More and more people have trusted purchasing items and products online. Just like when purchasing a kitchen cabinet, people tend to get them from online shops than the traditional way of buying them from kitchen designers and home centers. It is actually advantageous in the sense that these cabinets can be purchased online at a lower costs, at a level of higher of quality, and is very convenient enough because it saves your time and effort.
On the other hand, buying it on an online shop has also disadvantages. There are things that you won’t be able to do when you buy it online than purchasing it in a traditional way.
To start off, you won’t be able to touch and feel the product when you buy cabinets online, unless the send you a sample of the materials used in crafting the cabinets. At the same time, you will have lesser chance of getting the exact details because you won’t be able to speak with the cabinet designer itself.
So before you buy kitchen cabinets online, try to find time and check out the process in purchasing kitchen cabinets online. It is better that you know how things run around to find out how everything would work for you.
Knowing What the Whole Process Is All About
When you say “buy kitchen cabinets online”, it literally means that you check out online shops, choose the cabinet that you think would perfectly fit with what you need, then buy it online. After that, the company would then shipped it out to your door and you will have to install them or you can get someone who knows how to install them. And there you have it, you now have your very own kitchen cabinet purchased online.
More and more cabinet retailers have started their business on the web. There are now a dozen and a half owners who ventured out on the web and built their own online cabinet hardware. It seems that this type of business would grow as it stays over the years.
You need to have a plan before you buy cabinets online. First you need to decide where you will be placing the cabinet and which types and sizes would suit the area that you will be placing it. You can actually ask for help from online retailers, surely they do have some design services offered to their clients. Or, if you’re confident enough, then you can just measure the area and make the plan by yourself.
And after you have finished the plan, you can now start making a list of the possible cabinets that would suit custom kitchens. It’s all about knowing what you want and what your kitchen needs. Try checking out online catalogs, see their specifications and choose the size of the pieces that you think might blend perfectly with the door style and finish color of your cabinets. At this point, the next processes will then be similar to purchasing it traditionally from local shops. The only difference is that when you purchase it offline, you will be able to touch and observe the cabinets in the flesh. In addition, your decision can also be influenced by the designers who give you the exact details to sort out your picks.
The availability of certain styles and colors depends among online shops. You’ll find out that some online retailers offer all wood cabinetry and some of them have more options than the others. Some of them also offers both stock and custom cabinetry with a list of upgraded features to choose from. The method of payment can be through cashier’s check, money order, or the usual payment method using credit card. Payment terms actually depend on the cabinet retailers. Some online shops needs full up front and some may want a financing or stepped approach wherein the customer would need to pay an initial down payment and pay as the order progresses.
If your cabinet is ready, the company would then ship out your cabinet at your doorstep. Usually, a carrier contracted by the cabinet company you purchased online handles the shipping. When receiving the product, you need to inspect the cabinet meticulously. The cabinet may have damage from manufacturing and/or might be from shipping. Other than that, you really need to check if the parts are all complete. It’s better to check it as soon as possible because some online retailers have a limited span of time for reporting that your cabinet lacks some parts and/or is damaged. And if so, they will then give you instructions on what to do or how to ship the cabinet back to them.
Assembled Cabinets and “RTA”
When you buy cabinets online, you need to remember that it can either be sold as fully assembled cabinets or RTAs or ready-to-assemble cabinets. You have to be familiar with this before purchasing your cabinets online. Some retailers would actually offer both to their customer. You have to decide which of the two would work for you.
Ready-to-assemble cabinets are disassembled before being shipped out to their customers. Upon receiving the cabinet, you need to assemble it first before you can fully install it on your kitchen. The level of difficulty in assembling the cabinet depends one every cabinet retailer. Some cabinet makers would manufacture their RTA cabinets in such a way that assembling the whole thing is easy. They use screws in locking a device called “camlock”. But, some cabinets involve gluing the joints and installing the drawer guides as part of assembling the whole product.
On the other hand, fully assemble cabinets or also called as factory assembled cabinets are already built and assembled at their cabinet warehouse before being shipped out. Shipping cost would be higher because they take more space in the shipping truck compared to RTA cabinets.
How Much Is The Shipping Cost?
