To buy cabinets online is a great way to save time and possibly money. Convenience is essential especially to busy people and we get to have better deals. When you walk up into a store and perform offline purchases you will pay more on average. Now, not just because it sounds convenient does that mean that you can simply key in your card numbers. You have to make sure you get to know things before you buy wholesale kitchen cabinets online.
If you plan to buy kitchen cabinets online, understand that you won’t see the actual unit until it gets delivered. That is unless the company sends an actual sample for you. This is the first issue you have to consider. So today, we’ll get into the details of that for you before you start making decisions.
How to Start with Ordering Kitchen Cabinets Online
To order kitchen cabinets online is no rocket science, you click, you pay and they send it to you. You can install the items by yourself or maybe someone else who has better knowledge. Buying kitchen cabinets online has been in the market for years. It seems that it has also been a reliable method to consider.
How to Begin to Buy Cabinets Online
The most important thing, to begin with, is the inspection of the space you want to place your cabinets in. The space that the cabinet itself will occupy is also important. Start by measuring your kitchen and developing a plan. You can ask for help from pros in this task. But if you want to engage yourself with a more personal touch then you can do it yourself.
Once done, then you can continue with the search for your ideal kitchen cabinets. You have so many options to choose from. Look at inspirations from magazines, catalogs, and online catalogs of course. Make sure you choose the color, style, and size. Place all that you’d like on a paper (which should help you in narrowing the options down). Remember that at this point you are working with all this alone. That is unless you have your kitchen designer working for you.
Online sellers offer different varieties for their showcased cabinets online. Some provide certain colors and styles while others just stick with basic combinations. You may also find custom kitchen cabinets that are ready for an upgrade.
You can make online purchases with credit or debit cards, but some others accept money orders and check. Considering different financial statuses, there are different payment terms. It could be full upfront or you pay half upfront then the rest after they ship the unit.
The cabinets will be shipped through a carrier. You, as a buyer have to inspect the item as soon as you get it. Check if the order is complete or if there is damage. You need to make sure that you can return the item on time. Some online sellers come very strictly with returns so don’t wait forever before unwrapping.
Assembled Cabinets and their variety
You can find different types of cabinets that are ready to assemble (RTA). But most are already complete through their sellers. RTA items come in pieces and you must assemble them to fully function. There is the level of assembly based on the company you bought it from. Some take a single turn of a screw in a locking device or ‘Camlock’. Others require more processes of gluing joints and installation of drawer guides.
While RTA lets you do the work, fully assembled cabinets, on the other hand, let you sit back and relax. There is a chance that you may need to place some tiny trim pieces but it already comes complete. Although it is so convenient, expect that the downside is going to have to be the cost of the shipping since it takes more space than this.
Of course, unlike ordering an item from a local store, if you order it online then the seller has to ship it to you. Unless you have some mutual agreement for picking it up. Now, since you have lots of choices, then shipping could be a helpful factor in breaking the purchase. Some retailers charge a shipping fee based on the cost of your order – which is usually about 5-25% on top. Others waive the amount if you reach a certain amount they offer. Residing outside the online sellers’ state may offset the shipping charge as you may not be required to pay any sales tax.
Before you purchase any discount kitchen cabinets online, you have to make the measurements and specifications you want. If you do not have someone to measure the kitchen for you, you must do the measurement yourself. The good part is that online resellers are good with providing exact measurements so you can start with making sure you have accurate measurements for your ideal discount kitchen cabinets. Apart from ensuring that you get the right measurement for precision, it is also to make sure that you don’t get any problems with any returns in case.
Remember, if you want to return items and they are not damaged, you might encounter some problems and additional expenses from shipping and restocking fees. And so, the old saying ‘measure twice cut once’ could significantly apply as ‘measure thrice, order once’ in the field of online purchases.
You can try having a design service where the company or the seller provides a cabinet layout design depending on your kitchen measurement for a small fee of about $40-100. In the end, it is still your responsibility to check the shipped items for missing parts or any possible damage.
Benefits and Drawbacks
There are always two sides to the story and you must understand that all disadvantages will be subjective and dependent on your personal opinion and preference.
- Cheaper – Most definitely the most significant difference you’ll see over offline purchases. Here, you need not worry about middleman charges though you may worry about shipping.
- Quality – Since you have so many choices, you have a very good chance of getting higher quality cabinets for a cheaper cost. You may also find all-wood construction and some others have that available for an upgrade,
- Tax-free – Every state has separate laws regarding tax so it may differ depending on where it was produced and sent to. For now, internet purchases are tax-free so get your clicks going.
- Efficient – Since actual shopping may cause strained feet and headaches, you are technically eradicating this stress by purchasing items from your home, all by just hovering and clicking your mouse. You gain control in the shopping process since you need no one to do the mentoring, you can take your time and not be pressured by eyes and salesmen expecting their first sale.
