Posts Tagged ‘ vitamix.com coupon ’

$30 Off on the Vitamix 5200 Super Package at Costco.com

Costco is currently running a $30 off promotion on their Vitamix 5200 Super Package, which is a good deal for the right person:

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Personally, having owned and used the Vitamix 5200 and 7500 extensively, I prefer the 7500.  Whether you think the 7500 is worth the additional expense or not is up to personal preference.  I wrote a post about that topic that goes into more detail, but my personal opinion is that it is.

That said, if someone were more interested in the 5200 model, and they wanted the dry grains container, this could be a great deal.  Currently, Vitamix sells the very similar Vitamix 5200 Super – Healthy Lifestyle, the bundle they offered $50 of on Black Friday 2012, and I thought that was a good deal for someone who wanted the 5200 and dry grains container.

The value question to me would come down to three things:

First, do I want the 7500 or the 5200?  Again, having owned both, I do prefer the 7500.

Second, do I want the dry grains container?  Maybe I’m totally missing out, but I don’t blend enough dry grains to justify a dry blade container, but I absolutely recognize there are people who would use it regularly.

Third, do I want the new model, or am I happy to go with the 5-year warranty instead of a 7-year warranty and buy the refurbished 5200 or refurbished 7500 instead.  I’ve written about why I think a Vitamix is absolutely worth the price, and my fantastic experiences with Vitamix’s customer service team is both the biggest section of that post, and one of the most compelling reasons to buy a Vitamix, but even five years is an extremely long warranty, and as someone who watches his pennies, I tend to lean towards the refurbished models as the most bang for one’s buck.  (If you are ordering from Vitamix directly, they do include free shipping.)

Obviously this bundle isn’t a great match for me, but if you’d choose 5200, dry grains container and new as your answers to the three questions above, Costco’s got a great deal through the 18th of August!

Why would I spend so much money on a Vitamix Blender?

I definitely understand how crazy it sounds to some people to spend three figures on a blender. I deliberated myself for a few weeks before I finally decided to buy my first Vitamix blender, and I started this blender blog in part to make sure I kept using the blender.

Two years later, I have no regrets, and would encourage people who are on the fence to buy a Vitamix. In this post, I’ll try to articulate the reasons I think a Vitamix blender is worth the price, focusing on some key points and sharing my personal experiences.

 

Extremely High Performance Blender

Almost everyone would agree that Vitamix makes phenomenal blenders. Impartial reviews universally praise the Vitamix. One such example is a blender showdown by Popular Mechanics, where the Vitamix 5200 had the smoothest results of the five manufacturers that were tested, and Vitamix shares the top spot in the most recent Consumer Reports blender rankings.

Yes, there are other high performance blenders available, but it’s good to be aware of difference between an average blender you might find at a big box store and a high quality, high powered blender. Peanut butter and hummus made with fresh sesame seeds instead of tahini paste are examples of things that you just can’t make in your average blender.

But even if you’re not interested in making something that demanding, the texture difference between an inexpensive blender and a high powered blender is profound. Something as simple as a frozen banana and milk or ice cubes and fresh fruit is amazing with the right texture. I love Hawaiian shave ice, or as it’s called in Japan, かき氷 (kakigori), but I have virtually no interest in snow cones, and the only difference is texture. Whether it’s frozen treats, soups, dips or sauces, if the texture is better, the end results tastes better.

 

Extremely Good Customer Service

I have killed my fair share of less expensive blenders. The ice cubes and frozen bananas I mentioned above that blend in my Vitamix have both been culprits in the early demise of cheaper blenders. Most, if not all, of those blenders probably had a one-year warranty, and broke inside the first year. I didn’t have any of them replaced with their warranty because I have jumped through similar hoops with other household products (most recently an electric blanket) and it usually ends up being more hassle than it’s worth, even if you did keep the receipt.

I will admit, I have a very low tolerance for automated call centers that ask me to enter model numbers with my touch tone phone and/or it require navigating multiple menus and a lengthy hold time before speaking with a representative reading from a script.

