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When quoting cabinet prices for a full kitchen do you think it is best to give an initially low quote that does not include many if any options or a quote that includes all the bells and whistles?
With a low initial quote is there less tendency to scare them off with sticker shock and add option prices after you possibly have them hooked?
With a bells and whistles quote will the customer appreciate and understand that there will be no added prices and be happier with the quote?
In other words, is it better to start low and add to the price as options are added or start high and lower the price as options are deleted?
We normally list the common options only. Most people want crown, soft close doors and drawers, and lazy susans in the corner bases. Every other option that we offer is listed on a separate price sheet that we give the customer. This includes spice trays, special rollouts, different finishes, special glass, price per foot for panelized backs, ends, etc.
We used to have a showroom with different styles of cabinets on display. They were configured to act as a sort of rorschach test.
I don't think it really matters how you demarcate the different price points, only that you do. The rorschach test came in watching which display they gravitated towards. If money was less of a concern they would fondle the polished nickel hinges. If saving money was paramount they would start investigating the lower cost options. I stood ready to support either option depending on the clues they gave me.
Within either of the displays everything, of course, looked the same when the doors and drawer fronts were closed. Behind the drawer fronts I showed melamine drawers with Blum 230 slides, apple ply plywood drawers and machine cut dovetail drawers. I also had a really beautiful hand cut dovetail drawer box that I would trot out.
I learned from this exercise that the particular drawer box you proffer is the one they want. The customer simply did not care whether or not the drawer was a dovetail (and still does not care). This is just a metric that cabinetmakers find important but not something of intrinsic value to the client.
For a long while we offered nothing but dovetail but as our processes became leaner we found more and more we were waiting for the dovetail drawer boxes to show up.
We now exclusively sell an appleply plywood box and use the dovetail as an internal index about whether or not the customer will be needy or not. Those who get hung up on this particular detail also generally tend to make every hill a hill to die on elsewhere in the project.
Sometimes you can tell by what the customer is asking for but if we just get a set of house plans with no other information we normally quote a painted kitchen with 42" uppers. We use solid wood dovetail drawers, blum under mount soft close runners, blum soft close arm hinges as standard. Then we will show stain, glaze, and inset doors as options on the quote.
When I meet with a kitchen client it is a personal meeting that is a time to go over the space or plan at hand. I ask questions and find out exactly what they like or want or don't like or want.
In over 35 years I think I have had several ask about dovetails and I think 1 may have asked how I join my face frames.
My perspective is from working directly with the end users in most cases. Also wanted share that typically when I meet with the potential clients I try to educate them to be able to make decisions easier.
Giving quotes on plans with no conversation makes me think the bottom line is all that matters not so much the content.
I could write essays upon essays about this, but I think the most important point is know your customer and know your market.
Coming in at a competitive price and listing extras separately is what I believe to be the best of both worlds.
Don't forget to make the customer aware of your strong points. Is your customer service great? Have you got a flawless record of delivering on time? Are you better quality then your competitors? These are the things that aren't reflected in a price on a piece of paper but are very important.
Coming in low on price and adding items as you go can be seen as deceptive (even if it's genuine).
At the end of the day if a customer comes back to you and says your price is higher than the others, they are giving you an opportunity to justify it, or do something about it. I always tell customers at this point that there are design options and material selection choices that can be made that won't affect the quality of the end product but can significantly reduce the costs. This asserts our focus on service and quality and let's them know we won't compromise on either. If they won't work with that then they aren't the customer for us. our values aren't aligned.