Used microwave price

Shopping for a used microwave may have many advantages and disadvantages. Some used microwaves function very well and may be inexpensive when compared to the price of a new appliance. Other secondhand microwaves may not function properly. Follow our used microwave price guide to know which is best for you.

Microwave ovens have rapidly become more of a need rather than a treat these days. Gone are the times when microwave ovens were simply used to warm up and cook meals. Microwaving today has become the typical approach of preparing meals. But, there are several vital aspects worthy of taking notes before you pick microwave oven of your choice.

Used microwave price

Buying a microwave may be the most eco-friendly option for some people.
Buying a microwave may be the most eco-friendly option for some people.

For many people, the greatest advantage of purchasing a used microwave is the price. New microwaves are sometimes inexpensive, but they often have high price tags. For people who do not have a large amount of money to spend, it may preferable to buy a used microwave.

A used microwave may or may not come with a turntable inside.
A used microwave may or may not come with a turntable inside.

A disadvantage of obtaining a used microwave is that the seller may try to sell a broken or worn out item. It is important to see how well the microwave works before buying it. Some frequently used older models may offer weakened or uneven heating, and others may not work at all.

A used microwave may need repairs at some point.
A used microwave may need repairs at some point.

Although it may not be terribly difficult to find a good used microwave, it is best to thoroughly inspect the item before purchasing it. Many people sell perfectly good microwaves at low prices. Some people have upgraded to a new model of microwave and want to get rid of their old appliance, while other people may need to sell their microwave because they intend to move. It may be a good choice to purchase the microwave if it has a fair price, looks clean, and operates well during a demonstration.

Sometimes people sell microwaves that are very old, which can be a disadvantage for some buyers. Old models sometimes lack features that many people want, such as a digital display and key pad. Some used microwaves may not have a turntable inside, which many people want because it helps to evenly heat foods. Many older microwaves do not work as well as they once did because of heavy use over an extended period of time. They may show external wear and tear from long-term use as well.

Buying a used microwave may be the most eco-friendly option, which is a major advantage for some people. Filling up landfills with used appliances is bad for the environment. Many people prefer to buy used appliances because if the owner no longer uses an item and cannot sell it, the appliance likely will be thrown away.

It is possible to repair a broken used microwave, but repairs may be a disadvantage for buyers unless they can repair the appliances themselves. Access to inexpensive replacement parts is an important factor when considering the purchase of a broken microwave as well. It is also possible to purchase a restored or rebuilt microwave, but they may cost as much as a new appliance.

Newer model microwaves are designed to be more energy efficient.
Newer model microwaves are designed to be more energy efficient.

One of the biggest reasons why buying a used microwave seems unsafe is there is a perception that microwaves themselves are unsafe. There are some people that believe that microwaves are harmful and emit radioactive material into the environment. 

Also, buying a used microwave seems unsafe because they can be difficult to transport and test. Buying a used microwave isn’t like buying a used lawn mower, they can be difficult to transport because of there size and weight. Also they cannot be tested without an electrical outlet. 

Why buying a used microwave seems weird

There are a few reasons why it may seem strange to buy a used microwave. First, IT’S A MICROWAVE. A microwave that has been inside someones home, and they cooked all sorts of things with it. We’ve all seen the office microwave, and imagine that every microwave (except our own) looks just like that. 

Second, it’s electric. It is easy to assume that if someone is selling an appliance or piece of electrical equipment, there has to be something wrong with it. When it comes to devices that need to be plugged in, we tend to be very skeptical.  

Third, I think we all have a feeling that people we don’t know are tying to get one over on us. If you’ve every purcahsed something from another buyer, then you know the uneasiness that comes with it. You begin to ask yourself questions like “Why is he selling it, is he trying to get one over on me, etc.”

Where to buy a used microwave?

There a number of reputable places you can buy used microwaves online. Some of those places include:

  • Ebay
  • Amazon
  • Walmart

If you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can try places like Craigslist, or Facebooks’ marketplace. While it may seem odd, buying, and selling, used microwaves is a pretty common practice. 

Another place to consider buying a used microwave is a second-hand store like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. If you buy it from there, you are doing a good deed and getting a great price on a used microwave. Usually, these places will test the product to make sure that it works before putting it on the sales floor. 

Why buy a used microwave?

There are at least two reasons you should consider buying a used microwave: much cheaper, better for the environment. The average price of a microwave is around $250. This, of course, depends on the microwave type (counter, over the range, etc), features, and functionality. In many cases, you can find the exact same or identical microwave for half the price. 

For example, I searched used microwaves on Ebay and found a Panasonic NNSN651BAZ Countertop Microwave Oven for $60. That same microwave on Amazon, in new condition, is priced at $130.06. In this instance, buying the used microwave would save $70. You could save over 50% by buying a used microwave!

The second reason to buy a used microwave is that it is better for the environment. Buying used if better for two reasons, first, the microwave is not sitting in a landfill. Second, that is one less microwave being produced.

While some parts of a microwave can be recycled, the parts that cannot get sent to a landfill with all of the other discarded junk. If you buy a used microwave, then that is one less thing in the dump taking up space we are quickly running out of. 

