How To Choose New Flooring Like A Pro!
How to Avoid Carpet Scams?
Carpeting adds warmth and style to any room, but also carries a serious financial commitment. To protect your investment and make sure you don't fall victim to common scams, it's important to understand some of the tricks that unscrupulous carpet and flooring retailers use. Here's what you need to know about common retail carpet scams and how you can avoid becoming a victim.
Visiting a Carpet Store Near You? Are they Honest and Reputable or are they Sneaky and Underhanded? It's hard to distinguish the good stores from the bad stores just by looking at their website, reading online reviews, or even shopping inside their store. They all look about the same. Which flooring dealers are honest and reliable? That's the first hurdle you need to jump over when shopping for new carpet.
Selecting New Carpet Takes Time.
How can you tell the advertised sale on carpet is really a great deal or just a sneaky sales scam to lure you in? The fact is, it's practically impossible to tell if a flooring retailer is honest, reliable and reputable until you have a chance to see what they have to offer and compare it with other stores in your area.
Now repeat this process with at least 2 more local flooring retailers, then compare all proposals side by side before making your final choice.
Best Product Advice?
Homeowners in need of new carpet or flooring are often misinformed, mislead, overcharged or sold inferior products or materials. The problem? Consumers don't do enough preliminary research and rely on the advice of inexperienced salespeople. Many carpet salespeople are paid on commission. For them, no sale means no pay, and the need for money can easily cause some salespeople to sacrifice integrity.
Can you trust them to provide honest and accurate answers to your important questions? They may tell you what you want to hear even if it is not true, just to convince you to buy. For example, you might ask... Is this carpet a good choice for my basement with active kids and pets? You need honest answers to questions like this! Learn about Carpet Salespeople
You Better Shop Around
Always remember that when you're shopping for a new carpet, the best way to make sure you get good value for your money is to shop around and compare different brands, materials, and services. Take your time to research carpets before making any decisions, read reviews from past customers, and consider what might be the best option for your needs, goals, lifestyle and budget.
Many homeowners choose carpet they know little or nothing about. They may be able to recall how much they paid for their new carpet, but they often have no idea what type of fiber the carpet is made with. Even fewer know what grade of carpet they purchased or if it can meet their expectations. Ask questions if something doesn't seem right or you are unsure of which grade of carpet is best suited to your needs. What Grade of Carpet Should I Select?
High-Pressure Sales Tactics
Unscrupulous carpet dealers may try to use high-pressure sales tactics in order to manipulate your emotions and make a sale. They may offer discounts or other incentives on the spot that expire quickly, as well as exaggerate the benefits of their products or services. Be aware of common tactics like dangling incentives and rushing you so you don’t have time to compare and research other options before signing a contract. Never sign anything if you don’t feel comfortable or if it feels like a deal that's too good to be true.
It is very common for salespeople to use pressure tactics in order to get you to commit to a purchase. Don't hesitate walking away or ask them to leave your home if the salesperson is too pushy or isn't willing to provide you with specifications about the carpet you are interested in. Additionally, don't let yourself get taken advantage of by hidden fees and charges.
Get It In Writing
Always ask what the total cost of installation will be and make sure it's included in the price they quote you so there aren't any unexpected surprises later on down the line. Make sure all extra services your job requires are written in the final proposal including things like removal of the old carpet and padding, floor preparation, stairs, transitions and furniture moving. Carpet Specifications - Face Weight, Pile Density, Tuft Twist
Carpet Measuring is a learned ability and it takes years to get really good at it. An experienced carpet salesperson can save you a lot of money by efficiently and strategically measuring your home. The strategy involved is to efficiently utilize leftover or excess carpet from one area, and make use of it in another area to reduce the overall amount of material waste. This can potentially save you a lot of money but it works best if you are using the exact same carpet in several rooms and perhaps on stairs, in closets and areas that may need added carpet for seaming purposes.
Not quite sure if the salesperson's measurements are accurate? It is always wise to get at least three estimates from local carpet stores. Then you can compare prices and measurements side by side and make wise and informed choices. Learn How to Measure for Carpet Yourself!
Low Carpet Installation Cost Estimates.
