Practically anything you want can be purchased online, from the convenience of your chair. Online shopping is particularly useful for price-shopping and finding great deals. But a great deal on price can come with a great deal of stress.
Making a big purchase online can be risky and is something that should be given careful consideration. If you’re considering purchasing flooring online, here are a few things to consider before you click:
1. Freight. Shipping can be very expensive on heavy materials, or items that require special handling. You may end up paying more to ship your flooring, than you saved buying it online. If your flooring becomes damaged during shipping, you may be required to pay freight costs to ship it back to the retailer or manufacturer and then pay additional costs to receive the undamaged product.
2. Customer Service. The flooring industry works like many others in the sense that manufacturers have local representatives stationed throughout the country. A single-purchase consumer, such as yourself, may not be as valued as a retailer who purchases hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of flooring each year. The manufacturer’s local representative may refuse to visit you, or take a very long time to do so. Therefore, if you have a problem with your flooring once it’s installed, it may be very difficult to have your problem remedied.
3. Product Consistency. Because there are limited, if any, quality control processes in place when ordering online, it is possible that you will receive the wrong product or color, or a damaged product. Even if the retailer is willing to correct the issue, your installation will likely be delayed since you’ll need to factor in the time it takes to ship the product back and receive the correct product.
4. Warranty. Manufacturers often require that flooring is installed specific to their requirements in order to remain in compliance with the warranty. It may be difficult to find an installer near you who is familiar with the product you’re purchasing and not very likely that the installer you choose will have a relationship with the manufacturer or retailer you choose. Should a problem arise during or after installation, the installer will likely blame the product, and the manufacturer will likely blame the installer. Either way, you may have voided your warranty.
The internet is a great tool for doing your research, but be wary about making significant purchases online. You’re better off to build a relationship with a retailer you can trust, who’s available to help you navigate through any problems you might encounter with your new flooring.