Another factor that you should consider when you buy kitchen cabinets online is the shipping cost. Your budget should be fully prepared. However, shipping cost differs from one retailer to another. You can freely ask the company how the cost for shipping are generated so that you’ll have better options to choose when you buy cabinets online.
Retailers would sometimes base their shipment cost on the size of your order. That would be the percentage of the total purchase that you make with their company. Usually, percentage ranges around 5% to 25% percent depending on the company where you buy cabinets online. But, you can also find retailers which will set a certain product amount in which they can offer free shipping. If you buy a few cabinets which exceed that total amount, then they would be glad to waive your expense for shipping.
You also need to consider sales tax when you buy kitchen cabinets online. But, when you buy it with a retailer located a state wherein no sales tax is imposed, then that might be able to offset your shipping expense.
There are requirements that you need to have as a buyer for you to be able to buy kitchen cabinets online. It is essential that you have the plan on how everything would be set in the right place if you receive the item. Specifications and measurements should be prepared beforehand. This is important so that you know what you are looking before checking out what are the available products that a retailer offers. The good thing with online retailers is that they offer help on how to acquire accurate specifications and measurements. You just make sure that you’re doing it correctly by doing it two to three times.
This is more important on your part than the retailers because returning the product would mean more time, effort and money wasted on your end. Restocking fee and additional shipping cost are at your expense when you want to return the part. This is implemented when you get a replacement part such as replacement cabinet doors. However, you need to know that custom-made cabinets cannot be returned. So if you have the wrong measurement and specifications ordered, then consider all your expenses fully wasted when you buy cabinets online.
Actually, some retailers offer a design service to their customers. This service includes laying out a design plan for you. They will be asking for a small fee of $40-$100 for this service. However, it would still be your job to take the measurements of your kitchen which they will be needing to make the plan for you. But, they will guide you to accurately take the measurements.
Lastly, you need to fully check the product and make sure that it doesn’t have any damage or lacking parts when you buy cabinets online.
What are the Drawbacks?
The best way to know the quality of a product is of course to touch and feel them. It would be difficult for buyers to do this when they buy kitchen cabinets online. However, it is not that impossible because most online cabinet retailers offer cabinet doors as samples for rent. You can check the quality of door construction and finish color once you rent their samples for a fair amount. A mini-cabinet sample is even available at some retailers and this sample would help you see what materials are used and how they construct a particular cabinet. Some retailers would give you a refund for the fee once you return the sample.
You may have doubts when you buy cabinets online. It’s understandable enough in the sense that you have to spend several thousand dollars over internet and it makes your investment unsafe. However, online retailers know their customer’s concern and that is why they took several steps to prove to them that they are trustworthy enough to deal with their client’s investments. One way is through their participation with Better Business Bureau Online (BBBOnLine®). The company explains their business policies to public and secure several means of contact via phone, fax and email. To add more, the bank the holds the credit card used upon transaction has established a security backed system that allows the credit card holder to ask for a refund once the transaction is proven fraud.
The Differences among Online Cabinet Retailers
A lot of kitchen cabinet retailers are now available online. Although all of them sell kitchen cabinets, they have certain differences that buyers should be familiar of to get the best deal that when they buy kitchen cabinets online.
Online retailers offer a similar list of cabinets just like what you see on local shops when you do it in a traditional way. However, what differs among these retailers are the quality of the cabinets, how they are manufactured, and the number of products that they can make for a specific design or model. You will also see differences on how they ship out the cabinets, whether the company can offer the product as RTA cabinets or fully assembled cabinets. Although, you can actually find some retailers that offer both for a particular cabinet.
Some companies do not manufacture the cabinets that they sell online. Sometimes, they tap with cabinet manufacturers and they just serve as distributors by selling them online.
When you buy cabinets online, you tend to look on the quality of the company’s website. A good site is customer friendly in the sense that the website can be easily navigated. Product information should be easily seen and should be clear enough for the customers to understand. Significant policies should be available for the customers to read, especially with those pertaining to shipping, damaged goods, transaction policies and security.
Some websites have instructions on how to buy kitchen cabinets online. Basic guidelines are shown to easily navigate the page which greatly help buyers purchase their items. However, there are also some websites which lack information and will leave you figuring out what step to do next.