Unscrupulous carpet retailers may try to entice customers with ‘too good to be true’ carpet installation and costs estimates. Promising a lower price than the actual cost, these sneaky retailers may then charge for extra fees or use inferior materials and tools for the job. Be sure to get comprehensive estimates in writing and compare all options available. Free Carpet Installation Sales Gimmicks Exposed
Bait and Switch Tactics.
The bait and switch tactic, or “bait advertising,” occurs when an advertisement draws in a customer by offering them a low-priced item that is currently unavailable. Instead of providing the advertised product the seller switches it out for one at a higher cost. This tactic is used to pressure customers into buying more expensive items than they initially intended. When shopping for carpets, be sure to double check what you're getting as well as its pricing before making any commitments.
Upgrades on Installation Day.
Some homeowners get an unexpected call on installation day saying they need to upgrade a product or service. This is a common scam where retailers will try to pressure customers into purchasing different (and more expensive) types of carpet and padding after the original option has already been agreed upon. Be prepared when your installers arrive. Print my free Carpet Installation Get-Ready Checklist
Watch out for "unbeatable" carpet and flooring deals that sound too good to be true. Nationally-advertised carpet retailers frequently offer amazing specials like 50% off carpet, 50% off padding, and 50% off installation. You might find these super-duper deals are not so great once you uncover all their rules, restrictions, exclusions and requirements.
If a flooring retailer advertises amazing deals such as "Free Carpet Installation!" or "Buy One Room of flooring - Get Three Rooms Free!" it's probably smart to shop elsewhere for more realistic discounts offered by reputable locally-owned flooring stores. Wise shoppers ask lots of questions, fully research products and services, and get everything in writing before signing any contract. Should I Buy Carpet from Home Depot, Costco, Empire or Lowe's?
While it's important to look for warranties and guarantees when shopping for carpets, be careful of carpet companies that offer too-good-to-be true options. Many verbal promises may not be backed up by a bonafide guarantee. Even if you are offered a lifetime warranty on the carpet, read the fine print carefully before signing a contract and be aware of what is actually covered (or not covered!) in the warranty. Carpet Stain Warranties
Carpet Grades and Quality
It doesn't take long for most homeowners to realize the carpet they selected is not as durable as they were told. Most homeowners want their carpet to look good at least ten years, but often find it fails to retain its "like-new" appearance for more than three to five years.
Why does this happen? Carpet is not made the same as it was 40-50 years ago. Back then, they made all carpets the same way; heavy duty. There were basically three grades of carpet back then, good, better and best. The lowest grade of carpet could easily last 10 years or more before it would begin to show any signs of wear and tear. Carpet Fibers Nylon P.E.T. Polyester Olefin Smartstrand
Today carpet is manufactured to meet the needs of any application and budget. Carpet manufacturers make at least 12 basic qualities or "grades of carpet" to choose from. The trick is knowing which grade of carpet to buy. Too often, the wrong grade of carpet is selected and does not perform as well as expected. More about Carpet Comparison
That's 12 grades of Carpet designed to last from 3 years to 20+ years. Choosing the wrong grade is the biggest mistake you can make. Why? Because the carpet you buy must meet your predetermined needs and goals or you will not end up the results that you desire. Why spend thousands on a carpet that wears out too fast? On the other side of the coin, why spend more than you need to? If you need carpet to last for only 5 years you shouldn't spend more than is necessary to achieve that goal. Take my free Carpet Foot-Traffic Test to help determine what grade of carpet you need to buy.
The trick is knowing how to determine which carpet can do the job for you at the right price. Inexperienced or unscrupulous salespeople are not going to know how to advise you. Their goal is to make the sale and will likely applaud any choice you make whether it is a wise choice or not. Print and use my free Carpet Durability Guide Chart to help determine the durability rating of any carpet you are considering.
Not all carpet stores are intentionally unscrupulous or hire pushy salespeople. There are plenty of honest and reputable carpet stores. Below is a link to my special list of recommended carpet and flooring stores near you. Print several copies of my free Carpet Shopping Form. It's designed to help make sure you ask all the right questions, compare products, prices and services side by side, and choose the right grade of carpet for your home.
©2023 Alan Fletcher - All Rights Reserved.
All content is the opinion of the author.