We cleared out almost all of our US appliances before loading our container. Happily, many of the newer things for the entertainment center were suitable for use in NZ, but none of the kitchen things. I did keep a couple of favorites, my Instant Pot and slow cooker, with the idea that we could get one transformer for kitchen use, and maybe one for our PS3 or office. We did just that, but my Instant Pot is 1000W, so the transformer that could handle that ended up being the size of a toaster. In our reduced size kitchen, that alone was nearly a deal breaker. They were also quite expensive. And yes, there's a hum.

But the actual reason we ended up returning them was surprising. They STANK!!! The plastic housing has some serious off-gasing going on. We left them in the sun room with windows open for like a week so it wouldn't stink up the house, but they never seemed to get less noxious. When we put them back in the original packaging, even the cardboard box still smelled really gross, even after sitting in the garage with nothing in it.

I suppose you could find a good one through trial and error, but it really wasn't worth our time or mental energy, and it's just as reasonable to buy new appliances as it is to shell out for the transformer, really. Unless you have something irreplaceable or for some reason sentimental (mom's KitchenAid? I dunno), I wouldn't bother.

Briscoe's has frequent sales on homewares, so much so that if something isn't on sale, you should just check back next week and it probably will be 50% off :-P