Half Price Kitchen Sales.
Are they real or do retailers double the price before discounting?
Jo Buckerfield has been in the kitchen business long enough to see the start of the 50% sales. In this article, she tells us of her experience with a company that blatantly doubles the price before halving.
Are half-price kitchen sales just good marketing, or a blatant disregard for trading laws in an attempt to manipulate consumers?
My First Experience with Half Price Kitchen Sales.
It was a damp December morning when we were called into the monthly sales meeting. I was the new girl working for one of South Wales’ high profile kitchen retailers and keen to prove my worth.
As always, the showroom manager kicked things oﬀ with his headline statement.
“Right then team.” He beamed “January’s nearly with us and this year’s sale promotion will be the biggest ever!”
I was genuinely intrigued and leaned forward in my seat for more.
“This January, all kitchens will be on oﬀer at 50% discount. Cardiﬀ won’t know what’s hit it!”
He then spoke for twenty minutes on how best to secure a new kitchen order before the prospective client left the showroom. He called his master strategy “Taking the client out of the market”.
When he’d finished I asked one question. The answer to which has influenced a twenty-year career in the KBB Industry.
“How does a 50% discount aﬀect my commission?”
“It won’t. You just increase the non-sale price by 100% and knock 50% oﬀ that number.”
I was shocked. The numbers made no sense and I didn’t want to lie to customers.
I questioned the showroom manager straight away and his response left me reeling.
“Don’t be so naive. You’re in sales love. Get on with it!”
I returned to the showroom the next day with a letter of resignation and haven’t looked back since.
That experience took place in 2006. I’ve been through a lot since then. I now run my own kitchen design company and would never look to entice customers on the back of a false sale.
Unfortunately, not much has changed in the kitchen industry and the crazy claims are still out there.
Like moths to a light, people still fall for the same old story.
Or do they? I actually think they just accept it as the norm.
I was speaking to a chap the other day who’d just purchased a new kitchen from a national retailer. We discussed the whole “50% Oﬀ” thing and he laughed it oﬀ as just a harmless gimmick. It’s not just a gimmick though. It’s a shady practice that could breach the UK’s advertising legislation. In reality, it’s far more serious. It’s another example of “Rip Oﬀ Britain” and consumers shouldn’t have to put up with it.
Which? released a survey in January 2019 that highlighted some of the sales strategies used by major kitchen retailers. In the report, Which? clearly demonstrated price increases shortly before significant discount marketing campaigns.
Which? are rarely wrong on these matters and you can be assured they’ve done their homework.
The problem is that trading standards aren’t equipped to deal with the complexities of the mass market kitchen industry and kitchen buyers aren’t educated on price. Let’s face it, how often do you buy a kitchen? And, when you do it’s an emotional purchase where your heart can easily rule your head. This is a perfect scenario for a clever salesman to bamboozle you with crazy oﬀers and false discounts.
The simple truth is that a half-price kitchen sale falls into the “too good to be true” category.
As Which? have shown, these oﬀers come oﬀ the back of an overly inflated non-sale price. And companies willing to play that game don’t deserve your custom.
Most independent kitchen retailers are at the end of a long supply chain that includes manufacturers of furniture, stone worktops, and appliances. None of these manufacturers offer much in the way of a discount. Independent kitchen retailers are in no position to genuinely drop their prices by 50%. If they did, they would be out of business in no time.
What do you do if you’re looking for a new kitchen?
Your budget will dictate your options to some extent. Under £10K and you might be better off having a chat with a builder’s merchant. You won’t get much in the way of design experience but you’ll get a functional kitchen at an aﬀordable price. If you want to splash out a bit more on high-end features like rigid cabinets and quartz work surfaces, prepare to enter a minefield if you don’t have the advice of an experienced designer.
My advice would be to stay away from any kitchen retailer who’s claiming to oﬀer large discounts. Their “economical truth” is no way to start a working relationship. Beautiful kitchens take time to create and a bigger concern is that those companies do not train designers. They train people from all walks of life to use a CAD system and push for a sale. If you are serious about buying a kitchen that enhances your home and the way you live for many years, you could be working with a designer for weeks as you tweak the layout and change your mind on colours.
A genuine kitchen designer will need to get to know you, the way you live, and allow for flexibility in the future.
That requires a degree of openness and a large amount of honesty.
I will always recommend an independent kitchen retailer over the national chains or DIY sheds. I also recommend some due diligence on the part of the kitchen buyer. Kitchens aren’t cheap and there’s a lot that could go wrong. It’s worth doing your homework. Search for a company with a great reputation, oﬀering well-known brands with solid guarantees. Ask about the designer’s experience and take a close look at their portfolio. Check they have the talent to satisfy your design needs. Reach out to past clients and always ask your family and friends for recommendations.
For many people, buying a new kitchen is a once in a lifetime experience. You deserve to enjoy the process and create the kitchen you’ve been dreaming of. Quality doesn’t come cheap and you’ll be living with your decisions for many years. Please choose your kitchen retailer wisely. A kitchen backed with100% of honesty beats a 50% discount every time.
Gorgeous kitchen design and installation for the homes of Cardiff and South Wales.
Contact Jo and Mike Buckerfield.
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