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Buying New Carpet From Lowe's, Home Depot, Empire Today or Costco?

By Alan Fletcher - Consumer Advocate

What Homeowners Need to Know... Before Signing the Check!


The last time I checked, all four of these Giant National Carpet Retailers use OTHER companies to facilitate their carpet sales, measuring and installation services. 


That means if you ever have a carpet problem or complaint, you may have a hard time getting anyone to help you or take responsibility for making things right. 


Do You Know...

  • Home Depot, Lowe's and Costco contract out all their flooring sales, measuring and installation services to different companies? 

  • Empire Today REQUIRES all their salespeople to form their own CORPORATION so they will be Independent Sales Contractors


What does this all mean to YOU the homeowner? With so many fingers in the pie it is not too hard to figure out that you might end up paying way too much for your new carpet. 


These four nationally advertised conglomerates take a large chunk of the profit right off the top and then let all the other privately held companies and independent sales contractors each have a shot at making more money from your purchase. 


From costly measuring fees to needless carpet and padding upgrades, from carpet and padding removal and disposal fees to costly installation extras and add-ons, there are plenty of ways they will make you cough up a lot more money before it's all said and done. 



Tempted By The Lure of a Great Sounding Deal...


Several Common Carpet Scams You Need To Avoid!

  • Get Three Rooms for the Price of One!

  • Get 60% OFF New Carpet

  • Free Whole House Basic Installation!

  • Free Padding and Installation!

  • Low Price Guarantee!

  • Half Off Material & Labor!


Do These Common Advertising Claims Sound familiar? 


Before you sign on the dotted line... Get out your magnifying glass so you can read all the fine print on these great sounding offers. These commonly advertised slogans are designed to attract unsuspecting homeowners who would like to save money but don't know how to go about doing it wisely. Unfortunately, the four conglomerates mentioned here advertise heavily and have only one thing in mind: Scamming you out of your hard earned money!



Whole House Carpet Installation


Both Lowe's and Home Depot have been successful at luring in unsuspecting homeowners by giving away free "basic" whole house carpet installation. They make up a portion of the so-called "free" installation costs with increased carpet and padding charges. Then they increase the installation charges for anything and everything that is considered beyond their limited definition of a "basic" installation. 


Their so-called "free" carpet installation that lured you in, may not end up being such a good deal once their sub-contracted measuring experts and installers get a good look at your home. 



It's very likely you will be faced with numerous extra fees & charges tacked-on to your final bill. Final bill? Yes, while they will require that you pay for the entire carpet job in full before they will place your carpet order, the final bill comes on the day of installation when the installer determines that your job requires additional labor for moving furniture, or any extra labor or materials that can be considered beyond the limited definition of a "Basic" carpet installation. 


Learn more about: Whole House Carpet Installation


These extras can easily add up to hundreds for any extra fees & charges. 


As Gomer Pyle would say... Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!



Home Depot's Low-Price Guarantee? They say they will beat any competitor's price by 10%, but according to the fine print, that's only on identical in-stock items. That makes it virtually impossible to substantiate because they use private labels on all their carpet samples. 


They change the name of all their carpet styles and colors to make it difficult for you to comparison shop. A low-price guarantee sure sounds good until you read all the fine print.


The Big Box home improvement warehouses like Home Depot and Lowe's have been charging homeowners a sizable measuring fee just for coming to your home to measure your needs. From what I have been told, they use an independent company who hires licensed & certified measuring specialists. These contractors are required to measure your home using a "special method". Does that mean they automatically add another 10% to 20% of material to the total? I think so, and doing this can easily cost you hundreds more than you need to pay if you blindly trust their measurements.


You may never know for sure if their measurements are accurate unless you get more than two or three estimates, but basically I think the big box retailers want to make darn sure there is way more than enough material to complete your job. This way, they never have to worry about running short of material during installation and they stand to make more profits by over-charging you for materials and labor. This might translate into you paying hundreds more for your new carpet & pad then you need. Just an extra 10 yards of material could easily add up to $500 or more to the total cost of your job. Ouch!


Empire Today likes to attract customers by airing repetitive TV ads featuring unbelievable sales offers with next day installation. If you call them, they will send a independent sales professional to your home who will show you samples and try to "close the sale" on the spot. Will you be getting a fair & square deal? 



Does Empire Today Sell Quality Carpet For a Reasonable Price?