One of the reasons I purchased my Vitamix is because of the experience I had when I first called them to ask a few questions about their blender while I was on the fence. I almost immediately spoke with a real person who was very knowledgeable and answered all of my questions and concerns. I felt like, if I ever did have an issue with my blender, they would actually take care of me.

Sure enough, they did. I’ve actually had two issues with my blender, and both times, I was shocked with how good Vitamix’s service was.

My first issue, which is detailed in this post, was likely something I was partially responsible for, as I was throwing peanut butter, mochi, squash and a lot of other tough ingredients in the blender to see what it could handle. When a piece of the blender finally broke, I called Vitamix. I spoke with a representative who explained the piece that broke was designed to break under high stress to protect the rest of the blender.  She sent me out a prepaid shipping label to send everything back to VitaMix at no charge.

Less than two weeks later, I had my repaired blender back, along with a brand new blender jar, and it hadn’t cost me a dime, only a few minutes on the phone.

I was very impressed, but my second experience with Vitamix support was even better. I liked my Vitamix so much that I bought a Vitamix 7500, planning to give my 5200 to my parents for Christmas. I stuck the wrong tamper into the 7500 blender running on high and, well, there’s a picture over in this old post that’s worth a thousand words.

I called Vitamix with a mea culpa, explaining that I had done something very dumb, damaging both the blade assembly and my tamper, expecting to pay to fix one or both damaged items. Not only did Vitamix support say they would replace both under warranty, but when I explained that I was heading to Florida soon for Christmas, and that I was bringing the 5200, without blinking, the woman I was speaking with asked for my parents’ address, saying they’d try to get the tamper to my parents’ house before Christmas, and would send the blade assembly for the new blender to my house so it’d be waiting when I got back home.

In January of this year, when I was able to get a Pro 300 for free from work, they let me return my 7500 without any trouble, paying for the return shipping.  I cannot think of another company with customer service that can hold a candle to those three experiences.

 

Extremely Long Warranty

Vitamix’s standard warranty is seven years. Those customer service stories I shared above? They’re even more amazing when you consider that you are covered for seven years when you buy a new Vitamix blender. Even when you buy a reconditioned blender from Vitamix, it comes with a 5-year warranty, standard.

 

Extremely Long History

One of things that surprised me about my Vitamix is that is made in the USA. I just checked, and it is the only kitchen appliance in my house that is made in the USA, and even states proudly on the label that it is “made with a minimum of 70% U.S.A. content.” (I have a high quality Zojirushi rice cooker that is made in Japan, but outside of my rice cooker and Vitamix, every other appliance in my kitchen is, you guessed it, made in China.)

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Vitamix was founded in America three generations ago back when high quality kitchen appliances were built in America and built to last. They’re actually still making high quality kitchen appliances in America that are built to last.

Their current president is the great-grandson of the founder, and no blender manufacturer has been around as long, or been as focused on blenders, as Vitamix. That seven year warranty I mentioned above provides that much more piece of mind when you realize that seven years is less than a tenth of the company’s history.

 

Extremely Good Controls

Maybe this doesn’t deserve it’s own subheading, and what I’m about to go into is certainly personal preference, but I want to mention the controls. I’ve had more than one person ask me about the analog dial and switches compared to other blenders with presets and buttons.

My parents replaced there older electric stove top with a new one with an LCD that offers, L, 2-9 and H for each burner. They like it, and I’m sure there are plenty of people who prefer that, but I very much prefer having my natural gas stove, and the analog controls that go with it. That’s how I feel about the controls on my Vitamix. I don’t want to press a button with the assumption that 60 seconds is the right amount of time for the texture I’m looking for, I’d rather have control over the strength and duration.

The pulse option of the 7500 is a nice feature I occasionally use, but even if I went back to using a 5200, I’d prefer those controls over something just buttons and presets. (This is coming from a computer nerd.)  My view point is obviously not universal, as Vitamix offers more than one version of the 7500/Pro 300 that does have presets.

