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6 Tips to Buying Kitchen Cabinets Online

Sep 8, 2008
For someone that has never made a large purchase over the internet, buying kitchen cabinets from an on-line store or direct distributor can seem like a risky proposition. How do you know you are not being scammed? How do you know you are getting a good product? What happens if something goes wrong? These are all common questions that I hear from homeowners who are interested in saving money, but are skeptical about the buying process. To make it simple, here are some tips for making sure that you are getting a good product from a reputable company.

1. Do Your Research - Just about every website out there will claim to be a direct source, or import the cabinets directly, but in reality they are nothing more than a virtual store. Most of these companies have their cabinets shipped from the manufacturer or a cabinet importer and don't actually ship the cabinets themselves. Why is this a problem? Let's say something goes wrong or there is a problem with your cabinets.. who is responsible? The biggest problem with buying from companies like this is that they have no way of verifying your claims or supplying replacement parts. By buying from suppliers or importers that can provide replacement parts, help resolve issues, and provide a quick response, you can ensure that any problems are resolved quickly and professionally.

2. Don't fall for marketing tricks - There are a lot of companies out there that will advertise big savings- 20% OFF, Lowest Prices Guaranteed!, etc.. what you will often find is that their prices are really just 20%-30% higher than the direct importers.. when it comes to lowest prices guaranteed, they will stipulate that it has to be the same exact cabinet and they will have their own name for it. These are all just tricks to get you to their website. The most popular sites will have competitive prices listed in plain very and be up front about shipping costs and any guarantees that they offer on their cabinets.

3. Look for quality content - An easy way to separate the good from the bad, is by their content. Anyone can cobble together a website, but good suppliers will have a lot of valuable information about not only the cabinets, but also about their company, and resources for using them. While all of these are important, the most valuable differentiator is going to be references. If they have a good track record, their customers will not be afraid to offer their feedback and references.

Now you have a better handle on where to buy cabinets, let's talk about the buying process. While most of the companies will offer free help with the layout, their expertise will only be best utilized if you do some of the legwork ahead of time. Some sites allow you to pick and choose your own cabinets, other require you to call a live person. Either way will work just fine (personal preference), but it is important to have the dimensions of your kitchen, the measurements of your appliances, and an idea of what you want your kitchen to look like. By having this information ahead of time, it will make the process much smoother.

4. Make Sure the Site is Secure - Identity theft is something that everyone is concerned about these days, but that concern can be mitigated by using reputable sites. If a site is showing an SSL certificate and any of the security protection services, it is actually safer to use these sites than it is to give your information over the phone. NOTE- most credit cards and debit cards will have a daily limit or transactional limit to help prevent fraud. It is important to check what that limit is on the card you will be using, so that you don't try to process a transaction that exceeds your limit.

5. Order Processing - It is important to confirm the process time and communication. Cabinet orders will take longer than most internet transactions because of the size and weight of the boxes. The average processing time is usually a week, so don't get worried if you don't get an update for a couple of days.

6. Receiving Cabinets - This is the most important step in the process. No matter how well the cabinets are packaged or palletized, once they are giving to a trucking company anything can happen. Since most orders will be handled multiple times once they are shipped, and they will be exposed to shifting and banging, occasionally damages will occur. This is why it is important to inspect all of the boxes for damages. Even if the boxes don't show any visible damage, concealed damage could occur due to rough transit. A lot of times this is out of the control of the seller, but a good company will help you work through the claims process and try to expedite the replacement of anything that was damaged. This is why it is important to make sure that you are dealing with a direct dealer or supplier who will have the replacement parts available.

By doing some research, being prepared with the right information, and finding a company with a good reputation for customer service, buying kitchen cabinets on-line should not be an overwhelming project.
About the Author
Find out where the experts go to get all of their kitchen cabinets and accessories. Learn how to save thousand on kitchen cabinets by buying them where contractors and builders shop.
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