Is the Warranty Worth It?

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To buy, or not to buy the extended warranty? That's the question when you're shopping for today's gadgets.

Sometimes it's best to have a warranty. Most of the time, it's a waste of time. According to consumer experts, it depends.

Extended warranties can cost $40 to $200, depending on the product. And most electronics and appliances come with 90 day manufacturer's warranties that usually cover parts and labor.

So do you need one? Most of the time, it may be unnecessary. That's the case with most appliances. You may be offered a four year extended warranty. Should you buy it? Probably not.

If an appliance is going to break, it’s usually going to be within the manufacturer's warranty time frame.

How about fabric protection for that new chair? Since most manufacturers automatically treat their upholstery before it leaves the factory, here's the answer.

“I'd say it's probably not worth the value to have.”

In the market for microwave ovens, camcorders, cameras or DVD players? Matthew Kreis bought a two year warranty for his DVD player. Did he need it? Probably not. There was never anything that really broke until after the warranty was over.

But if you're investing in an expensive TV or the latest laptop, a two to four year warranty is a good investment.

“There's always a chance of something going wrong and the cost to replace it is so great that it is cheaper to buy the warranty, and with an extended warranty on your laptop you're covered in case you spill coffee. We'll actually replace that for you if you have the plan.”