Terms of Use:   

You're at the checkout of your favorite retailer, thinking about how great that new 27-inch TV, DVD player and/or microwave oven will be when you get home. Ah, but first, after the question about whether you'll be paying with cash, check, credit or debit card comes the question about whether you want to purchase an extended warranty. Well, do you?

A resounding "NO" should be your final answer. Consumer Reports experts and others say that for the most part, extended warranties are expensive and unnecessary. Not only are you betting at the time of purchase that the product will break, you are betting it will break after the manufacturer's warranty expires but before the extended warranty ends.

But what about the scare tactics about how much a service call or repair will cost? With an extended warranty, you're betting that the cost of repair will exceed the warranty. What's more, the fine print in many extended warranties states that they don't cover repairs on electronics if they are dropped or knocked over.

It makes more sense to stash the price of an extended warranty in a savings account at your credit union or bank. That way, you'll have the money in a rainy-day fund whether or not the product ever needs repairs.