE ( 1 ) Fair Value Estimates ( 4 ) Fairfax Financial ( 4 ) Fairfax Financial Holdings ( 14 ) Fairholme ( 19 ) Fairpointe ( 14 ) Family Office ( 5 ) FD Laddering ( 1 ) Financial Independence ( 93 ) Fisher Asset Management ( 10 ) Flash Camcorders ( 3 ) flat ( 4 ) flats ( 2 ) Flip ( 3 ) Francis Chou ( 19 ) free ( 17 ) frugal ( 3 ) Frugal Living ( 34 ) Fund Holdings ( 775 ) futures ( 2 ) FVE ( 2 ) gambling ( 3 ) garmin ( 2 ) Genting ( 2 ) george soros ( 21 ) giveaway ( 15 ) Glenn Greenberg ( 16 ) Glenview Capital ( 10 ) GMAT ( 1 ) Google ( 2 ) Gotham Asset Management ( 7 ) gps ( 5 ) GRE ( 1 ) Greenlight Capital ( 22 ) Guitars ( 3 ) Half Marathon ( 2 ) Hawaii ( 2 ) Hedge Funds ( 794 ) HELOC ( 1 ) High School Education ( 7 ) High School Textbooks ( 6 ) HOA ( 3 ) hobby ( 17 ) holiday shopping ( 7 ) Holidays ( 3 ) Holyland ( 11 ) Home Improvement ( 2 ) home ownership ( 5 ) Homes ( 18 ) Homeschool ( 18 ) Houses ( 2 ) Housing ( 3 ) Hykon ( 2 ) Ian Cumming ( 15 ) Icahn Enterprises ( 6 ) india real estate ( 5 ) Infinuvo ( 6 ) Insurance ( 2 ) invesco ( 17 ) investing strategies ( 2 ) Investment Portfolio ( 94 ) Investment Research ( 10 ) Investments ( 7 ) iRobot ( 5 ) Irving Kahn ( 10 ) israel ( 5 ) Jason Maynard ( 10 ) Jefferies ( 2 ) Jeffrey Bruce ( 14 ) Jeffrey Ubben ( 12 ) Jerusalem ( 2 ) Jim Chanos ( 14 ) Joel Greenblatt ( 7 ) John Armitage ( 14 ) John Griffin ( 14 ) John Paulson ( 17 ) Joho Capital ( 15 ) Jordan ( 3 ) Joseph Steinberg ( 9 ) Julian Robertson ( 4 ) Kahn Brothers ( 10 ) Kakkanad ( 4 ) Kanyakumari ( 2 ) Kawai ( 2 ) Ken Fisher ( 10 ) kerala real estate ( 5 ) Kids ( 49 ) Kids Yamaha ( 3 ) Kindle ( 2 ) kochi ( 8 ) Kodaikanal ( 2 ) Korg ( 2 ) Kraft ( 2 ) Kuala Lumpur ( 2 ) KWA ( 2 ) Kynikos ( 14 ) laptop ( 5 ) Larry Robbins ( 10 ) Las Vegas ( 2 ) Leon Cooperman ( 15 ) Leucadia ( 2 ) Leucadia National ( 13 ) Lone Pine Capital ( 9 ) long ( 6 ) long call ( 2 ) long puts ( 3 ) Lou Simpson ( 15 ) LSAT ( 1 ) Mahabalipuram ( 2 ) Malaysia ( 3 ) Marathon ( 2 ) Mark McGoldrick ( 10 ) Markel ( 14 ) Mason Hawkins ( 4 ) MCAT ( 1 ) Melinda Gates ( 8 ) memorabilia ( 266 ) MFP Investors ( 14 ) Michael Dell ( 16 ) Michael Price ( 14 ) Middle School Education ( 4 ) Middle School Textbooks ( 3 ) Mini Notebook ( 3 ) MODUS ( 1 ) Mohnish Pabrai ( 21 ) mortgage ( 2 ) Mount Kellett ( 