Thread Number: 40862  /  Tag: Small Appliances
The End Of Working Display Model Vacuums
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Post# 434038   10/23/2020 at 14:06 (231 days old) by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

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I just got back from Big Lots where they were clearancing out their old display models in exchange for new models, and all of the 3 vacuums they had on clearance were just shoved in the far back corner of the store virtually hidden.

I could not leave them there like that to just get chucked in the dumpster (they were sitting there for nearly 2 months unsold) so naturally I got all 3 of them. I also had extra 20% off coupons I used for each one (bought several days apart).

But I heard from the store staff that now the displays they got shipped in recently, do not have motors in them, they are just dummy models. I noticed the same thing at Walmart last year as well, the vacuums had no cords on them or the cord was cut off.

I have 2 store display model vacuums in my collection already, and now I have 5 with these recent purchases. It looks like it's the end of an era for "try it in store" vacuums. They would rather make the sale and get the tax income from it, write it off in their sales figures, and then take the chance if you will bother to return it or not.

Lowes also had a few of their old displays just heaped on the floor covered in dust. They had a Shark Rocket there with all its little retail advertising hang tags and it had a nice heavy metal display stand from a Dyson stick vac as well, but at $180 there was no way I could afford it.

Post# 434062 , Reply# 1   10/23/2020 at 21:01 (231 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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Doesn't surprise me that much. I don't think most stores will allow you to try the machines. They are too high off the floor to bring down and nowhere to really plug them in plus no carpet. Never seen anyone at Walmart, Home Depot, etc trying them out. I think most just buy them and if they don't like it, bring it back to exchange for another. Therefore it's sort of a waste to use an off-the-shelf functioning model as a display. After it gets discontinued either gets disposed of or sent back to the manufacturer. Waste of money. Haven't seen Walmart or other places put any display vacs on clearance. Bed Bath and Beyond might, they put other display/demo items in clearance section sometimes.

Department stores tended to have "real" vacuum departments with machines lower so they could easily be brought down, plus carpet to try them on. And outlet strips on the walls/outlets in the floors. Some used to have salesman "demoing" the vacuums at picking up debris from carpet to draw attention.

Sears will allow you to try the display machines out. Did this with a clearance vacuum that was a store return. When the model got discontinued they'd also put the display/demo unit on clearance. Could get a really good deal on one. I got a Kenmore Progressive canister, $400 top of the line model for $95 this way, still under full warranty, because it kept getting marked down, nobody bought it.

Unfortunately local store closed so I'd have to drive an hour to get to the nearest Sears Hometown store to try any machines.

I've also noticed most other electrical items like toasters, power tools, shop vacs in most store displays are just empty shells with no motors or electrical parts inside or power cord. You can tell by the weight in picking them up. Display screens just have stickers to simulate what the lit up screen looks like. Shop vacs especially can tell the difference by just picking up an empty plastic shell. I saw an electric hot pot in a store the other day with no heating element in it, just the outer pot and a lid.

Post# 434090 , Reply# 2   10/24/2020 at 00:42 (231 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Well, the days of trying vacs in store (at least stores like walmart and lowes) are long since gone, no surprise there. The display models are probably considered a complete loss for the stores, anyway. Imagine having $1000 of product that just sits around for years, and if they're lucky, gets sold at a loss much later. So it makes sense.

Post# 434096 , Reply# 3   10/24/2020 at 09:06 (231 days old) by dysonman1 (the county)        

The end of an era. My mother would take me to Sears when I was a kid, and let me stand in the vacuum department while she shopped. No one stole other people's kids back then.

I've been noticing for some time the vacuums in Walmart are not real vacuums, just shells. Easy for the manufacturer to write off, and the store can throw them away when models change.

Lucky for ME, I own a vacuum shop. People can come in and talk with a real vacuum expert. Why they can also get a demonstration of a vacuum, along with service after the sale. What a wonderful world. My customers, for the most part, are tired of junk. How many broken sharks and hoovrahs before the customer simply doesn't want to buy another one?

I'm fortunate to have a career that allows me to play with vacuums all day. And get paid for it.

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Post# 434106 , Reply# 4   10/24/2020 at 10:36 (231 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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I was parked in the vacuum sales area too! Of course I was going to try them, our compact didn't have a power nozzle.

Post# 434114 , Reply# 5   10/24/2020 at 12:10 (230 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        
It makes perfect sense...

human's profile picture
...that retailers would do away with the concept of working demo models. It's all part of the transition of vacuum cleaners from being regarded as durable goods to becoming disposables. Demoing the trash they're foisting off onto consumers these days would be totally counter-productive because customers would see just how shitty they really are before they'd shelled out for them and taken them home. The mindset today seems to be 'if you don't like it, don't worry. It's not like you'll be stuck with it for a couple of decades'.

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