One thing I hear a lot is “I really like your work but I probably can’t afford to hire you to do my kitchen”
My cabinets are not expensive.
As a matter of fact I can give you a lot more for your money than anyone else.
Factory cabinets are cheap to make, and therefore cheap for a middleman to buy and in turn sell to you. Any retailer buys the cabinets from a factory for less than half the sale price. Understand one thing, when you buy from a retailer, less than 50% of your money is for the cabinet you are buying. 100% markup IS the retail buisness and it dosen’t matter if you want to believe it or not. How else do you think they pay salespeople, advertising, rent on the showroom? Rent for retail space is high. You’ll be convinced you are getting the absolute best deal anyone has ever gotten, like 15% off if you buy before a certian date or some special coupon. No matter all of that, there is one rule that wont fail, if you spend $20,000 on your cabinets, you are getting cabinets worth $10,000.
Thats not to say I can do the job for any less, usually my price is about the same. Some of these showrooms have some very nice-looking displays, so unless you really know what to look for it can be really tough to see the difference. They don’t cut corners that are too obvious, that would never work. China board costs less than half what I pay for American plywood. There are plenty of sneaky tricks, just think about what business you’re in, and all the ways you could cut corners if you wanted and most of your clients would never realize the difference.. and thats basically whats going on with the big box cabinet business. When you buy from me, every dollar goes into the finished product.
Even the more expensive lines and brands you know and trust are using the cheapest tricks to max out profits. They have “soft closing doors” and “all steel drawer slides” and that’s sort of true. its also true that Macdonalds burgers are 100% beef. Look in the back of the cabinet and you will see how it’s attached to some thin particle board with a flimsy plastic bracket. The friendly sales staff will assure you that the quality is “Top of the line” and “never heard a complaint about these”
That’s nothing more than sales 101. They have to say that. If they talked about the Chinese particle board and how it’s all stapled together with plastic brackets and hot glue with Chinese hinges no one would ever buy that crap.
They like to say stuff like “Don’t worry, everything’s backed by the strongest warranty in the business.”
Surely by now we all know cheap plastic stuff breaks easily and particleboard melts in the humidity here in Florida.
The warranty means you’ll be waiting around the house for a subcontractor to show up and then tell you they have to order a cheap plastic part from the factory. Go ahead, call the store to complain about this injustice. You can stay on hold for as long as you like.
Many retailers offer “semi-custom” cabinets. What does that mean? Its a marketing scam. Semi custom is nothing more than a roaring rip-off. Semi custom means bigger profits and bigger smiles as they all laugh together hysterically.
Retailers cannot profit on custom cabinets without selling at a ludicrous price point. It is contrary to nature that custom work can be produced by the trainload in a huge factory full of minimum wage workers, so naturally it is impossible to buy custom work at a trainload volume discount. Don’t be persuaded to buy custom cabinets from a retailer.
Make sure your contractor is properly licensed. In Pinellas County at least, it takes about 2 minutes. Go to the PCCLB online database. A license by no means guarantees that the contractor is a keeper. You still need to check references and see examples of their work in order to decide if you’ve found the right one.
Not all custom shops do equal quality work. I am familiar with a number of reputable shops in this area that do excellent work. Unfortunately, that isn’t the story with every small shop. For some reason, a lot of the “custom” shops out there are replicating and in some cases simply re-branding cheap factory cabinets.
Its true with everything, if you want the best deal, the best product, you have to get to the source. The source is right here. I build the cabinets in my shop and install them myself.
I keep a low overhead. I do not have a showroom or employ salespeople, and I carry no inventory. I build it myself and I only use the best quality materials and hardware and workmanship. I don’t do anything with particleboard. I only use USA manufactured NAUF plywood for cabinet boxes. The functional hardware I use is imported from Germany and Austria, operates smoothly, and is built to last.
I give you premium quality for the standard price. You don’t have to join a club to buy direct from me. LibertyWoodworking.com