Why someone might be selling a microwave?

The other side of this is the seller and why the seller might be selling something like a microwave. I can think of a few reasons why someone might be selling a microwave.

First, they are moving up in the world. One possible reason someone might be selling a microwave is they have just landed a big promotion and they are upgrading to a brand new, state of the art smart microwave. Most people don’t really need two microwaves, so they are selling the old one to make room for the new.

The second reason someone might be selling a microwave is they are having an estate sale and everything must go. For example, let’s say you have a rich Aunt Fanny that recently passed away, leaving you with everything, including a gently used microwave. You need to get rid of all of her items, so you can sell the house.  You then decide to sell the microwave because you have no use for two microwaves. 

When not to buy the used microwave?

I would not buy a used microwave in the following instances:

  • The seller is creating a sense or urgency – “buy now, it may not be here tomorrow.”
  • The seller won’t let you test the microwave – “I just used it last night.”
  • The microwave isn’t clean
  • The microwave is damaged
  • The microwave looks like there was an attempted repair buy the seller
  • The microwave has missing parts
  • There is damage to the plug that connects to the outlet
  • If there are special instructions for use – “just lift the hand slightly, then…”

Overall, if the transaction doesn’t feel right, don’t buy the microwave. Saving a few bucks isn’t worth all of the negatives to buying a bad microwave. 

Questions to ask of the seller of the used microwave

Here are just some of the questions that I would ask the seller if I was buying a used microwave:

  • How old is the microwave?
  • Why are you selling it?
  • Did you buy it new or used?
  • Do you have the manual?
  • Is the microwave still under warranty? 
  • Have you ever had it repaired?
  • Have you done any work to it?
  • Where was the microwave sitting while it was in use?
  • When is the last time you used the microwave? 

These are just some of the questions you should ask. These questions should help you determine if it is a good product to buy used. 

Who should by a used microwave?

You should consider buying a new microwave if you call into one of these categories:

  • You’re a college student
  • You care about the environment
  • You need a microwave for short-term use
  • You want to save money
  • You are moving in to your first apartment
  • You don’t cook very much

Click here to see the best microwave on Amazon

Before buying a used microwave do this

The first thing you should do before buying a used microwave is look up the product number up online. Check to see if this microwave has any recalls, known detects, or if it is a new product. You are looking for things that the seller might try to hide or omit when selling the product.

The second thing you should do is look the new and used prices up online. Looking up the used prices will give you an idea of what the product should cost. This will allow you to negotiate from a position of strength. You won’t feel taken advantage of if you know what you should be paying.

The next thing you should do is schedule, or request a demonstration. If you can’t physically go to the location of the microwave, ask the seller if they would be willing to conduct a skype demonstration. During the demo, cook something simple like a bag of popcorn.

Most microwaves have a popcorn button, and testing this feature will show you that the popcorn button works, and give you an idea if the microwave works correctly. Make sure you let the popcorn cook until the time expires. Once it is done, open up the bag and have a few pieces of corn.

Doing this step may seem excessive, but this is a sure fire way to see if the microwave works as expected. 

Also during the demo press all of buttons, including the start, stop, and fan.

If the microwave has passed your tests, start negotiating. You know what the microwave should cost, so that should be your ceiling. Using the earlier example, you should not pay any more that $60 for the used microwave.

How to buy a microwave

This buying guide is what you need if you’re looking for a new microwave.

Your Pizza Rolls deserve a good microwave. This countertop wonder, whose origins date back to the 1940s, is probably one of the most frequently used appliances in your kitchen thanks to its ability to reheat food fast (and cook a mug cake or two). There are a variety of options when it’s time to select a microwave, so we’ve broken down the options you have when you’re ready for a new microwave.

Location

The first decision you need to make about a new microwave is where in your kitchen you want to put it. The location affects the price, features, size and installation of the appliance. You have three main options:

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Countertop

This is the most common type of microwave. They generally cost less and are significantly easier to install than other models. Just find a spot on the counter for it to sit, plug it into an outlet and you can use it right away.

The biggest issue with the countertop microwave is how much space it needs. If you have limited room on your countertop, you may either want to look at the smaller countertop models available, look into placing your microwave on a small cart, or consider another style of microwave.

Price: $40 to $700

External dimensions: From roughly 10 by 18 by 14 inches for compact models to roughly 14 by 24 by 20 inches for larger models

Internal capacity: Less than 1 cubic foot to more than 2 cubic feet

Wattage: Typically 600 to 1,200 watts

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Some of GE’s stoves and over-the-range microwaves are connected via Bluetooth.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Over-the-range

You install this style of microwave above your range, which will save you some counter space. These models have vent systems that take the place of the oven hood and lights to illuminate your cooktop.

Price: $190 to $1,300

External dimensions: Usually wider than countertop models, about 16 by 30 by 15 inches

Internal capacity: Less than 1 cubic foot to more than 2 cubic feet

Wattage: Typically 600 to 1,200 watts

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Sharp

Built-in

Built-in models that you place among custom cabinets or paired with built-in, full-sized wall ovens are the most high-end (aka expensive) types of microwaves. Some microwaves in this category are even designed specifically as drawers with a compartment you pull out for your food.

