Methods of pricing information from dealers.

jakuvallOctober 7, 2012

In Live Wire Oaks recent thread on displays a lot of you said you wanted some form of price guidelines from dealers while shopping. Thought about that a lot- actually it is something we all have tried to find an answer to over the years. As you may have noticed most KDs have come to the decision that the best answer is to actually price your jog. And I believe that to be the case, we just don't make you watch while we do it. All the work is done after we talk with you and we give a good -High- ballpark at the first meeting (often in 2-3 brands).

But I'm am taking another look at what else I could do that might help in my studio.

What I'm thinking of is to take each line and list some basic ballpark prices for each line-

Least expensive range we see- small kitchen

Average $$ we see- and slightly trimmed

Then upper end we see - or the point where you should look at the next line-

A list of upcharges and how they are applied (not sure about that as it gets so complicated)

So wondering if that sound like it might help? Below I've listed some of the methods used to deal with this and the issues we've run into with them.

This is sort of a variation on good, better, best. GBB gets complicated to do properly and leads to inaccuracies as well.

The problems with pricing approaches from the dealers perspective- we don't want to lowbal or decieve you and we don't want to scare you to death even though part of the job description is "administer sticker shock", we prefer to work on jobs we are likely to get just as you would prefer not to waste time or be dissappointed:

Appearing overpriced- I design fully functional accessorized kitchens with careful detailing- this will always be more expensive than the guy down the road who starts out pricing "just boxes" Pretty much every pricing sytem has this problem.

The per foot systeim- also known as the kitchen no one does- is simply deceptive and inaccurate.leads to low ball expectations.

The 36" cabinet price- fine to compare this line with that SORT OF- as the kitchen gets complicated those differences do not apply well-leads to low ball expectations.

The "how much is this display"- agian we've loaded it with everything we could to allow us to show you options- unlikely you are going to do them all- may be in my most expensive brand but doesn't mean I can't get you what your after with my mainstream brand- client runs away screaming. Leads to sticker shock.

The other thing I've noticed is when someone walks up to a display and asks how much is it what is often going on is they think "that is about the size of my kitchen, so this will tell me how much my kitchen costs" Rarely true, the perception of size is almost always off, the display likely does not have all appliances, windows and doors (if any of those) and again we have decked it out with things we may not ever sell.

Good, better, best- works best within lines of the same brand. It falls short when comparing brands as each has sweet spots. There are situations where I compare say my mid price and the next brand up- one kitchen the difference is 7%, another it is 15, and had one the other day that was 40% (to my suprise) it always depends on the kitchen.

Thanks in advance

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Sheesh, you can't even ballpark a cabinet price without taking the time to build the order and go from there.

This is about setting and managing expectations. Customers need to know, up front, that prices are always "built" depending on brand, options, ext, and that there is no other way since everything else develops from there. Ask if they've done this before, etc. Explaining this will tend to deflect pressure off you since they will be assured there's logic behind the numbers. After that, you can give some general (rough) numbers based on past jobs, but again, explain that your number is based on actual work required, some general assumptions, etc. My customers don't mind paying (I'm a handyman that does bath remodels, etc.) as long as we have this sort of understanding and that the work will be done properly, etc.

I have learned long ago to be careful about throwing out those first numbers without caveats. That first number can get etched into the brain as a benchmark and you want to be very clear you are not starting from it - just trying to be helpful in a general sense.

For what it's worth. Hope this helps.

I suppose another way would be to compare basic cabinet prices for really cost-conscious folks, but again with the the explanation that orders still are "built" as stated above.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 5:24PM
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Maybe some relative pricing information might be helpful. What about taking a few price points and including how easy or hard it would be to meet that target in ach line, and what level of amenities that would get?

That's really all I wanted to know when comparing, to see what was in the realm of possibility for my general budget. It said a lot when I mentioned how much I was looking to spend, and even though I said I understood how much it could vary depending on things, if the response to my stated range with a simple door, stained was hesitant or evasive, I looked elsewhere. The places that said they could show me lines that would run in that general range for the size of my small kitchen got a much closer look. If I could see what might be possible, I could decide if I wanted a certain brand knowing it would be basic (but maybe I liked the brand, or some certain feature) or should go with a lower line but with all the bells and whistles!

Like $6-10k average kitchen (or have a layout diagram that is used)
-line A: Easy, any door, any stain, adding extras or a paint finish gets close to the upper limit
-line B: very reasonable budget, some woods or finishes push the limit, easy to hit the high end with extras
-line C: doable in some limited options for door/finish, easily over this amount when adding extras or with many doors/finishes
-line d: very hard, extremely limited options, at high end of limit even without extras or upgrades

$10-20k budget
-line A: any choices would meet this range
- line B: easy, lots of upgrades or extras will reach the upper end
-line C: reasonable range, some choices may push near the upper end of the range, as would adding many extras
-line D: doable with some limitations in doors/finishes, extras may push the limit

-line A: any choices would meet this target, may not fit expectations at this price level
-line B: any choices would meet this target
-line C: easy to meet this target with little limitations on choices
-line D: reasonable range, can reach upper range depending on choices and extras

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 9:00PM
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"The "how much is this display"- agian we've loaded it with everything we could to allow us to show you options- unlikely you are going to do them all- may be in my most expensive brand but doesn't mean I can't get you what your after with my mainstream brand- client runs away screaming. Leads to sticker shock."

Why not list the options with a cost breakdown as in a new car sticker?


    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 2:40PM
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Along the same idea of what williamsem said, when I was shopping for cabinets I really just wanted to know if what I was looking at was anywhere NEAR in my price range. I had the added benefit of only shopping for very very few cabinets so I was able to shop for much nicer cabinets. However, I was constantly annoyed at going to the higher end places and being accosted (no offence to anyone, just trying to help here) by sales people. Having to give all measurements, story, and reasons why I only needed so few cabinets, and NO I haven't thought about my counters yet. Mind you I was always shopping with two toddlers so my fuse may have been a bit shorter than others ;-)

Why is it, that there isn't a diagram of a normal, decent sized kitchen - the same exact kitchen for every line you carry - with comparable options and a price for maybe two different finishes for that kitchen. This would give people a ballpark for that line in a wood and a painted, with the average amount of options that people normally buy. It would let customers see the difference in price between the lines you carry and how much "someone else's" average normal kitchen costs.

Again, no offence... you probably never accosted me ;)

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 4:49PM
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I 100% agree with the above. Kitchen pricing is a long, drawn out process that seems evasive to the consumer. Consumers want a means to compare costs, features and cabinet construction. Give us a starting point. Dumb it down to basics that people can compare. We know it won't be an accurate price - or sales people can explain more details to those who want to know. But when I have no idea of cost, I run. I'm having the same problem pricing Hunter Douglass window treatments. No pricing information upfront turns me off rather than peaks my curiousity. I don't want to hear that you'll "work with me" or that you have an "in" with a certain cabinet manufacturer and get the best deals. I don't want to wait 4 to 6 weeks to get a price. When I shop, I want to know some idea of price -from the consumers perspective, its that simple. If I look at a house to buy, there is a price indicated. The price includes thousands of components, but they came up with a price.

If dispalys don't work, then maybe you can show consumers diagrams using your layout software where the same kitchen layout is priced, including standard features - as shown in the diagram. Now run the price for every line, door style and finish. Now I can see in an instant that a particular kitchen costs $17,000 for a painted maple inset cabinets while the same kitchen in a stained cherry full overly costs $13,500. Granted, it may not be my exact layout, but its a comparison that I can deal with.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 10:27PM
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