Before buying a large item, such as an appliance, do some research first. Check reviews on sites that sell the item. For example, if you are purchasing a vacuum cleaner, look at Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, and online retailers. There will be customer reviews. Also look on Consumer Reports. Note: you can get a free trial of Consumer Reports Magazine which often includes a free buying guide. Other consumer sites are Consumer Search and Epinions.