Free Carpet Information and Buying Guide
By Alan Fletcher - 30 Yr Carpet Expert / Consumer Advocate - I do not sell carpet. ABC
How to Avoid Retail Carpet Scams?
Let me start by saying that there are plenty of reputable carpet and flooring dealers out there. The problem is knowing the difference between an honest and reputable Carpet dealer and a carpet seller that should be avoided.
You can't tell by looking from the outside or even shopping from inside the store. They all look the same. You need to be knowledgeable about the whole Carpet or Flooring buying process to be able to recognize the Carpet con-artists and the Flooring retailer rip-offs.
The fact is, you won't really know if they are honest and reputable until you get their final bid or estimate. Only then, can you compare their prices side by side with other local retailers. Then you will be able to see how much they want to charge you for similar materials and labor. It sounds easy, but it is not. Especially if they place private labels on their samples.
Consumers who are in need of new flooring are often misinformed, mislead, overcharged or sold the wrong flooring materials for their needs or lifestyle. The problem is, there are just too many flooring salespeople that are willing to tell you just about anything in order to persuade you to buy from them.
Why? It's due to the fact that most carpet salespeople are not paid by the hour or on salary, they are paid on commission. For them, no sale means no pay, and the need to make money can easily cause many salespeople to sacrifice integrity. That means they may tell you what you want to hear even if it is not true, just to make a sale.
It's a sad fact that so many consumers buy a type of carpet that 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 from, or what type or grade of padding was installed.
Very few consumers have adequate knowledge about the carpet they purchased to know whether or not it will endure their needs, lifestyle or longevity expectations. However, it doesn't take long for most homeowners to discover that the carpet they selected is not lasting as long as they anticipated. In fact, most homeowners expect their new carpet to last for at least ten years but often find it fails to retain a "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 carpet used to last 10-20 years or more before it would begin to wear out.
Even today we are still removing these old "die hard" carpets that were installed in the 1960's and 1970's. They were made of a heavy gauge nylon and they wore like iron. All homeowners had to do was give them a good cleaning once in a while and the carpet would spring back again and again looking like-new.
Today, like everything else, carpet is manufactured to meet the needs of any application and for any size budget. Carpet manufacturers make at least 12 basic qualities or "grades of carpet" to choose from, but the trick is knowing which grade of carpet to buy. Too often, the wrong grade of carpet is selected and it does not perform as well as the homeowner expected.
More about Carpet Cost & Comparison
There are at least three basic grades of low-end carpets designed for apartments. The lowest apartment-grade carpet is so thin you can almost read a newspaper through it. Lasts 3 to 5 years at best.
There are at least six medium- grade carpet qualities for those who want a carpet to last for 6 to 12 years.
There are at least three high-end grades for those who want their carpet to last 12 to 20 years or more and are willing to pay dearly for it.
That's over 12 various grades of Carpet. Choosing the wrong grade is the biggest mistake you can make. Why? Because the carpet you buy must meet your needs and goals or you will not get the results that you desire. Why spend thousands on a carpet that won't last and wears out in a hurry?
Why spend thousands on a carpet that wears out prematurely? On the other side of the coin, why spend more than you need to? If you want a carpet to last for only 5 years you shouldn't spend more than is necessary to achieve that.
The trick is knowing how to determine which carpet can do the job for you at the right price. Few carpet salespeople are going to know this information. They just want to make a sale and will applaud any choice you make whether it is a good choice or not. Check out my Carpet Durability Guide Chart
Now please remember, not all carpet stores are unscrupulous and have untrained or sly salespeople. There are plenty of reputable carpet stores to buy from. Let me show you who I recommend near you.
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