They make it easy to exchange faulty items—or even give them back if you change your mind.
Like many of my fellow home cooks, I spend a lot of time just thinking about dropping a considerable amount of money on an essential (yet costly) kitchen gadget. The thought of ripping open a brand new kitchen mixer only to discover that it’s not a fit in my kitchen, and then being stuck with it forever, keeps me awake at night.
Buyer’s remorse is real, whether it’s because you don’t end up liking the product or—even more terrifying—it happens to stop working or malfunction despite all your attempts to baby it.
The one thing that gives me hope is that many big-ticket purchases are backed by brands with extremely generous return policies and guarantees. Forget the usual approach to returns—no 14-day time limits, waiting in exorbitant lines, sweating over losing a flimsy receipt or not getting a full refund.
These brands are notorious for selling kitchen essentials that will take your cooking to the next level—and they often have a next-level price tag to match. But they also deserve some applause for making shopping a true customer-friendly experience again. Here are policies that will transform the way you shop for pricey kitchen essentials:
1) Le Creuset
Just the mention of this classic French kitchenware manufacturer brings a few things to mind, including beautifully crafted dutch ovens, colorful Instagram-friendly cocottes, irresistible kitchen accessories, and yes, a truly hefty price.
Le Creuset dutch ovens retail normally for well over $300 depending on size, with its most expensive 5-piece cast-iron set coming in just under $600. You'll face no greater shopping debate than whether you should spend what looks like a car payment on a cast-iron pot (albeit one that'll last you for years).
You might justify your dutch oven purchase based on all of the marvelous cooking it'll do, but there is another reason why you shouldn't feel too guilty. There's a lifetime warranty for all cast-iron products made by Le Creuset, meaning if your dutch oven breaks during normal use, or is defective in any way, you can recieve a new dutch oven free of charge.
Sure, if you drop and chip your $200 clover-shaped cocotte you're on your own. But if the enamel on the bottom of the dutch oven starts peeling away during hot and heavy cooking sessions, you're covered.
LAWeekly describes how Le Creuset uses a case-by-case review process to make sure you didn't treat your product poorly—terms that the company carefully lays out on its website—before they ship a replacement out to you.
Le Creuset has similar warranties for nearly all of its products, as well as a 45-day return policy for everything it sells, no questions asked.
Buy It: Signature 4.5Qt Dutch Oven, $300
One of the finest names in pots and pans, nearly all of Calphalon's products are covered by a lifetime warranty, meaning you can return products long after you've initially purchased them.
For Calphalon's cookware lines, including popular sets like this 10-piece stainless steel bundle, any products in the "Elite," "Signature," "Contemporary," "Tri Ply" and "Classic" lines are covered by a full lifetime warranty.
Calphalon "Simply" and "Select" bakeware lines, including items like this $40 nonstick set, are also covered by a lifetime warranty. And if you're a fan of Calphalon knives, the "Classic," "Contemporary," "Precision," and "Katana" cutlery are packaged under Calphalon's lifetime warranty as well.
If you've ever purchased an item under one of those lines and then discover a defect, you'd be able to arrange a free replacement of the same item (or something similar) over the phone. A brand representative told Cooking Light that it helps the process to also send in photos of your affected product via email.
Many of Calphalon's items not listed above are subject to a 10-year warranty, so if it broke, even if it's been sitting in a drawer for a couple years, there's a chance you'll be able to return it.
Any Calphalon item you purchase from a kitchen retailer is subject to their return policy, but if you did purchase through Calphalon directly, the brand also offers a 60-day return policy for anything purchased on its website—you don't have to keep it if you end up hating it.
The market on blenders and mixers are full of options to choose from—but there are more than eight different warranties on various Ninja blenders and food processors that deserve your attention.
Every single Ninja product, including their line of multicookers, is covered by a one-year limited warranty. But many of the pricier items within Ninja's lineup are covered by a lifetime "VIP" warranty, which should protect you in the event that your blender suddenly can't whip up fruit smoothies instantly anymore. There are warranties that apply to each and every product on the site, including 5-year and 3-year options.
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It's important to note that these warranties don't cover worn-out accessories, which generally run $20-60. You can see how much the replacement part you need costs right here.
Second guessing your Ninja purchase? The company has a 60-day money-back guarantee on all of its products, which you can take advantage if you're willing to mail in your lightly used product.
Buy It: Intelli-Sense Blender, $229.99
We'd be shocked if you didn't already own a Cuisinart product in your kitchen—the manufacturer makes so many different things, it's hard to avoid owning something.
If, for some reason, your appliance or tool fails in your kitchen, the company will either repair it and send it back or give you a new one for free.
The brand also coordinates product returns over the phone and via email should you decide that you no longer want your item.
Buy It: 8-Cup Food Processor, $99
We won't lie: You'll probably be shocked by the price tag on these high-end food storage containers—a large set can list for more than $200. But the price makes sense when you consider that every Tupperware product is covered by a lifetime warranty.
The company lists all of the instances in which you'd be able to get a free exchange, including: chipping, breaking, peeling, cracking, and warping. If you happen to have any of these issues, you can get a replacement by arranging a swap with a local Tupperware consultant or via the brand's online form.
And if you decide that you'd rather continue to buy your meal-prep containers elsewhere, you can return any Tupperware product within 30 days of purchase on their website.
Buy It: Crystalwave 4-Piece Set, $46
Honorable Mention: KitchenAid
While this kitchen manufacturer takes a case-by-case approach to providing warranties for items they sell, KitchenAid also offers a paid service where customers can extend warranties for an annual fee.
If you own a KitchenAid stand mixer and pay just $14 a year, you can expect repairs or a replacement if the mixer is sluggish or fails to spin, which can save you from having to buy another at market price.