Flooring Sales Gimmicks: How to Spot and Avoid Hidden Fees and Conditions
| Fact Checked By: Lamont Robbins
Published: June 19, 2020 | Updated: November 30, 2020
Nowadays it’s easy to jump on the internet to find the best deals when you are shopping for something new. Personally, I consider myself the bargain queen because before I buy anything online, I scour the internet for coupons and limited offers. But how do you know you’re really getting the best deal out there and not finding flooring sales gimmicks?
Believe it or not, when you’re shopping for new flooring, you might buy into more sales gimmicks than you realize by thinking you’re paying less when you’re really paying more. Before you shop for your gorgeous new floor, discover the most common flooring sales gimmicks and how to avoid falling victim to these sales traps. That way, you can spot the real deals of flooring!
Three Common Flooring Sales Gimmicks
Most flooring companies come out with big promotions or limited offers for holidays, or special times of the year. But when you take the offers, you might not be saving money at all, as most of the terms of these deals are conditional. Therefore, a lot of long-time offers that companies promote are actually sales gimmicks. Can we all agree that deals should be unconditional?
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The “Free Shipping*” Gimmick
The most infamous, basic sales gimmick for any company is “Free Shipping*”. Who doesn’t love the idea of free shipping, right? Sometimes that extra $7 to ship a product can send your total over your initial budget and knowing you are getting that break will make your shopping decisions for you.
Unfortunately, some companies offer free shipping but fail to mention in their ads that “free” is conditional and doesn’t mean 100% free.
Shipping offers depend on two factors
- Location: If your shipping address is outside of the company’s shipping radius, you will have to pay for shipping. The most common shipping radius is within the country the product is manufactured.
- Product: Whatever product you’re buying can also affect the shipping price. For example, if the product weighs a lot, if the product is newer, or if there is limited stock, you could pay for shipping.
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The “Free Installation*” Gimmick
In the flooring world, free installation is an extremely common offer brick and mortar companies provide, which sounds like an awesome deal. But what are you paying for outside of installation? More than likely, when you go for free installation, the flooring you buy will have some hidden fees.
- Labor and Supplies: If for some reason your flooring requires more “special handling” during the installation process, you could be charged for extra labor or supplies needed to complete the install.
- Travel: Similar to free shipping, if you live outside of a certain radius of the store that is offering free installation, there is a good chance that you will be charged for travel expenses.
- Room size: Let’s say you want to install flooring throughout your entire first floor. If the area exceeds the maximum square footage the company offers, you will be charged for the rest of the area.
- The old flooring: If the room has existing flooring that cannot be installed over, you will either be charged extra, or tasked to remove it yourself.
The “Buy One Room, Get One 50% Off*” Gimmick
Hey, I LOVE a good BOGO (buy one, get one) deal. It is one of the best deals for any company to offer, and it catches the eye of every shopper. However, it is also one of the more basic flooring sales gimmicks.
A company says, “pay for one room of flooring installation at full price, then get any other rooms’ flooring installed for free/ half-priced.” Once again, this offer is conditional and is based on a few different factors.
- Product: Let’s say you want vinyl plank flooring in one room, for which you pay the full price. In the next room (which should be discounted) you want to install carpet. While installation might be discounted, if the carpet you choose costs more than the vinyl flooring, you will pay that difference, as the product itself is almost always full-priced.
- Labor, Supplies, and Travel: Even though you are getting a deal on installation, it doesn’t mean you’re not being charged for labor, supplies, and travel.
- Room size: If the second room is bigger than the full-priced room, there might be additional charges for labor and area coverage.
- The old flooring: If one of the rooms has old flooring that needs to be removed, the company will either charge you for the extra labor, or you have to remove it yourself beforehand.
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Where to Spot Flooring Sales Gimmicks
You know that voice at the end of a commercial that talks really fast about the terms and conditions of the product they’re selling? That, my friend, is the “fine print” that outlines all of the conditions that we talked about earlier. Obviously, when you’re looking for deals online, you won’t hear that fast-talking guy, so how do you know there’s a catch to your deal?
It’s actually pretty cut and dry: look for the asterisks (*).
Oh yeah, it’s that little star that indicates there’s more to this deal. It’s the sale’s footnote that tells you everything you need to know about your deal before you agree to it. So when you’re shopping online, and you find the perfect product advertised as “Free Shipping*” that’s when you need to dig deeper.
The terms are typically listed somewhere on the product page in small, fine print, typically listed under “Terms and Conditions”. These terms can also be found under the product features, at the bottom of the page where the sale is listed, or maybe even listed at checkout. Again, more than likely, the conditions will be listed in small, fine print that is easy to overlook.
Now, I understand how easy it is to just check the box that says “Accept Terms and Conditions” then checkout, but once you agree to those terms and conditions, you agree to pay for the little things you might not have thought about.
You work hard for your money! No matter where the fine print, be sure you understand it before you proceed to checkout.
How to Avoid Floor Sales Gimmicks’ Hidden Fees and Conditions
So, how do you avoid those sales traps, and find the honest deals? It all comes down to reading/ finding the fine print, learning about the company, and asking the right questions.
Research the Flooring Company
Whether you are buying the flooring in-store or online, it’s important to research the company you are working with. Learn about the company’s values to make sure you are getting the trustworthy deals you deserve.
Where to Start Your Research
- Product/ Company Reviews: Reviews are by far the easiest way to get feedback on a company. Customers who have dealt with the company will tell you how trustworthy they are and what to be aware of.
- About Us Page: Every company has an ‘About Us’ page on their website that outlines the company’s values, where they started, and how they operate.
- Online Search Engines: If the company website doesn’t provide enough information, odds are you can find articles and feedback by simply typing the company name into your preferred search engine to learn more.
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In-store or online, when you’re shopping, remember: it’s okay to ask questions. You deserve to know all the facts before spending your money. If you find a deal that you don’t understand, give the company a call or ask a salesperson to clarify the terms.
Common Questions to Ask
- Is this service available in my area?
- Does it include labor and supplies costs?
- Are there any features/rooms not included?
- Are there any hidden costs associated with this deal?
- Is there a square footage limit to this installation?
Salespersons and representatives are there to answer your questions. If their answers aren’t what you’re looking for, you’ll know to move on with your search and your business.
Now that you can spot those sales traps, are you feeling confident about your online shopping? I sure hope so! Great news, here at Flooring Inc., the online flooring superstore, we make sure your floor shopping experience is met with honest deals and trustworthy products. But hey, don’t take our word for it, see for yourself!