On top of that, online sellers have all the prices posted and the total expenses, meaning you need not have to wait for it to be computed as it automatically populates. So take your time and shop around as much as you can.
- No actual interaction – Since you are ordering online, you only see pictures and rely mainly on reviews of actual users. There are times that samples are being sent for a small fee for you to check the finish and door quality but don’t worry the money gets to be sent back after returning the sample.
- Unreliable Sources – Purchasing a kitchen cabinet is not like purchasing a pair of jeans so, understandably, you’ll worry upon purchasing. This is the reason why participation in BBB Online® or Better Business Bureau Online has been an advantage. The group explains the policies and ensures that businesses provide their important contact information like phone, email, and fax numbers. Also, major credit card purchases are backed up to ensure refunds for fraudulent activities.
Kitchen Cabinets Online Retailer Differences
It is not skyrocketing that there are multitudes of sellers online and there are quite some differences you have to be aware of.
- Check for Offers – Each seller has their offers for products and services. Quality also varies per company. Some offer RTA, some are fully assembled, and some both. You also have to understand that some online sellers are just distributors and that they do not create the products their selves.
- Website Quality – You may want to make sure you are dealing with legitimate sellers and one way to find out is by checking the website. You can check if the site has complete details and also the features present on it such as returns, internet security, shipping details, product information, and policies. In this manner, you are fully aware of what you are going through and what you can do as a customer in case anything happens. Some sellers lack clarity on the ordering process and this is something you must check for yourself. If you feel not secure with the whole transaction, don’t hesitate to check other sites and make comparisons.
- Policies – Pay attention to important policies involving returns, shipping, and damaged items. This is, to protect you as a consumer knowing that you are dealing with a virtual team and that buying cabinets are quite intricate than purchasing pots and pans. Consider checking different sites and see which one gives balanced information.
- BBBOnline® Membership – Like what was mentioned earlier, Better Business Bureau helps create an assurance that the company selling products is authentic and is protective of their consumers. You can check if the company is associated by going to the BBBOnline Consumer Safe Shopping site and keying in the company’s name.
What to be Aware of When Getting Kitchen Cabinets Online?
Before you key in your card details, consider the information below.
- Is the site telling you everything? Is the website being transparent with your question about the unit? Check the FAQ section and see if it shows credibility with simple Q&A queries.
- Can you Contact them? Is the site transparent with the means of communication in case anything happens? Will they be able to attend to you if you need any help? Check their contact information, phone, email, and fax. You can create a trial contact and see how responsive they are.
- Reviews – If you are serious about buying cabinets, make sure you check the company’s reviews and references. See if there are authentic people who had successful purchases and how they find the site and the products.
- Designing Service – If you are new to cabinetry, finding a site that helps with design services could be really helpful. In this manner, you are getting help from the pros for only a small fee.
- Payments – As a consumer, find the one that caters to your convenience. Some offer flexible payment terms and consider whichever suits what you need.
- Drawings – Some sites offer 3d rendering services and elevation drawings to let consumers see how the new cabinets will look in your kitchen. This is another advantage you may want to check too.
- Sampling – This method is another thing to look forward to. You see, the biggest disadvantage is not being able to see the item not after you order it, and by taking advantage of a sample you may gain confidence in the actual unit.
- Cancellations or Change orders – So, how if you don’t like it? Check the policies to protect you from getting into fraudulent sites or sub-standard products. Some companies do not accept both for change orders and cancellations so it is very important that you make certain of what you want and that you check the company’s rules too.
- Measure, measure – So you don’t want to be sent a 36” cabinet if what you need was 33’, only to find out that the company does not accept change orders. Uh-oh. This is to let you understand the importance of checking the size before ordering. You don’t want to be thrashing out a thousand dollars away, I guess nobody wants to.
- RTA or Assembled? – This is a question that you may want to make sure before ordering, RTA is cheaper basically because you have to do the installation yourself while the other comes in fully done. But will you be able to do the assembly yourself? Can you handle it? Run a knowledge check and take it from there.
- Shipping Policies – Be very certain of shipping costs and policies as sometimes it can make or break the deal. You must make sure what terms the company has in case you are not around and if they have only one attempt then what should you do? Check how much handling charges are in case you want it sent out again.
- Unloading – Shipper only moves the goods to the tailgate of the truck and no further, thus you have to make sure you get to have the proper equipment or manpower to move them to your home or to where you want them installed. ICC or Interstate Commerce Commission regulates this and you must make sure you have arrangements set if you need further assistance.
- Inspection – You have to make sure you inspect the item right after delivery to ensure you did not receive damaged goods and if you do, then you can send it back as soon as possible. Make sure you get to report them within the 24-hour timeframe so in case they have 72 hours for reclaims then you can still get on the list.
- Returns – Make certain that you will not be misinformed when it comes to returning policies as you don’t want to be buying a new set just because it doesn’t fit. Custom cabinets are not returnable and some sellers also do not allow returns for opened boxes so better know it all.