Greensboro, NC -- So you finally were able to save up and buy your dream 70-inch TV, but when you get to the register the store asks if you want to shell out even more money for an extended warranty. Consumer Reports says most of the time it's not worth it. In fact, they claim years of testing have shown the majority of products are reliable enough where you don't need that extra protection.
There are some cases where it might still be something to think about, though. That's when you're worried about breaking the product from a lot of use - or theft. Two good examples include your work laptop, which goes everywhere with you, and a music player for your young kids. But read the fine print. It's only worth it if the warranties cover accidental damage and theft.
If you buy an extended warranty, consider some of these guidelines: Make sure you don't spend more than 20 percent of the product's value, and shop around. Products may be about the same price at different stores, but warranties can vary.
And don't miss this: depending on the wording, it's possible the warranty you bought tells you they will fix it, but there's a catch. You have to ship it to them - wherever they are in the country - to get it fixed. A TV could cost a lot to ship. It may be cheaper to forgo the warranty and call a local repairman.