Smeg appliances are known around the globe thanks to their unique 1950’s style. However, despite being swoon-worthy the brand’s appliances are notoriously expensive.
I estimate that 50% of the cost of a Smeg appliance is directly associated with purchasing ‘the brand name’ rather than the quality or design of the product. Given this, I don’t believe Smeg appliances are worth the money.
I completed a host of research to demonstrate why Smeg products are expensive to help you determine whether they are worth your cold, hard cash!
History Of Smeg
The Smeg brand was founded in 1948 by Vittorio Bertazzoni in Northern Italy. The brands’ vision was to develop products which were designed to meet the ever-evolving technological demands, change lifestyle habits and make completing the housework both easier and less time-consuming.
Over the last 70 years, the Smeg brand has achieved just that and has gone onto be at the forefront of modern-day technology in everyday appliances and has achieved such success that these appliances are now manufactured for commercial (kitchens in restaurants etc.) and personal use.
Today the brand is run by the third generation of Bertazzoni’s and while its home still remains in a small town in Northern Italy it now also has subsidiaries in 18 countries across the globe including; UK, Germany, Spain, South Africa, USA, Australia and Singapore.
Why Smeg Appliances Are Expensive
Smeg appliances are significantly more expensive than mainstream kitchen appliance brands such as Black & Decker, KitchenAid and Breville.
Take for example this toaster. It’s a basic two-slice toaster, but given the Smeg brand, it retails for $169.99 on the Bed Bath and Beyond site right now.
While it’s not the most expensive two-slice toaster on the website, it’s in the top 5% and is 90 times more expensive than the cheapest toaster which retails for just $16.99.
So, what accounts for this incredible mark up considering the end result is much the same.
While many may argue that the components of a Smeg appliance are of higher quality this is only 25% or so of the equation.
You see if we take a slightly more expensive toaster such as the KitchenAid 2-Slice All-Metal Toaster at $49.99 then we’re getting the same results from a machine that’s likely to last just as long before needing replacing or repairing given it’s design and manufacturing.
After all, there’s only so expensive a two-slice toaster (without wifi capabilities, a screen and some other high tech stuff – and yes, this is a thing) can be given the minimal parts required even if you looked at buying the most superior-high-quality components.
So what makes up the other 75% of the brands mark up?
Roughly 10% to 20% is in the design. Smeg gained worldwide traction after releasing a range of 1950’s inspired appliances and this is certainly an appeal to many.
However, you can get a similar two-slice toaster with high-quality components just like those of Smeg, complete with a 1950’s inspired design and still only pay around $80.
Which means the remaining 50% of the Smeg brands mark up comes from its name and the association between the brand and the way you perceive a person who owns the brand.
Much like someone owning Dolce & Gabbana trainers or a Rolex watch. The trainers work just as well as Nike trainers which would retail for around 90% of the price and the Rolex watch would work just as well and provide the same end result as the majority of watches again at 90% less.
However, you’re buying the brand and the status symbol that comes with it.
Are Smeg Appliances Worth The High Price Tag?
Given we’ve determined that approximately 50% of the price of a Smeg appliance is directly associated with the brand name and what it symbolises rather than the quality of the product and therefore the end result, I’d say that Smeg appliances aren’t worth the high price tag.
The cost of a Smeg fridge is currently $1999 and as I expected you can get a fridge with a similar design, and of the same quality for over half that at just $879.
If you’re after the 1950’s style appliances that the Smeg brand has become known for then you’re best searching for 1950’s and then the appliance you’re searching for in Google.
I’ve been unable to find one brand that focuses on the 1950’s style and produces a range of products with consistent colour schemes like Smeg.
However, if you’re after the reliability of Smeg products and a hint of that ‘named brand’ feeling then I’d suggest opting for Kitchen Aid products instead.
During my research, I found that Kitchen Aid products are 50% cheaper than the majority of Smeg appliances and often the same quality, reliability and curb appeal.
Meanwhile, the majority of Breville products are 75% cheaper than Smeg appliances and offer a similar level of quality and reliability – although maybe not quite the curb appeal and brand name desire you might be looking for.
How To Save Money On Smeg Appliances
Should you still want to buy a Smeg appliance there are somethings you can do to save money.
You could look to buy the appliance second hand. The majority of second-hand appliances retail for around 50% less than the original RRP and while Smeg appliances tend to hold their value slightly more it’s still a sure-fire way to save money.
You can also ask for the floor model, in certain stores they’ll have a floor model or demo appliance which is used to help incentivize people to purchase the item.
When new models are released or stores are redesigned these models are often sold off with a discount of between 10% to 25%. While this is often a ‘right place, right time scenario’ it’s something to consider during your search.
You could aim to buy the appliance during Black Friday or during the Boxing Day sales. In this case, you’ll still be buying a new appliance but may save up to 25% as a result.
The problem with this solution is that you may be waiting months for your new appliance (i.e. if you’re looking to replace your refrigerator in June then November is a number of months away, will your fridge last this long or has it already stopped working).
Finally, if you have to buy your kitchen appliances brand new and are unable to wait for the sales then I suggest shopping around and using coupon codes where possible. The majority of stores will offer a ‘best price guarantee’ so you can ensure that you’re getting the best possible retail price.
On top of this, you can use coupon codes which are advertised on the site, directly delivered to your inbox or found online through the likes of Honey to save anything up to 30%.