Reflections on economics of vacuum sealer appliances
I considered the alternative subject "appliances that suck".
I am currently in the market for a replacement for my "FoodSaver" vacuum sealing appliance. Currently I have a model V3480 which served me for 11 years though it was clearly on it's way out in the 11th year. This got me to thinking about the economics of these. I went through my gardening records and tallied up the total throughput of my now defunct unit. It came to 2700 lbs. I do not have a record of the cost of the unit but it was probably on the order of $120. This would compute to about 4.5 cents appliance cost per lb bagged. Weight of bagged items ranges from essentially zero up to 4 1/2 lbs and I would guess the average weight of the bagged items to be around 2 lbs requiring 2700lbs/2 lbs/bag = 1350 bags. Estimated cost per bag is $0.30 so a bag cost of $0.30/2lbs or $0.15/lb. Total bag expenditure is 1350X$0.30 = $405 over 11 years. The overall economics look good to me but I have been obsessing over the cost of a new unit even though the bag cost dominates. I have decided to find a used unit as I suspect that many of the ones available are very "low mileage" compared to my old unit. The entire V3400 series of which there are several models is no longer current. I am generally quite competent in troubleshooting and repairing electromechanical stuff but have not had success with this one. In general, FoodSaver replacement parts are not available with a few exceptions. All of the V3400 series are so similar that the commonality of parts is near 100%. I am inclined to find one in this series as I will have a "parts unit" on hand. I haven't completely ruled out a used unit in the V4400 series which is still currently in production.
Anyone on the forum with experience with particular models of these types of appliances please share your thoughts.