Admit it—you almost bought a car once because it had really great cup holders. You can avoid similar behavior in an appliance showroom by making a list of your priority features ("energy efficient,"
"lifetime warranty"). Staple it to a list of competing showrooms and Web retailers so you can comparison shop for the best model with the best combination of features at the best price. Wait for a sale if you can; they say fall is the best hunting season because showrooms are trying to clear space for next year's models. Whenever you go, ask a friend with a level head to come along.