Kitchen Buyers Beware!
Tricks of the trade used by
by Tom McKernan
No kitchen company makes everything that goes into your kitchen. Even kitchen makers who make their own cabinets have to buy in the fittings for them, such as hinges, drawers, doors, glass and worktops. These are bought in at one price and sold to you at another. Many kitchen suppliers do not even make the cabinets; they buy everything in. The difference between the buying price and the selling price is the mark-up. It is perfectly normal and reasonable for any business to charge more than they pay for a product. Without this principal there would be no business.
Big savings can be made with stone worktops. You can check the mark-up easily by getting your own quotation from the kitchen plans for the supply and installation of the stone worktops. It is difficult to check this as the price you will be quoted by a worktop company will be the retail one whereas the kitchen company will only pay trade, typically 10% less. If you ask for the price of the worktop to be deducted from the quote, the kitchen supplier might be tempted to disguise the extent of their mark-up by loading elsewhere to compensate. The way around this is:
In each case you will be quoted retail as opposed to trade but you will get an idea of the difference between stone and laminate, which you can compare with what the kitchen company is quoting. In the author’s experience, a saving of up to $1,000 is possible by buying the stone worktop yourself. It does depend on the size of the kitchen and also the stone of course as different stones vary greatly in price.
You could save money by buying your own laminate worktop but unless you are really determined to save every cent, this is probably not worth the effort involved.