The Forever Appliance: by PartStore

Easy, cheap access to replacement parts is the ultimate do-it-yourselfer's dream. Though it may not suit all TreeHuggers, a service like PartStore can save money and reduce your environmental 'footprint'. When a burner, battery, remote, bulb, gasket or knob breaks, for example, you might look for a repair service to come to your place. A tough one if you're living off grid. Murphy's Law makes it almost certain the service man will ask to use your phone to order a part to install "later". If the broken product is small and light, you'll have to get it to an 'authorized service center', where you will pay a fee for them to diagnose what you probably guessed before you sent it. Then you'll wait for a week or two while they order a part. In both cases, the service marks up the part cost by a hefty margin. With PartStore, on the otherhand, it's all up to you. And it's a geeky self confidence booster to sustain a beloved appliance or piece of electronic equipment by hunting up the OEM part in just a few minutes and having it delivered to your door like it was a book or CD. This TreeHugger's first try was a success. After a $160 estimate from the local appliance shop, I easily found and ordered the exact gasket needed for my old dishwasher's door. It came in a few days, for less than half the estimated amount. Best of all, I did not have to take off a day off work to wait for a repairman. If you don't have anything broken, its interesting to search for a part for that old favorite you gave up on with regrets. Or you can see what the service company pays for a part compared to what you can get it for.

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