Know what your needs are when you are buying a major appliance or a car. Find out what features you need. Make sure you have them, and DON'T LET ANYONE TALK YOU INTO ADDING ON NEAT FEATURES YOU WILL NOT USE. It isn't worth the extra money for useless (to you) features that sound cool in the store!
Walk away from pushy salesmen and get the business cards of ones who are willing to work with you to get you the right product for you and not the store! They ARE out there and it is helpful to remember who they are so the next time you need something you know exactly who to ask for.