How to Buy a Vintage Refrigerator

If your new or remodeled kitchen calls for a retro or vintage refrigerator, this article will help you make an informed purchasing decision.

Types of Vintage Refrigerators

There are two types of vintage refrigerators for sale: (1) authentic antique refrigerators that have been refurbished and restored to working condition, and (2) reproduction vintage refrigerators which look like older models but are complete with modern conveniences such icemakers and automatic defrost.

Your Values and Priorities

If you determine what aspects of a vintage refrigerator are most important to you before you buy, you will be more likely to end up with a fridge that makes you happy. Generally, the choices will be how vintage and how modern you want to go. For instance, older model refrigerators are less energy efficient than newer ones. If you are concerned about the environment, you may decide that using less energy is more important than authenticity. On the flip side, however, you may feel that restoring a vintage refrigerator and keeping it out of a landfill is a greater contribution to the environment.

Budget Considerations

Whether you choose to buy a restored vintage refrigerator or a reproduction, be prepared to spend a pretty penny. Either way, you are likely to be out a few thousand dollars by the time your dinner is chilling in the kitchen. Rememnber, though, the cost of a new, high-end model is in the same range as the vintage choices, so it's really just a matter of preference.

Also, when thinking about the budget, factor in the cost of running the fridge over many years. Because of the differences in energy efficiency, you will pay more for a restored vintage refrigerator in your utility bills every month.

After you have determined which type of refrigerator best suits your needs and your budget, you will still have some work to do tracking down what you want. Here is a list of places to start your search:

1) Internet Do an online search for vintage and/or vintage reproduction refrigerators. There are a wide variety of vintage refrigerators and reproductions available for sale from private parties, vintage appliance reproduction manufacturers, and antique stores.

2)Yellow Pages Check with your local yellow page directories under "appliances" to see if any there are any retailers in your area that specialize in vintage refrigerators.

3) Second-hand and private sellers If you're looking for a bargain, try estate sales, garage sales, yard sales, or thrift stores. It might take you a while to find what you want, but if budget is a priority, the savings may be worth the wait.

4) Antique Shops Antique shops are probably one of the most obvious places to look for a vintage appliance, but they also may be the most expensive.

Buying a vintage refrigerator is not like going down to the mall and picking up what's on sale, but the character you'll bring to your kitchen with the extra effort can go a long way.