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Essential Research before Buying a Kitchen

One important thing that generally goes amiss when sourcing a product for your new kitchen is that too few consumers undertake research into the quality of the product or first determine the best price available to them.
Given that we now live in an internet age where you can contact any supplier or manufacturer at the click of a button, it would seem unwise to ignore the power you quite literally have at your fingertips to achieve the best deal.

Manufacturers are keen to win your business as are their dealers and all have one thing in common, a website presence.

lady at a computer

Now ask yourself this, if you entered a showroom in search of a new cooker and stood there twiddling your thumbs having waited for the salesperson, who you’d been beckoning over to attend to your needs for the past half hour, what would you do? Well, like me and most others, you’d hotfoot it out of there and seek better service elsewhere.

Company websites are no different to showrooms and if, after receiving your e-mail or submission form, the company decides to sit on it for a week or worse still, ignore it, then you’ll take your business elsewhere.

All orders for goods, no matter how large or small, are of equal importance and a glance around the many consumer review forums will tell you why.
boy at a computer Both cyberspace and terrestrial traders alike ignore consumer power at their peril and if the goods they sell are subject to hefty profit margin or if their services are of poor quality or if the product they sell you has a poor track record, then it won’t be long before a few Google searches confirm this.

Affordability, service and quality of the goods are the deciding factors in any consumer decision and it takes little effort to discover the true worth of your chosen goods, supplier and cost.

The tools you now have at your disposal are the most powerful in any business – they are the opinions of those who have already bought the goods and been subject to the services. Site testimonials are a common tool used by sellers yet mean very little:  as a retailer it would be most unlikely if you highlighted the response of Mrs Brown from Chichester who stated 

“The delay of 3 months for the delivery of my washing machine was as unacceptable as your installation service that left my kitchen flooded and I shall not be recommending your services”.

Speaking to other buyers via a forum will tell you more about a product, retailer, manufacturer or service but beware of the one-off “posters” who, in the guise of a consumer, will tell you that they have never had such a wonderful product with a service to match. It may be that they are indeed being truthful and our tendency is to believe this prior to purchasing but take some time first to investigate the opinions of others.

Every company you deal with, will, at one time or another, have been subject to client complaints but what maintains a good reputation and may well lead to a recommendation, is their ability to deal with it quickly, efficiently and with a satisfactory outcome.

Some useful tips to consider before purchasing goods over the internet are:

1. Check that the website clearly displays a postal address and not just an e-mail address or PO Box number. ( A definite non-starter if they don’t.)

2. Determine how long they have been established in the industry they are trading from (Some sellers have little or no product knowledge and may never have worked in an industry associated with the goods they sell.)

3. Can you visit a showroom or are they a third party seller? (Third party sellers may well be offering a very good service so this isn’t to be dismissed in all cases but you may prefer the option of seeing the goods before making your decision.)

4. Do they accept credit card payments? (If you buy something that costs more than 100 and less than 30,000, and partially or fully pay for it on a credit card, you gain a valuable legal protection known as ‘section 75'. This means the credit card company is equally liable with the retailer if you have a problem with your statutory consumer rights. 

In other words if you buy something and the company goes bust, or it isn't fit for purpose then you can go straight to the credit card provider.

5. Can you speak with previous clients of theirs to determine the standard of service (If they have the same surname as the owner of the company – be suspicious.)

Manufacturers tend to get away with possible repercussions lightly but they too have to be held accountable for their goods they produce and the guarantees they offer and my advice is to utilise their websites to ask them why you should purchase their goods ahead of a competitors. If you get no response then treat it as you would a showroom salesperson who ignored you and hotfoot it out of there. man running holding briefcase

There is no better way, in my opinion, than seeking the opinion of the experts via the many useful forums that now exist and a consensus of opinion from qualified personnel is a good indicator of a products worth.

Some useful website links to visit are:

UK Whitegoods - An excellent website operated by appliance experts who will tell you the wheat from the chaff in the appliance market.

The Kitchen Buyers Guide - A very useful website for the kitchen buyer with a number of informative articles.

Money Saving Experts - A forum with a wealth of money saving tips in every category






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