Kitchen Buying Tips
|"A number of reputable net retailers now offer complete kitchens via the internet and their showrooms are their web pages but that's technological progress and its only the dinosaurs who insist that terrestrial showrooms remain the only source for buyers."|
Kitchen Buying - Look Before You Leap
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I recently received the following query from a disillusioned and frustrated
visitor to my site. "How can I minimise the possibility of entering the nightmare
of bad installers, being abandoned by the showroom and wishing I'd never embarked
on the whole kitchen thing?"
So if we start at the beginning - where you're browsing the showroom nursing your ambitions to find the kitchen you've always wanted. Careful not to draw attention to yourself - after all, you've read all the horror stories, watched all the TV exposures and everywhere you go in search of your dream kitchen you feel a little like a lamb being led to the slaughter.
Have you entered the lion's den? Well no, I don't think so. The good news is that there is a wealth of knowledgeable, helpful, courteous and efficient people in a kitchen showroom near you determined to shake off the bad image generated by some of their unscrupulous counterparts.
The question is - how can you distinguish a sweet-talking salesperson from a dedicated professional? The truth is - it's difficult, but with a little preparation and sound knowledge you will be in a better position to prise yourself away from the clutches of an eager "Fagin".
Today the resources at your disposal mean that research is much easier. Most people own a computer and have access to the Internet where there is an abundance of consumer websites detailing the companies and the sales methods to avoid. There are also a growing number of sites offering good advice and discussion forums and newsgroups provide an excellent way of determining the wheat from the chaff.
The reality is that all your research can be done in the comfort of your own home whereas before you connected to the net, the only research possible was trawling the showrooms for days on end before tiring of the confusion. Purveyors of the old method ended up buying the kitchen hastily through sheer exhaustion and desperation.
The Internet also provides a source for finding the goods you want at the best price and a host of sites are proving popular by dedicating their search engines to scour the net in search of the best deal. Indeed, kitchen appliances were once a means of generating great profit for many retailers but a growing number of competitive internet appliance sellers means that now, even trade prices of appliances are being undercut by certain web retailers.
Contacting manufacturers to find out why you should buy their products before
you actually do is a facility most of them invite but consumers rarely choose
to use it. But by doing so you strengthen their commitment to you by ensuring
personal contact with the company. Some may see this as a form of psychology,
some may be daunted by the prospect, but I view it as a means of using the
tools at your disposal to ensure a satisfactory outcome.
A number of reputable net retailers now offer complete kitchens via the
internet and their showrooms are their web pages but that's technological progress
and its only the dinosaurs who insist that terrestrial showrooms remain the
only source for buyers. After all, the internet shops are open every minute
of every day and no-one is peering over your shoulder with a look of anxiety
in case you leave the showroom and look elsewhere.
The core of any kitchen is formed around the three vital components, cabinets, appliances and worktops. Having the ability of identifying the quality of these components is a skill I would strongly advise all buyers to acquire before embarking on their mission.
Kitchens are no different to other industries in that quality products come at greater expense, but it pays to have the ability to recognise quality before handing over the money.
The important thing for you is that you receive quality goods and services at a fair cost. The important thing for most retailers is that they win your custom and you then spread the word. As the adage goes - If the services completed are of a high standard you will tell a friend or neighbour but if the standard is poor you will tell a crowd.
The message to all consumers is to "gen up" and play a part in removing the cooks who have been spoiling the broth for so long.
Editors Note: T Foley Interiors operate from www.kitchensfitted.co.uk offering consumer reference articles, advice, an onsite forum, and full kitchen design and consultancy services - taking the stress out of choosing a new kitchen.
© Tim Foley 2003
Note: This article was submitted by a second party and the contents are subject to our disclaimer.
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