 

Should everyone go out and buy a blender this expensive and this nice? Absolutely not. I’m one of those people that falls into the category of regular blender user and I think it’s a wonderful kitchen appliance for people who will use it regularly.

When my family moved from Japan to America after the March 11th earthquake, we had to get rid of all our electrical appliances that wouldn’t work with American voltage, which included the blender my wife had gotten me as a gift years earlier.  She bought me a nice blender because I told her about my history of killing cheap ones making frozen drinks.  The one blender she had bought me in Japan survived more frozen drinks than all the blenders I had gone through in high school and college.

The satisfaction I derived from using a quality blender in Japan, contrasted with the frustrations of dealing with blenders jamming, breaking and leaving chunks pushed me to finally spending the money to buy a nice blender in the states. I was worried that I’d regret the decision, to the point that I started this blog to maximize the chances I wouldn’t, which is ironic, because years later, the reason the blog has seen the 50+ posts that it has is because it’s one of my favorite purchases.

My uncle has an impressive collection of high quality tools. His motto on quality products is: “You can cheap out on a tool, and regret the decision every time the tool breaks or isn’t up to a task. Or, you can spend the extra money on a quality tool, where you might feel some regret when you first pay for it, but every time you go to use that tool after that, you’ll be glad you have it.”

I think that sums it up pretty well.

 

If you are wondering whether the 7500 or 5200 is right for you, I recommend this post: Is the Vitamix 7500 worth the extra money?
Buying a Vitamix on a budget?  I talk about the refurbished option in this post:  How to get a Vita-Mix 7500 (for a great price!)
If you do decide to buy a Vitamix, I recommend buying direct from Vitamix.com.

Is the Vitamix 7500 worth the extra money?

I received the following comments on one of my YouTube videos:

nice video. I’m very happy with my 5200 which I purchased at costco for a good price. I don’t plan on getting the 7500 but do you think it’s worth the extra money? great video and looking forward to more.

The answer to that question is a qualified “yes”.  (Obviously, the biggest qualification is how much “extra money” someone’s paying for the 7500.)

To give better context to my answer, I thought I’d share my updated feedback on the Vitamix claims for the 7500 that I originally shared in a post back in September:

  • Greater than 2 horsepower motor to process dense ingredients with ease

Yes, the Vitamix 7500 does process dense ingredients with ease. I still don’t care about the horsepower number, as I’m just interested in how the blender actually performs.  That said, it definitely performs.  The original hummus recipe that came in the 5200 cookbook instructs you to “Blend for 1 minute, using the tamper to push the ingredients into the blades while processing.”  The Roasted Red Pepper Hummus recipe that comes in the recipe book for the 7500 uses the exact same instructions, but when I made hummus with the 5200, I found the tamper to be necessary.  When I make the same hummus with the 7500, not only is the tamper not necessary, but the way the hummus blends, it’s clear that it’s all being processed evenly.  The sesame seeds I use are completely blended and the texture is excellent.  Even in my first attempt, the tamper was not necessary to make a Banana Milk in the 7500, and carrots and similar vegetables blend in the 7500 smoothly where the tamper and water were needed for the 5200.

Simply put, the tamper stayed in the 5200 lid when not in use because I needed it more often than not, but the tamper isn’t needed for the vast majority of the same recipes when I use the 7500.

  • Vibration dampening technology for noticeably quieter performance

Yes, it is noticeably quieter.  As I answered in the comments section of an earlier post, the 7500 is definitely quieter than the 5200, even at full speed.  At lower speeds, the difference is significant, but at it’s highest speed the difference is definitely not huge, and would be very low on the list of improvements the 7500 has that I’m appreciative of.

