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4 Ways Subscription Appliances Reduce Waste

Last updated on May 24th, 2023

During the pandemic, everybody is working from home now and everybody this time is discouraged from going out. If not to shop for essentials, people are asked to stay home. Community has been shut down as well closing down our go to  establishments such as restaurants, laundromat, and cinemas which heightened the need for appliances which birthed the business model of subscription appliances.

Today, we will not be elaborating the basic functionality of the Subscription Appliance business model but we will be covering the advantages of Subscription Appliance, its contribution to the environment and how it would best make the service a better option than buying.

Subscription appliances significantly reduce landfill waste and associated carbon emissions.  This is for one simple reason. The interests of a subscription appliance business is aligned with sustainable outcomes.  


1. Subscription Appliances Means Appliance Users Don’t Send Appliances to Waste.


Subscribing appliances can help reduce landfill waste by reusing and recycling appliances so end users don’t need to continually buy appliances new and repeat the wasteful cycle.  Subscription appliances are part of an answer to closing the loop.  When you own or rent appliances the traditional way, they don’t receive the proper care or servicing they need.  Often people lament that appliances just aren’t built to last anymore.  That just isn’t true.  What is true is that people don’t look after their appliances anymore, and this is usually because the cost of labour, the cost of parts, and the risk of unsuccessful repair means that appliances aren’t economical to repair.




If the cost of labour was cheaper we might see a manufacturer conspiracy to less repairability to encourage more sales, but they just don’t have that incentive. The way things are now an appliance manufacturer wants to have serviceable and repairable appliances, because when it breaks the blame is shifted to the consumer for not getting the risky and expensive repair undertaken. The appliance could be repaired, it is the consumer choosing not to, because choosing to repair them usually involves acting against their best economic interests. Neither are appliances periodically serviced like they might once have been.  Just like your car, your appliances need periodic checking by a professional to identify if anything is on the way out and needing replacement.  Belts, bearings, pulleys, heaters, fans, all easily replaceable failure points. 

Imagine driving your car for several years without a service and throwing it away to buy a new one when it breaks down, and complaining that cars just aren’t built like they used to be!  Appliances have only got more reliable, the advent of the computer age has allowed a myriad of analogue and mechanical switches to be replaced with a solid state computer, vastly reducing failure points.  We expect appliances to last longer while looking after them less.

Subscription services changes this dynamic from unsustainable to sustainable products within the reduce, reuse, recycle, philosophy – that is – sustainable practices supporting sustainable living.  A subscribing appliances model means the customer simply returns a non-working appliance for a working one – they’re never in a position to need to dispose of an appliance. 

2. The Subscription Appliance Business Model Encourages Appliance Owners to Maintain Their Appliances Instead of Sending Them to Waste.

With subscription services, the customer no longer owns the machine, and is no longer responsible for its care and uptake.  Instead the subscribing appliances business is responsible, and the customer expects working appliances at all times.  For the subscribing services business, they want appliances that are easily repairable with long service lives, and they want to avoid breakdowns at customers houses because its bad for customer experience, its much harder to deal with than in the warehouse or factory, and it might require multiple visits to resolve.  So a subscribing appliance business services their appliances.  The subscribing appliances business also has an economic interest in getting the longest life out of an appliance, and repairing it.  In fact they’re usually going to specialise in repairing their appliances, its much more cost effective for the subscribing appliances business to repair and service their appliances and pass the saving s onto customers, than continually buy appliances, and throw broken appliances away which only need minor service.

Subscribing appliances turns the economics of repairing appliances around, signficantly reducing waste through reuse and longer service lives. The economic interest of the subscribing appliances business is aligned with sustainable practices and sustainable products and through that sustainable living – there’s no need for anyone to do the right thing, the structure itself aligns the economic interest of the appliance owner with the reduce reuse recycle principles.   

3. The Subscription Appliance Business Model Creates an Economic Incentive to Salvage Parts.

When an appliance has come to the end of its service life, its reusable parts can be salvaged for use in another appliance, further reducing waste and improving sustainable living.  While there are service parts that wear out, there are many that have no service life, or have very long service lives and will continue to last in good condition.  For example a washing machine door, or a fridge shelf.  This also combats another problem with the sustainable practices of the appliance industry, the dreaded NLA – no longer available.  Depending on the brand and model of appliance you buy, parts may never be available to buy.  For quality brands like Fisher Paykel, Electrolux, LG, Miele and Asko parts are usually available, but for how long varies wildly.  Sometimes you won’t be able to get a part after just one year  (or less), sometimes parts can be available after 20 years or longer.  Usually the more you pay for the appliance initially, the longer parts will be available but there’s no guarantees.  And even for a specific model some parts might be NLA after just a few years, while others are available a few decades later.  A good example of this is Fisher and Paykel refrigerators.  For many of their models the doors are no longer available, so if a door is damaged, it needs to be repaired, or if its too bad another door needs to be found from an appliance that is otherwise beyond repair.  For the same fridge, most of the other parts are still readily available, as they’re used on more current models and you can even get parts for a fridge thats 30 years old in many cases, just frustratingly, not the doors.  

For the subscription appliance business owner, because they own hundreds of the same model of appliance, they can convert anything that is beyond repair into parts, and now those parts that are no longer availalble – they are available!  That fridge that would have been put out on the nature strip as waste, now gets a chance to breathe new life into several of its brothers and sisters.  Traditionally when you rent appliances or buy appliances many of these parts would be ewaste, with subscribing appliances they’re kept as valuable parts.

4. The Subscription Appliance Business Model encourages manufacturers to build more repairable appliances.

The final reason subscription appliances reduce waste is by encouraging appliance manufacturers to adopt more sustainable practices and design and build more repairable and sustainable products.  It is simple supply and demand.  As the demand grows for subscription appliances, the business owners will have a strong preference for repairable appliances, and pay a premium for them.  There will be higher demand for those repairable appliances and therefore the manufacturer can command a higher price, while those less repairable or with poor parts availability will be less attractive and won’t be as valuable.   This can make better appliances availalble to all and support more sustainable living.

There, we have compiled them all together. True to this writing the services we offer here at Whybuy is over the top. Minimum effort with maximum result for us, our customers and the environment. We have only started with suggesting a more sustainable lifestyle to our customers and we will continue to do more and add more services that would aid the idea of sustainability at its best functionality. 

Stay tuned to know more about Whybuys journey.

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