Tariffs starting to hit local appliance stores

Unless the tough trade talk with China cools down, experts say we may soon be paying more for a lot of things we buy.

Posted Updated

John Matarese
, Don't Waste Your Money consumer reporter
MADEIRA, OHIO — Never mind what could be coming -- tariffs are already impacting consumers in the form of a tariff-related price hike if you've bought a new washer or dryer this year.

Unless the tough trade talk with China cools down, experts say we may soon be paying more for a lot of things we buy.

Appliance stores hit first

It's not easy being in the appliance business these days.

Appliances store owner Jeffrey Boggs has to explain prices that recently jumped $75 to $100 on many washers.

Boggs says the initial round of tariffs hit LG and Samsung, which manufacture their products primarily in China.

"They went up about 10 percent," Boggs said, "and availability was also an issue for a while."

Then, price hikes spread to American brands like Whirlpool, GE and Maytag, he said, because many of their internal parts also come from China.

"This is the biggest single increase we've ever seen," Boggs said.

When the initial tariffs took effect a little over a year ago, Boggs said the only thing to go up were washing machines. But he now said that, this past January, he also saw tariff-related price hikes on everything from wall ovens to refrigerators.

"All the manufacturers went up Jan. 1, by 7 to 10 percent, and that was across the board," he said. "Washers, dryers, everything."

Now, unless a deal is reached by the end of May, CNBC and Business Insider say these tariffs may soon hit furniture, bicycles, bike helmets, child car seats, electronics like smartwatches and TVs (smartphones are exempted from the tariffs) and many other items assembled in China.

That leaves small appliance stores struggling to keep their prices the best around.

"I think most people who come in here are confident we have good prices," Boggs said, "but most people know prices have gone up."

With the latest tariffs expected to take place June 1, if you need an appliance or another big ticket item, you may want to shop now.

That way you don't waste your money.

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John Matarese started Don’t Waste Your Money in 1999 to give consumers the facts and information needed to make the best buying decisions for their families. Over the past 20 years, Don't Waste Your Money has helped millions of consumers by providing in depth research and product information.


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