Most Department Stores have lost their carpet business to the floorcovering specialty stores. The overhead of Department Stores is often too expensive to allow a full service carpet department. Many Department stores still sell a variety of area rugs ranging from imitation orientals to bath carpet. The rug business is more profitable. Also, there is no installation or subcontractor hassle.
The Big Box Home Center:
Home Depot, HomeBase, Lowes, etc. are all trying to convince you that they are the cheapest place to purchase carpet. This is simply a great marketing ploy, and is not true. If you shop this type of store you will find it difficult at best to find a salesperson who knows much about carpet. Secondly, you will find that all the carpet has been private labeled so that you cannot compare apples to apples. Furthermore, if you do select a carpet from their showroom, most of these companies charge between $30 to $50 for an estimate, and the only way you get this money back is to purchase the carpet from them. You will find that most carpet speciality stores do NOT charge for an in-home estimate. Finally, the contract labor pool that this type of store must draw from does not assure you of a quality installation.
The Giant Super Duper Carpet Store:
This type of carpet store is characterized by LARGENESS. Large building or warehouse, Large inventory, large advertising budget, large payroll, and usually large problems. In order to pay for all the expense of running a large operation, the profit margins still have to be high; thus, the perceived savings of buying from the Super Duper Store is lost buy expensive overhead. As a consumer, it is difficult to feel you are of any importance to the Super Duper Store unless you are going to spend three or four thousand dollars. Furthermore, the Super Duper Store often has carpet labeled under their own name; thus, you have no chance of doing any comparative shopping of their products.
The Brokers or Wholesalers:
This is the builder’s delight. The business usually has some catchy name like “CARPET AT COST”. Here is a place to buy carpet and other floorcovering at 10 – 12% over real cost. As a builder you must have your own labor force to install the carpet because the broker does not supply labor. The broker or wholesale type store has beautiful displays, and some even have competent sales people (this is rare). The broker has no intent to provide more than minimum service. There is risk in buying carpet this way. If you have a labor problem you, as a consumer, must deal with the person responsible for installation; this is never the broker’s responsibility. As a customer of a builder you are not saving money because often the broker gives the builder a “kick back” at the end of a year. This “kick back” is the difference what the builder says he pays for the carpet and what he really pays. If you have your own installer whom you really trust, and you don’t mind paying for any labor expenses that may evolve out of a defective carpet claim, then the broker might be a way for you to save an average of 12-15% on you next carpet purchase.
The Nomad Carpet Store:
This is the carpet installer selling out of the back of his truck, or out of his house. This is often a poor option for the consumer. First , you have little or no selection. Second, this person usually cannot buy directly from the manufacturer which means you pay more, not less. Also, the Nomad Carpet dealer has no influence with the carpet suppliers, and therefore no support to handle any claims for manufacturing defects.
Local Owned Dealer:
Here is your best place to shop for carpet. This person has a stake in the community in which you live. Furthermore, you will not have far to go for service after the sale. You can also be assured that complaints will be handled quickly, as you are his neighbor. You should enjoy yourself when selecting new carpet. If you feel like just a number at other carpet stores, try your local store. You will find good old fashion service with professional concern for your particular floorcovering needs. Ask your neighbors about your local floorcovering store. Aslo, you may wish to checkout http://www.angieslist.com under Carpet Sales and Installation. You may find the best deal right in your own backyard.