The Big Box Store Myths
Don’t Take the “HOME DETOUR”
Home improvement centers & 1-800 number stores are the MOST EXPENSIVE retailers in town!
Their TV commercials promise huge discounts and everything from free pad and installation to cruise giveaways. The fact is that after they add in everything that is in the small print, their prices are ALWAYS higher than local retailers.
Here’s some helpful information you should know about “Big Box” Stores, Home Improvement Centers, and those stores that only have “1-800” Numbers:
Who is measuring your home?
The person who measures your house does not work for the box store. They work for another company that is contracted by the box store. The box store knows nothing about the person they are sending in to your home. The “800 number” store representative is paid entirely on commission, and this person WILL try to get you to spend as much money as he or she can. These people make incredible bonuses by talking you into buying extras that you DO NOT NEED.
Who is installing your flooring?
The crew that comes to your home does not work for the box store / 800 number store. This crew works for an installation company. Again, the box store knows nothing about the people they are sending in to your home. The actual installers that show up at your house may have very little experience, or a questionable background. Most of the installers here at THE CARPET STORE & MORE have been employed by us for over ten years, and carry their own insurance and bonds.
Read the small print!
A recent sale at one of these do-it-yourself stores was a 10% off sale! The small print stated that it was 10% off the “Installation.” That equals just under six cents per square foot off the marked price. Their corporate minds are always working…They often offer a “flat rate” for an entire home installation. That sounds fantastic, but after they add up all the extras, our bottom line price is always lower on the same product.
Box stores will charge you to move furniture!
Sometimes they offer free “Basic” furniture moving, or use terms like: “we’ll help you move furniture,” but that usually only includes items under a certain weight, or 2 items per room or other things like that. Each additional item that is not covered can cost $25.00 each to move. They normally wait to tell you about this until after they have measured your home and collected their measure fee. They may charge you a “Per room” rate, per item, or they will add on an extra charge per yard. Beware of this at the 800 number places as well.
Look out for “Flat Rate” or “Free” Installation!
The Box Stores and the 1-800 number stores often advertise an entire house installed for a low flat rate, or they offer “free installation.” Just like their advertised 60-70% off sales, this is all smoke and mirrors. These stores will say and do ANYTHING to get you in the door, or to get in your door! The bottom line is that the total price you pay for the same or similar flooring will ALWAYS BE LESS MONEY at THE CARPET STORE than any box store or 1-800 store, no matter how they advertise!
Box stores charge you for an estimate!
They will charge upwards of $50.00 to measure your house. Then the person who measures (third party contractor) will not tell you how much your total is. The estimator will not tell you how many square yards / square feet they came up with until you go back to the store to buy. After they have collected the estimate fee is often when they inform you of “extra charges”. And remember what Larry says: If you have paid an estimate fee; “I’ll refund the fee, if you buy from me”!
Box stores change the labels on their products
When you have chosen a product, you can’t make phone calls to “shop” the competition. In other words, every store in town may have the exact same carpet you want to buy from the box store, but it will have a different name on the label. They can advertise that “Nobody will beat our price on these items” Because nobody else carries “these” items. We all do, but it’s called something else. For example: the carpet you like at the box store may be called “Whistling Hills”. If you call around looking for a price on “Whistling hills”, nobody will know what that is. But we probably have it on our showroom floor under a different name. And for less money!
At the box stores, you pay in full prior to installation!
What if they do a bad job, fall short on material, or never show up? Most stores, including us, ask for a deposit on the order and ask for the balance to be paid on completion of the job, after the job is done to your satisfaction. We also offer payment options including 12 months no interest, OAC.
4 – 6 weeks until installation!
Box stores standard wait time from the date you place your order to the installation date is 4 – 6 WEEKS! This incredible wait time has recently been described by one of our customers as “The Home Detour!” Our average is 7 – 10 working days, in many cases installation can be done in 3 – 7 days. In-stock carpet can be done same, or next day.
I called a box store and asked how long my carpet installation was guaranteed. The answer was 1 year. How can that be? The registrar of contractors holds companies responsible for 2 years. At THE CARPET STORE, we offer a lifetime installation guarantee on your carpet for as long as you own your home.
Hold Times and phone systems
The last time I called a box store, I was directed to an automated system that asked me to “Press 1” etc. When I finally got a human on the phone, I asked for the flooring department. After a few minutes on hold, I was disconnected. I called back, sat on hold, asked for the flooring department again, and finally got an associate on the phone. I asked him “how long is it from order date to installation date? He placed me back on hold. Minutes later, a different associate came on the line. I asked this person the same question. He answered it. My total time invested was over 10 minutes to answer a very simple question. The same phone call to THE CARPET STORE would have taken under one minute from start to finish.
Informed and knowledgeable Staff?
The person in the flooring department at the box store may have just transferred from the plumbing department, or garden department. The staff at THE CARPET STORE all have the experience and knowledge needed to answer all of your questions and help you select the flooring you are looking for.
Beware of the “Upgrades”
All box store and 1-800 number associates are trained to “up sell” the customer. They will try to sell you things you don’t need at an additional charge. Things like expensive pad upgrades, carpets with expensive backings, and higher priced branded yarns. Many different choices are available, however the extra charges these box stores charge are ridiculous.
Are you buying more material than you need?
YES, you are! The box stores add around 10% more square feet / square yards than you actually need. They will say that it is for cut allowance or overage. Every time we measure a home that has been previously measured by a box store, we have come up with less material needed. EVERY TIME! That means you are being charged too much.
Beware of the “Next Day Installation” Stores
These stores promise everything from free trips to next day installation and discounts up to 70 % off! Our customers have told us about how they have been treated by these companies. Bottom line…If it sounds too good to be true, it is! These are some of the highest priced dealers in town. Many are not even local, and do not have a local showroom, business license or office. Ask where their corporate offices are. Also, THE CARPET STORE & MORE has never given a higher bid than these stores on the same product! Their marketing strategy is that if you have them into your home, you will buy without shopping the competition. SHOP THE COMPETITION BEFORE BUYING FROM THESE PLACES!
Beware of advertising that is meant to deceive…
Look out for fly-by-night companies that have only been open a very short time. They will use clever slogans designed to have you believe that they have a good history and reputation. For example, Many stores will combine the experience of each employee and advertise… “Over 20 years experience,” while each employee may only have a few years experience. This type of information is often completely misleading.
That is only one example, our recommendation is that you RESEARCH ANY COMPANY YOU MAY USE. Check with the better business bureau and only deal with companies with a high rating. These ratings are based completely on other customer’s experiences. If you can’t find a business when researching the BBB, it may be because they are not really local (1-800 number stores), or they are a new business with no history. Failure to research a company that you plan to do business with often times becomes a complete nightmare and often it means a great deal of future headaches.