Markup on hardwood flooring

chloenkittyJuly 11, 2014

Does anyone know what the markup usually is on hardwood flooring? I am purchasing my hardwood through a relative I have been close to all my life. I'm not even looking for half price, but a smidge of a discount would have been nice, but I don't think we got anything. My husband even joked that we didn't even get a free hat lol. I know everyone needs to make money and I agree with that, but it's not like we never see each other, we are very close. Should I have expected even 5% or something? Just wondering how much the markup is. Thank you.

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From a close relative??? I'd expect wholesale plus expenses!

We've gotten so weird about money in this culture.

This post was edited by Tibbrix on Fri, Jul 11, 14 at 17:41

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 1:43PM
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I wasn't looking for them to not make any money, I'd never be like that, but a little discount would have been nice. I'm the one in the family who always gives things to people, clothes, makeup, furniture, shoes purses, etc with tags on. Oh well, what's that saying about expectations?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 6:13PM
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Maybe that is the problem. Your kitchen selections have all been high-end, and you leave price tags on (guessing you want them to see you spent a lot), so maybe they think you can afford full price.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 7:27PM
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I don't agree. You do not profit from family. you shouldn't lose any money, hence by believing family should not only pay wholesale for the product, but all expenses. Then, you refer friends and acquaintances to your family member when they need their service/product.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 8:02PM
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Did you compare pricing elsewhere? Next time handle it like a business transaction and ask for a quote saying you are getting several bids. If you get no special treatment from a relative's business, then they should not expect to be the only bidder.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 8:25PM
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May flowers, where on earth did you get that idea? When I find something I like, I shop a dozen or so places until i get the best price. My relative helped me a lot with the floors, so I'd feel bad going somewhere else. If GE cafe series appliances and kabinart cabinets are high end, it's news to me. Plus, I don't leave price tags on anything, that was a silly comment. My husband and I are far from wealthy, we have worked hard, saved, sacrificed and scrimped for years to build a nice home. No apologies for that.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 9:56PM
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I would expect a discount. I am an insurance agent and do business with a lot of relatives but I can't give a discount on that. My husband is an acupuncturist and he definitely has a "friends and family" rate that is about a third less than what he usually charges. One of my best friends is an upholsterer (lucky me!!) and she only charges me what she has to pay her employee, which is a lot less than what she would charge a regular customer.

Does your cousin work for him or herself? Or are they part of a larger organization and might not be able to offer a discounted price?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 10:07PM
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Holly- Kay

A discount from a family member would be nice. I believe in giving my family a lot of perks. I don't charge immediate family anything and I also offer an employee discount of cost plus 10% and extend it to their families. WTBS, family is so much more important than money and though I think you should have received a discount it isn't worth ill feelings and I know that isn't what you want either.

I hit the big 60 last September and my mortality becomes more of a reality with each passing year. I am very giving of my time and the money that will be left to my children some day anyway. The best part is that I am able to see them enjoy what I have saved and worked so hard for all of my life. The most precious gift we have on this earth is the love of, and for our families.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 10:34PM
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Sophie Wheeler

The markup could be anywhere from a 10-40% margin. That wood that cost them $5 a square could sell for anywhere from $5.55 - $8.33 Depends on their source, if they get a discount for large purchases, and if they give a discount for large purchases, and if they get credit for paying promptly. As well as a dozen other factors having to with where they are on the foodchain of wholesaler to retailer to installer. So, unless you see their invoice, you have zero way of knowing how much markup they regularly charge anyone. You have to take them at face value that they got you a deal. Or, you sour the relationship.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 1:04AM
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Relatives with commercial goods or wares to spare are like rabbit feet, they are there for us to cling onto in a crisis, not that they actually do anything for us, but just keep us hanging on and concerned we might lose them and and make our luck run out. Truth is, most relatives and rabbit feet are about the same, inexpensive to buy and useless when we need them.

This post was edited by patricia43 on Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 8:52

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 8:49AM
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"My relative helped me a lot with the floors, so I'd feel bad going somewhere else."

And there is the extra value you obtained from the transaction. Perhaps your relative spent so much time educating you that s/he would have lost money by offering a discount. His time is worth something, right? First time buyers of anything are often very high maintenance. Not saying that to offend, but I have no doubt your relative has spent a good bit of time with you on the floors.

I personally don't feel family is under any obligation to give discounts, particularly in this situation. Chispa has the right approach generally, IMO--- treat these transactions like the business deals they are. Except in this case you received a lot of his time, which you might not have gotten elsewhere.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 9:02AM
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If the relative offered a discount I would expect one.

If it wasn't offered I wouldn't.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 9:06AM
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You would have to do comparative shopping. You could probably have gotten cheaper floors, but that might have been cheaper "flooring." Do you know the name and serial number from the company? Can you compare that? Is this relative a mom-pop owner who has to charge more than Home Depot because he has a smaller margin of profit on goods he paid a higher price than the big box store. What kind of guarantee do you get when buying from him compared to the big box store? Did he offer you a discount? Did you consume a great deal of his time? Lots of variables here to be taken into consideration plus the fact that my grandpop told me to never do business with relatives nor borrow money from them or loan them money, that it is smart business to leave relatives out of your business unless you want to make bad feelings your business.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 9:26AM
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I don't want to make a huge deal about this or go round and round. I appreciate the comments, and was truly curious what the markup is because I know some things are greatly marked up such as jewelry, furniture, alcohol lol.