10 ) MSD Capital ( 16 ) Music ( 6 ) Mutual Funds ( 5 ) mysore ( 2 ) Nelson Peltz ( 9 ) Netbook ( 4 ) Notebook ( 3 ) numismatics ( 266 ) O-Duster ( 1 ) Oahu ( 2 ) offers ( 2 ) Ole Andreas Halvorsen ( 10 ) Omega Advisors ( 15 ) online tax ( 4 ) ooty ( 2 ) Options ( 4 ) Pabrai Fund ( 17 ) passive income ( 7 ) pattaya ( 2 ) Paulson & Company ( 7 ) Paulson and Company ( 9 ) PEG ( 2 ) Pershing Square ( 19 ) Phil Fisher ( 5 ) philately ( 283 ) Philippe Laffont ( 14 ) Piano ( 9 ) PLAN Test ( 1 ) portfolio ( 4 ) Prem Watsa ( 17 ) product reviews ( 13 ) Property Taxes ( 2 ) PSAT ( 1 ) R2I ( 24 ) R2I Finances ( 3 ) R2I Housing ( 5 ) Raising Kids ( 41 ) Rat Race ( 15 ) RBS Partners ( 13 ) reading ( 5 ) real estate ( 6 ) Reducing Expenses ( 2 ) REIT ( 3 ) Retirement Portfolio ( 9 ) Reviews ( 81 ) Richard C. Blum ( 12 ) Robert Bruce ( 14 ) Robert Karr ( 15 ) Robotic Vacuum ( 4 ) Roland ( 2 ) Roomba ( 10 ) schooling ( 2 ) Sears ( 10 ) seeking alpha ( 2 ) Services - Reviews ( 33 ) Seth Klarman ( 19 ) Shipping ( 5 ) Shopping ( 3 ) short ( 5 ) short calls ( 2 ) short put ( 2 ) short puts ( 2 ) short selling ( 8 ) Ski ( 5 ) Sled ( 4 ) Solar Stocks ( 13 ) Soros Fund Management ( 14 ) Southeastern Asset Management ( 4 ) Southwest ( 2 ) spin-offs ( 2 ) SQ Advisors ( 15 ) stamp collecting ( 283 ) Stanley Druckenmiller ( 19 ) Statue of Liberty ( 2 ) Stephen Mandel ( 9 ) Stock Analysis ( 84 ) Stock Investments ( 4 ) Stock Portfolio Updates ( 6 ) stocks ( 3 ) summer ( 2 ) tax ( 6 ) TaxAct ( 3 ) TaxCut ( 1 ) Teacher's Editions ( 5 ) Technology ( 4 ) Test Prep ( 11 ) Thailand ( 3 ) Thekkady ( 2 ) theme park ( 2 ) Third Point ( 10 ) Thomas Gayner ( 14 ) Thyra Zerhusen ( 14 ) Tiger Cub ( 31 ) Tiger Global ( 15 ) Tiger Management ( 12 ) Time Square ( 2 ) TOEFL ( 1 ) TPG-Axon ( 14 ) Travel ( 278 ) Travel Reviews ( 82 ) Trian Fund Holdings ( 9 ) trip report ( 21 ) TurboTax ( 3 ) Tweedy Browne ( 10 ) Vacations ( 28 ) value investing ( 12 ) ValueAct ( 5 ) ValueAct Holdings ( 6 ) Vancouver ( 2 ) Video ( 3 ) Viking Global ( 10 ) Wallace Weitz ( 10 ) Warren Buffett ( 30 ) Wayanad ( 4 ) Weitz Investment Management ( 9 ) wilbur ross ( 17 ) William Von Mueffling ( 12 ) Wintergreen Advisors ( 15 ) Yacktman Asset Management ( 10 ) Yale Endowment ( 17 ) Yale University ( 7 ) Yamaha ( 7 ) YDP ( 1 ) YPG ( 1 )