Vitamix 5200 for $200 or 300 for retail?
A few weeks ago I bought a Vitamix 300 for full retail from Macy's. Thought I needed the latest and greatest, so I went with that. I love it of course, with the exception of blending smaller amounts - it doesn't do so well (which is funny, because if you look at the stock photo of the red one on Macys' site, it shows an amount definitely less than their recommended 2 cups or whatever for the next-gen pitchers http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/vi...). They recommend purchasing the older style 32 oz pitcher for smaller amounts. Call me crazy but after spending $530 on an appliance I don't feel inclined to spend another $100+ on another jar. Here's the dilemma...a friend of a friend is selling a new-in-box/never registered 5200 for TWO HUNDRED BUCKS. I'm so tempted to get it and return the 300 to Macy's. At that price, I wouldn't even mind spending the extra $100+ for a smaller pitcher, though then I wouldn't really need it unless I decide to put it under my cabinet. Has anyone tried both models? I seem to remember reading a review or two that said the 300 seemed to pulverize seeds somewhat better, which is important to me as I have texture issues with many foods - although I am not sure if I can justify it being ~$365 important (including tax) when I'm sure the 5200 already does a fantastic job.
What would you seasoned Chowhounds do?!
Since this has gone many hours without a reply, I'm going to give my opinion which isn't what you're asking. Ethically I'd have a hard time returning a used appliance since basically you found a better deal. I know their return policy allows it, but I wouldn't in good conscience be able to do it. YMMV and I respect that.
I made the mistake of buying a Vitamix without researching the models first, which led to me buying three different models over the span of a week. I started with a CIA Professional Series (which is a variation on the C-Series 5200), which I quickly returned because it didn't fit under my counter. I then bought an S-Series S30, because I was mostly using it for 1-2 people. After a few days, I decided that I wouldn't use the 20-ounce cup and the 32-ounce container was just a bit too small. Now I have the G-Series 750, which fits under my counter perfectly. And I have grown to really like the pre-programmed settings (although if I had the 300 without those pre-sets, I probably would never have minded manually fiddling with the controls). But I also bought a 48oz wet container, which is the one I keep on the machine by default. I've never had any minimum-liquid issues with the 48-oz container.
I thought I would have wanted the S-Series because it's the only one that's dishwaser-safe, but doing a quick wash/rinse using one of the presets is just as easy.
In your case -- if the 5200 fits in your kitchen (e.g. you're not trying to put it under a standard cabinet) then it's probably worth it. The G-Series is a bit quieter but the primary advantage of the newer models is the ability to fit into most kitchens because of the form factor.
As far as the ethics of returning the machine, Vitamix is pretty open with a return policy where they want you to try it out and return it if you don't like it for any reason, within 30 days. You could even tell them exactly what the issue is and they'd have no problem taking it back.