Do you know about carpet specifications? You need to do your carpet homework before you buy. How long will certain carpet or flooring products last in your home based on Your Level of Foot Traffic


Buyer Beware... Unscrupulous carpet retailers may be trying to sell you a low-quality Polyester carpet and try to convince you that it's just as durable as a Nylon Carpet. Learn more about Carpet Fibers


There are a few important questions that you need solid answers to before you should commit yourself to buying from any shop-at-home flooring retailer. Learn more about Carpet Specifications


Many carpet retailers all use private labels on their products and use independent contractors to measure, sell or install their products. If you have a complaint, you may have to deal directly with the independent contractors to get a remedy. Trying to get anyone to help you with your carpet complaint can be quite difficult, time consuming and frustrating. 



Do You Think You Have a Carpet Defect? 


You'll have to contact the carpet manufacturer. Have an installation problem? You'll have to contact the carpet installer. Did the salesperson misrepresent the product you purchased? You will have to contact the independently contracted salesperson. If you can't get a remedy you may have to file a claim in small claims court.


Costco Members 


I am a Costco member myself and enjoy saving money buying the products I need and use all year long! 

As you are leaving, you might notice some of their vendors have displays on the left side of the wall. They may have Heating and Air Conditioning companies, Leaf-Guard Gutters, Garage Door Replacements, Kitchen cabinets, Vacation and travel charters, Carpet and flooring products and other home improvement offers and promotions. 


However, of all these great sounding deals, I myself would never buy new carpet or flooring from Costco's vendors. Why? If you take a look at their free Carpet or Flooring brochure, they list a phone number for you to call to start your in-home Carpet or Flooring Consultation Process. 


Calling this phone number will put you in touch with a Shaw Flooring Design Consultant who is paid on a commission basis, and they will schedule an in-home consultation with you at your convenience. This Shaw Design Consultant, who does not really work for Shaw Industries, will come to your home and present you with certain carpet or flooring samples, and will then try to help you choose the right product for your specific needs. They will also measure your home and give you a free, no-obligation estimate of all the costs.



The Costco Problem: They Make It Almost Impossible To Comparison Shop


While a Shaw Flooring Design Consultant may carry some good quality carpet and flooring, be prepared for major sticker shock when you see what the total cost will be. Again, you can't comparison shop easily because they change the carpet style names and colors to thwart you. You would need to take their carpet samples with you into other carpet stores to try to compare both samples side by side. They won't leave any of the the carpet samples you like with you overnight or even for a few days, so comparison shopping to find your best deal for the exact same products is definitely not easy to do. 


A Shaw Flooring Design Consultant would rather you just agreed to make your selection right now, while they are still in your home. They do not want you to comparison shop because if you were able to compare prices, you would likely find that you could find a much better deal for the exact same product elsewhere.


I've spent over 30-years in the carpet business and my father was a mill rep for 35 years. If you are in the market for new carpet or flooring of any kind, I think you should seriously consider buying from one of the locally owned dealers that I have listed in my Preferred Carpet Dealer Directory. It's taken me over 8 years to locate, verify, investigate and identify over 400 locally-owned and reputable family-run flooring businesses and I truly believe they are the best of the best here in America!


You Decide Where To Buy New Carpet!


Locally owned and reputable carpet dealers will allow to to take several carpet samples home for you to consider for a few days. It's wise to consider the appearance of colors and styles carefully in your own home's lighting both in the morning, mid-day and evening scenarios. 


I suggest you visit several flooring retailers near you, get several estimates and be sure visit a carpet store that I recommend if you can. You determine for yourself who you should buy from. When it's all said and done, I think you will agree that my preferred dealers are the very knowledgeable, reliable and reputable! 


You'll be treated with respect, get a fair & square deal and get great customer service... Before, during and after the sale. See who I recommend near you! Visit Alan's List of Recommended Carpet Dealers (don't forget to print up my free coupon so you can get up to $100 off new carpet!)


There's a lot more you need to learn before you head out to shop for new carpet. 

Read on...



Should I buy New Carpet from Lowe's or Home Depot?

Common Consumer Carpet Problems & Complaints

Alan's List of Recommended Carpet Dealers

Whole House Carpet Installation

Lowe's carpet, home depot carpet, Stainmaster carpet, Martha Stewart carpet, empire today carpet, Costco carpet, Anso carpet, Tactesse carpet





















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