People would of course tend to stick with those retailers which have organize and customer friendly website. They find it more comfortable to order from these sites when the buy cabinets online.
Another factor that differentiate retailers would be their policies. Each retailer has their own policies governing on how returns are being done for damaged cabinets acquired through manufacturing the product or through shipping. One should be fully aware of these certain policies before you decide to buy kitchen cabinets online. Sometimes, these policies can be found on links available on their site.
Lastly, you should find out if the retailer is affiliated with the online arm of the Better Business Bureau. You will know that the company has participated with this organization by checking out if their site has a display of BBBOnLine® seal. If they do have the seal, then they already affirmed a commitment to good customer service and ethical online business practices. For those who want to invest big on a certain retailer for his business, this company will ensure that you’re working with the right company.
In order for you to check if the company that you want to do business with is affiliated with BBBOnLine, you can freely visit the BBBOnLine Consumer Safe Shopping Site. The site shows the list of companies which are affiliated with them. You can directly search the company using the search engine or search it alphabetically.
The Key Points
You might have decided to buy your cabinet online, but are you sure that everything is perfectly set. The following are the key points that you need to check in order for the whole process to run as smooth as possible. Better be equipped with the right knowledge before investing your money online.
First, you need to check if the website has sufficiently answered all your questions and is credible enough for your investment. How do you do that? Go ahead and check their FAQ sections. If it answers you questions then the company have proven its worth for your expense.
Second, be sure that a way of communication is set out between you and the company. You need a way to contact them for your needs. It can be through phone, fax, or email.
Third, a reference would be great to lessen your doubts about the company when you buy cabinets online. They should be able to provide several references or previous customers which can give you a hint on know how they deal with their customers.
Fourth, determine if the company offers design services. If you’re not confident enough with your plans or how you design your kitchen, then a company which offers a design service for a fair amount of fee would be beneficial for you. You can freely tell them about your preference such as having a wall cabinet to help them plan it for you.
Fifth, you need to know your options for payment when you buy kitchen cabinets online. Several companies offer several methods for transactions. You need to choose a company that has the available payment method that you are most comfortable with.
Sixth, having a sketch or a layout would be very helpful. Before you decide to buy kitchen cabinets online, try to look for a company that offers drawings or 3D renderings to help you see what it look like before you buy the cabinet. It would be helpful when you plan particular cabinets such as a corner cabinet.
Seventh, you need to make sure that you take advantage of the samples offered by the company. Some company offers door samples or mini-cabinets at a rented fee. It will help you determine how the cabinet is manufactured and what materials are used. This will then let you judge the quality of their products.
Eight, you need to make sure that you have fully read and understood the company’s guidelines and policies before you decide to buy kitchen cabinets online. Make sure that you have the correct measurements and specifications before ordering the cabinet. And, always remember that you cannot return custom-made cabinets.
Ninth, recheck your measurement in a number of times. When you buy cabinets online, it’s your responsibility to provide the online retailers with the correct or accurate specs and measurement of your kitchen. With your provided measurements, they will then manufacture the cabinet with the right size or layout that would fit perfectly with that specifications. It’s the only way to avoid errors in ordering the part and returns. You really don’t want to deal with a large size cabinet just to return in the end.
Tenth, before you buy cabinets online, make sure that you know how the company you have chosen ships out the cabinet. Identify if they send it as RTA or as a fully assembled cabinet. Be sure that you know what you really want to have a stress free environment once you set up the cabinet on your kitchen.
Eleventh, know how much you spend for shipping the cabinets. Be sure that you have read their policy for shipping the product. We know that companies affiliate with certain carriers and be aware that some of them have a one attempt delivery policy. Once you’re not home and there is a need to have a second delivery, you will then be responsible for the additional handling charge on the next delivery.
Twelfth, you need to check if your product has any damaged or missing parts. When you buy cabinets online, it’s your responsibility to check your goods as soon as possible. As discussed above, some company has implemented a strict time limit on when you still can report damages or missing parts. You really have to follow their guideline with reports in order for you to be able to return the part or receive any compensation. Some companies would give their customers a span of 24-72 hours to report their concerns to them. It is very important that you know the company’s policy.