You might also consider an extended warranty for products
that break most easily. But remember the rule of thumb: if the extended
warranty costs more than the average repair cost of an item, don't buy the
WEB EXTRA: Here are the items most likely to break
within the first three years, according to Consumer Reports:
Repair Rate (%)
Lawn tractor or riding mower
Refrigerator (side-by-side with ice maker and dispenser)
Refrigerator (top-and-bottom with ice maker)
Microwave (over the range)
Austin says if you do buy an extended warranty, be sure to read
the fine print. Make sure it covers accidental damage and never pay
more than 20% of the purchase price.
And check with your credit card company. Many companies
extend a product's warranty from the manufacturer when you purchase it
with your card.
"The best thing to do is to ask a lot of questions," she
said. "Don't let anybody pressure you into buying one on the spot.
You can always go back later to buy an extended warranty."