Big Box Pricing Not So Cheap Really

Surprisingly, big box store cabinet prices don't necessarily undercut custom work. February 27, 2015

Has anyone made an effort to compare your pricing with Lowe's or Home Depot? Just wondering how many of you are in line with them, higher or lower. In comparing my pricing locally, they are one of the few that will bid high end hardware, but they are outrageous for my area.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From Contributor G:
When the Depot came to town several years ago I had my wife get a kitchen bid from them. To my surprise, they were 30% higher than us. The same is true today. Their advantage is the perception of being cheap and lots of foot traffic. If I get a chance to bid against them I always get the job. When I give a bid I always recommend to the customer that they get at least two other bids. They rarely do. Everybody has soft close hinges and drawer slides, but take a good look at them, some of this stuff is junk. Pull the drawer out and compare with Grass or Blum.

From contributor D:
In general most won't know how to tell if the hardware is a cheaper version. The shoppers get the deer in the headlight look and are completely blinded by major percent off sales and free sinks and on and on - no payments for 12 months maybe. These major showrooms draw a crowd. I don't think the folks who do pay high prices from the box stores have shopped custom or they would know they could get the real deal maybe for less.

From contributor R:
We have found we are also usually cheaper for a far better product - as much as 40% less, but on average 20-25%. I'm sure their credit, zero down, etc. plays into it some, but it's all about marketing and image.

From contributor X:
It's surprising how many people won't even bother getting a quote for custom cabinets, they just assume they are five times the cost of factory made.

From contributor D:
Perhaps the customers feel like they can trust a chain of stores more than an independent cabinet maker. It would be great if us independent cabinetmakers launched a campaign to educate the public on how it works, meaning we all know there is little or no comparison from modular cabinets available in increments of 3" or full on custom cabinetry like most of us do. I take credit cards, one less negative factor to make it easy to buy from us. Send the client directly to the same granite fabricator as the box store uses for installations and fabrications themselves. Oddly enough while some potential clients want to know if we have references or pictures of completed projects I'll bet not one asks Home Depot to go see a completed kitchen? It has to do with credibility or the appearance of it.