  • Ultra-responsive Variable Speed Dial and pulse feature for precise recipe creation

The speed dial now offers speeds 1-10, and that’s it.  It used to be that you needed to dial from one to 10, and then flip the switch to high to blend at high speed.  That “High” switch has been replaced with a pulse switch.  This does make normal use slightly easier, as you need only deal with the dial.  While the instructions state to always start the blender at 1 (as with the 5200), in both normal use and when using the pulse switch, the powering on of the blender seems to automatically throttle itself on the 7500, and accidentally starting it on 10 or high doesn’t seem to have a negative impact on the 7500 as it did on the 5200.  (Full disclosure:  It’s so easy to use the blender without resetting to one every time that I left the lid off of some frozen pina coladas I was making when adding some stevia, and turned the blender back on [thinking it was set at one] while it was still at 10.  Only my face and dignity suffered, the blender had no problems spinning up to high speed.)

  • 64-ounce container designed to fit under most kitchen cabinets.

As I mentioned in my first post, I don’t really care about this.  I’m sure it’s nice for others, but it’s not why I upgraded.  There is an unexpected beneficial side effect that I’ll mention below.

Now, there are a few things not on the list above that I really like.  The biggest difference is the power switch on the side of the blender.  I don’t know whether the 5200 uses any more power than the 7500 while plugged in but not in use, but with two young kids, I appreciate the fact that the blender has an on/off switch that makes it substantially less likely that someone will accidentally turn it on.  The LED lights when the blender is on are a nice touch as well.

I’m also pleasantly surprised by the benefits of the wider blender container.  Part of the need for the tamper with the 5200 was the tendency of food like celery, carrots and frozen bananas to stay upright longer, requiring a longer blending time, and a large handful of leaves, such as spinach, could easily become stuck above the blades due to the narrow container.  The blender container on the 7500 means leaves fall into the blades and vegetables that would stay horizontal in the 5200 longer fall into the blades quicker on the 7500.

Now, I recognize that most people aren’t going to want to spend +$500 on a blender, but the Vitamix 5200 is not that much cheaper, so if you’re willing to pay for a new 5200, I would recommend buying the 7500 if you can afford it.  If someone is weighing their option between a refurbished 5200 and a full price 7500, I would say it comes down to how much you’re willing to spend and how much that extra bit of performance is important to you.  As I mentioned in my last post, if you’re somehow able to find someplace that has sells Vitamixs that has a 20% coupon that doesn’t exclude Vitamixs, that could be a better deal than buying from Vitamix.com.  But in my experience, and current prices at Vitamix.com, I’d say the answer to whether the Vitamix 7500 is worth the extra money depends on whether you view the refurbished 5200 (or a great 5200 Costco deal, as the commenter above found) as the best bang-for-your-buck.  If you’re willing to spend the extra money on the 7500, I definitely believe it is the best home consumer blender you can buy, and a noticeable improvement over the 5200.

Update (3/23/2013):  In addition to the refurbished 5200 I mentioned, there is now a refurbished 7500/Pro 300/Creations Elite available.  I wrote a post about it, and I think it’s a fantastic option to consider for anyone thinking about picking up a Vitamix.

Reconditioned Blender with 64 oz. Container back in stock at Vitamix with a 5-year warranty for $329, free ground shipping with coupon: 06-006651

(2017 Update: Code no longer needed, you can get free shipping by visiting Vitamix through this link.)

 

I was browsing the Vitamix website, and I saw that the Reconditioned Blender with 64 oz. Container is back in stock at Vitamix with a 5-year warranty for $329 (Only still available in White at the moment) that’s probably the single best deal you’ll find on a high end blender with a 5 (or more) year warranty.  Coupon code 06-006651 does get you free shipping too.

Still meaning to write a real post about what I’ve been mixing up since we moved into our new house last month, but for now this post will have to do.

Update (3/23/2013):  In addition to the refurbished 5200 I mentioned, there is now a refurbished 7500/Pro 300/Creations Elite available.  I wrote a post about it, and I think it’s a fantastic option to consider for anyone thinking about picking up a Vitamix.  (Coupon code 06-006651 works with the refurbished 7500 as well.)