Price: $500 to $5,000 and up

External dimensions: This varies widely depending on type, and drawers tend to have more depth than countertop or over-the-range models, hitting about 15 by 30 by 26 inches

Internal capacity: Less than 1 cubic foot to more than 2 cubic feet

Wattage: Typically 600 to 1,200 watts

Size

It’s important to find the right-sized microwave that will meet your food needs and fit in the space you have for it. First, you want to measure the counter or other space where you plan to put your microwave. Then, measure the height, width and depth of any model you’re considering to find out if it will fit on your counter top, over your range or in a custom spot. The external dimensions can vary a lot, from 10 by 18 by 14 inches on the smaller side to 14 by 24 by 20 inches on the larger side.

Then there’s also the internal capacity, which can range from less than 1 cubic foot to 2 cubic feet or more. There doesn’t seem to be any set rule for how internal capacity correlates to size (like 1 cubic foot = small, 1.5 cubic feet = medium, etc.), but here’s an attempt to break it down:

Compact: Under 1 cubic foot

Midsize: 1 to 1.5 cubic feet

Full-size: 1.6 to 2 cubic feet

Extra-large: More than 2 cubic feet

Most microwaves are somewhere around 1.4 to 1.8 cubic feet. Still not sure which size you need? If you’re out shopping, bring in a plate or bowl from home that you plan to use often to make sure that it fits inside the microwave.

Still in doubt? Measure everything, take notes and check with your appliance retailer for help deciding what would work best. For over-the-range and other built-in models, you most likely won’t be the one installing your new microwave, so you can always avail yourself of their expertise.

Wattage

Microwave wattage equals power. In general, the higher the wattage, the faster and more evenly your food will cook. Most microwaves sit somewhere between 600 to 1,200 watts. Larger, more expensive microwaves tend to have a higher wattage, so this is a price and size consideration that can strongly influence microwave cooking performance.

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This GE microwave has scan-to-cook tech via a related app.Chris Monroe/CNET

Features

Many microwaves share common functions. Here are some microwave cooking essentials: cook time, defrost, power level and timer. Each one requires your direct input, but they are usually very easy to set. Most microwaves have touch panel controls and a rotating carousel to spin your food for more even cooking.

Default settings

Many microwaves come with preset cooking modes so you only have to press one button to automatically cook a dish. For example, many microwaves have a “popcorn” button that will cook your bag based on factory settings. This can be handy for common dishes you heat in the microwave, but you’ll have to figure out if the microwave’s default cook times work for your own food. Other common presets include: baked potato, pizza, beverage, frozen dinner and reheat.

Broil

Manufacturers are increasingly including features in microwaves that mimic what we see in full-size ovens, such as a broiler. This is a good addition for finishing off a dish or cooking something for which you’d prefer more direct heat.

Convection

A convection fan that’s built into the back of a microwave oven circulates the heat around the food to cook things more quickly and evenly. (Many new full-size ovens come with at least one convection fan.) However, microwaves with convection fans are generally more expensive than those without.

Inverter technology

Inverter heating is another option available on some high-end models. If you want to heat something at a 50 percent power level, most microwaves actually switch between 100 percent power and 0 percent power to average in at 50 percent power. This doesn’t yield great results if you want to heat something on a lower heat and achieve an even result. So, some models now use inverter technology, which maintains a consistent 50 percent power. That way, you can poach salmon, make a fluffy omelet, etc.

Other advanced features

In addition to new heating technologies, higher-end models usually have more presets than just the basic pizza, popcorn and baked potato standard. Some use moisture sensors to detect food doneness. And we’ve started to see models include LED lighting on the interior.

“Smart” technology, i.e. options that connect microwaves to the internet and other products, aren’t as widespread in microwaves as we’ve seen in other kitchen appliances. However, we’ve seen GE Appliances include Bluetooth technology in some of its over-the-range microwaves. This connection, which GE calls “Chef Connect,” pairs the microwave with compatible GE ranges so the light and fan beneath the microwave automatically turns on when you turn on a burner.

More options

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Will the June Intelligent Oven become the next microwave?Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Other small appliances have started to make a case for forgoing the microwave, such as steam ovens that use water to cook for more moist heating or the basic toaster oven that mimics a full-size stove. These options promise to cook more effectively than a microwave, but it might take longer to reheat your food.

Smart countertop ovens have also started to become an option. The June Intelligent Oven uses facial recognition technology to identify food and cook it automatically, and the Tovala Smart Oven will scan packaged meals for automatic cooking, including frozen meals from Trader Joe’s. These options are promising, but the technology is too new to determine whether or not these will become kitchen staples.

Conclusion

To conclude, yes, you absolutely can buy a used microwave. As we saw earlier in this post, so of the largest retailers sell both new and used microwaves. Buying a used microwave can save you money, save the environment, and help out someone in the process. 

Also, there are some pitfalls to be aware of when buying a used microwave. You should be wary of the seller, inspect the microwave, and ask lots of questions. Remember, if the seller is trying to pressure you into buying the microwave WALK AWAY.

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