Yes, there was time spent with me, but early morning time when store was just open and no otherr customers were there. Nothing out of the ordinary was explained or spent on me, they just helped me find flooring I explained I was looking for.

No, they are not as large as Home Depot, small(ish) but there are smaller in the area. Another place about an hour away quoted me $1 less per sq ft. $1 may not seem like a lot, but when it comes to the grand total, it is. I almost bought from them, but I guess I'm a softy as I felt bad not purchasing from the relative, but the relative didn't feel bad not giving even a small discount lol.

I loved Patricia's rabbit feet reference, good one!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 11:12AM
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You still haven't said whether or not the price quotes were for the exact same product. Maybe the relative gave you a much better grade of floor than another place would have.

" I almost bought from them, but I guess I'm a softy as I felt bad not purchasing from the relative, but the relative didn't feel bad not giving even a small discount lol."

To say this you would have to know that you were comparing the exact same type, grade, and square footage of flooring, and you haven not indicated that was the case. Also, if the other place an hour away gave you a phone quote, that is --- in my own recent experience--- practically useless as a basis for comparison. A site estimate is necessary for comparison--- so they will know what sort of transitional areas you have, what kind of shoe molding you plan to use, etc.

Sorry, meant to add that because of the above information and context that is lacking, it obviously doesn't matter what the usual markup is on wood floors.

This post was edited by kswl on Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 11:30

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 11:27AM
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Kswl, I didn't see that someone asked that specific question. The handful of retailers I called were all given the proper info about square footage, the exact floor we wanted, etc. My relative was higher by 50 cents, 80 cents and I believe even a dollar per square foot. Hope that answers your question. Also, your question about them spending time with me showing me flooring etc could have compensated for the higher price. I don't agree with that at all. Sadly, we all go into stores, car dealerships, looking at homes to purchase etc and take time from realtors, sales people, etc., but that doesn't mean they should charge us more. They are getting a salary, it's their job.

I don't want it to look like I'm complaining because it was my choice to go with the relative who was higher, I truly was just curious about the markup, that's all. I didn't want it to get into all kind of other questions, I was just curious. Yes, I admit I would have felt bad if she came into my house and saw it and knew I didn't get it from her. Who knows, when my builder gets the invoice, he may say he can get it somewhere else cheaper and if that happens, I will let him and put it on him :)

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 4:10PM
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Sophie Wheeler

What SPECIFIC floor are you doing? Manufacturer, line, individual product name, and color. How many square feet? How many transitions and what kind? 1/4 round? Method of install and materials required for that?

It makes no difference to a sales overall margins if they quote you $1 a square foot for the flooring if they charge you $500 for each bucket of glue, and $150 for each transition piece, and $100 for 1/4" round. And then end up with a 30% margin on the job as a whole. Companies that do this rely on uneducated shoppers that just material price only. You have to look at the overall quote to actually comparison shop. And people that don't understand those accessories that are part of the project don't understand that they are getting a fair quote for the whole job rather than loss leader games made up or with the parts and pieces.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 9:17PM
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Thank you, Hollysprings, that is, in part, what I was trying to convey. Unless you have bid out the job knowing exactly how much each contractor was charging for the non-product part of the job you will simply not get the a dollar amount per square foot price that is in any way comparable. And I still contend that even with a floor plan, the "estimate" can change depending upon any number of variables once the contractor is actually in your house doing the job. Unless the company an hour away actually came to your house, that bid wasn't a real number. We are finishing out the wood floors on the first floor of our house (some replacing water damage from a burst pipe last winter and some bedrooms that were carpeted that we are just changing). There is no such thing as "apples to apples" in the flooring business.

I guess I am just recommending you not be so hard on your relative, because --- as different people have tred to convey--- his price might have actually been lower than you realized and/or lower than the other bidders.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 10:07PM
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Agree. Phone quotes are often lowest possible figures intended to bring in comparison shoppers who eventually find they either didn't quote certain installation costs or that what they did include is sub par and you'll have to pay for "upgrades". Until you have a written bid that compares apples to apples on every element of the job -- and those bids are binding, you really don't know what the cost comparison is. And that doesn't even consider the difference in quality of the installation job or your satisfaction with it.

I had the experience kswl and hollysprings are talking about. My installation price excluded certain materials and those materials were never presented to me and I had no way of verifying what or how much was used, but I was charged for a lot more than I was told would likely be needed by the person who came to my house and measured (not just a phone call). I was charged a lot more plus the extra boxes of tile I ordered and specifically instructed to be left on site for future work had to be dug out from the back of their truck where it was covered up by a pile of other materials and trash.

My other tile installer problem included having to call 911 to get help dealing with a crazy tile installer in a different house. And no -- I haven't hired any tile installers since. Not sure what I'm going to do when I get to redoing my bathroom, but I'm pretty sure I'd pay $1 more a foot to not deal with any of that mess again.

If you got a good installation job and are happy with the floor, count your blessings and figure you did get a deal -- a good deal. They may have done you some serious favors.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 12:56AM
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