I know, I know. I run a mommy review blog so why the heck have I been blogging so much about home renovations lately?!
Well, I write about what’s relevant in my life and, at the moment, it’s all I can think about. (Sorry, not sorry.)
Anyway, I just saved $1,673.42, when buying plumbing fixtures and I KNOW this information would have been helpful to me. I’m hoping that these tips will help save YOU some money!
So we are planning on gut renovating two bathrooms and the kitchen. As part of the process, I have to purchase the fixtures (e.g., faucets, sinks, lights, hardware, etc.)
While trying to figure out what I wanted to buy, I visited a few kitchen & bath showrooms. However, I think they have intentionally deceptive practices by leaving out model names, prices and/or are non-intuitive when browsing unless, perhaps, you speak with a salesperson. When I did get pricing, they were always substantially higher than what I could find online.
I hate buying things in stores that I can buy cheaper elsewhere. If I had a mantra, it would probably be: Buy high-quality products at the cheapest possible price you can find for that product.
So I started searching for the things I wanted online. Normally, Amazon is my go-to retailer for baby products but when it comes to buying fixtures, I wouldn’t recommend it. Not only is it not more cost-effective, but it is also difficult to navigate unless you know exactly what you want. Not to mention, it has virtually non-existent customer service to assist you with questions specific to the product.
That’s when I came across Faucet.com, an affiliate site to Build.com. (I am not getting paid to write this post. I genuinely want to share how I managed to save money on buying fixtures with others.) Anyway, I loved the usability for this site. It also helped me know when there were required valves or parts with certain items I added to my cart. (This was a lifesaver because there are so many various valves and miscellaneous parts for bathrooms that I wouldn’t have otherwise known were necessary!)
I was mainly buying Kohler parts and I saw a little banner that said: Exclusive savings on Kohler, contact us for the best prices on Kohler today!I figured I had nothing to lose and started a live chat with a representative. She immediately went through my cart and reduced the prices on ALL of the items – even non-Kohler ones.
That knocked almost $1,000.00, off my cart. AWESOME RIGHT??
Of course, I’m not easily satisfied. I then cross-referenced every single item in my cart (52 in total) with Amazon. I sent an e-mail to the representative listing out every item I found that had a lower price on Amazon or another online retailer, whichever was lower. This was incredibly tedious but very worth it.
She price-matched all of those items.
BUT I WASN’T DONE.
I then asked her for the best possible price she could give me if I made my purchase immediately. I told her that I was making a significant purchase and if she could lower it a little more, I would complete my purchase right then and there.
Last but not least of all? Build.com does not charge sales tax in the majority of states. (Sorry AL, CA, CO, FL, IN, IA, KY, OK, SC, SD, TN, VT.)
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I saved $1,673.42.42, (or a little over 18% off) on my fixtures. Compared to items purchased at a retail store, the savings are even more significant. Not bad for a few day’s work.
- Do your homework about what you want to purchase. Visit several showrooms so you know what they actually look and feel like in person. (I thought I wanted a specific faucet model based on pictures online but it did not appeal to me in person.)
- Cart everything on www.faucet.com or www.build.com. (Build.com has a lot of sister sites and the prices are the same throughout – www.lightingdirect.com for light fixtures is another one.)
- Speak with a representative to review your cart to make sure you are not missing any parts, e.g., I didn’t cart “wax rings” for toilets.
- Ask the representative to reduce the prices in your cart.
- Price-match all remaining items where a lower price is advertised online.
- I’ll assume this last step only applies if you are making a large purchase but it doesn’t hurt to try – ask for best and final if you make the purchase that day.
Another thing I learned is that the sales representatives work off of commission. The steeper the discount, the more it eats into their commission percentage. Once you start working with one, I think it’s good practice to stick with that person throughout the process. Even though that might mean it takes several days – based on their work schedule and your response time – to complete the purchase, I think it’s only fair.
You don’t have to use these specific websites either. I’m sure this method would work for many other online retailers. I’d just never thought to ask or realized that I could negotiate the prices to this extent!
I hope this helps you save money the next time you need to buy plumbing or light fixtures for the home. Let me know what your money-saving tips are! 🙂
Do you know if the faucets you bought online are same quality as store bought? I am told that online products have plastic parts instead of metal, and are a lesser quality.
I am doing a gut rehab and trying to save too.
This is something I’ve actually looked into. While researching fixtures, I come across this claim several times- that big box store (e.g., Home Depot, Lowe’s) fixtures are cheaper in quality and differ from plumbing supply stores. However, I’ve also read that while the companies may make fixtures that are ONLY sold in the big box stores, if the model number is the same, you are getting the same exact product.
I have a tendency to believe the latter as it would be impossible for the manufacturer to keep track of products with the same model number but of different quality. They would also have to make replacement parts of different quality for every single model number produced. When you call for a replacement and provide the model number, how in the world would they know which quality part to send out? This just doesn’t seem financially sound or logistically wise.
Finally, the manufacturers have all issued statements that they do not engage in this type of practice. The legal consequences of misrepresentation to consumers does not seem like a risk worth taking.
In the end, I think it’s an old wive’s tale that was started by plumbers who wanted their customers to buy fixtures directly from them. No offense to the plumbers out there.
Big box stores DO sell some faucets that have plastic part instead of the metal parts you’ll get in faucet through a trade showroom (e.g. Ferguson). They will have different model #’s. The body may or may not be the same, but some inside parts are lower-quality and may fail sooner than metal parts. Basically, if the model #’s are the same, it’s the same quality product in retail and trade – if different, then beware.
I work for a big-box store, am building a custom home, and am getting my faucets through a plumbing supply co.
Believe me or don’t, but this is an industry fact.
Build.com is through Ferguson who also has showrooms and counter stores. They are able to sell through Build.com because they’re not having to pay employees to help every step of the way in your remodel. They ARE totally Legit! Faucet.com however, sells a lot of “seconds”. So, if you have an issue and want to utilize the warranty then you could be told that the item hasn’t been manufactured for 5 years and get rejected.
If you absolutely know what you’re doing then build.com is great. Usually, it’s worth paying the extra to go through a showroom where they’ll help with your specs and make sure your warranty is protected.
Thank you for the information. I didn’t have any issues but that’s very helpful to know!
I’m considering ordering all my plumbing for my renovation via Build.com. Did you run into any issue since you purchased the products? If so, were they able to assist you to your satisfaction?
This is such a BS recommendation… prices on these 2 sites are ridiculously HIGH! don’t even waste your time looking… HD or Lowes has way more competitive pricing.
You clearly did not read my post – I cross-referenced lowest prices and they price matched anything that was not already discounted lower. In addition, I did not have to pay sales taxes which would have been a large sum in NY.
Sorry but supply.com was cheaper than build.com Is a shame that this Co. Finished part of one sister Co of build.com
I am tired of Home Depots awful quality and them not standing behind their products. It has happened so many times that I’m just done. I am looking to renovate 2 bathrooms. I don’t want to spend a fortune, but, I will spend a bit more for a better product that isn’t going to fall apart in a few years. What does everyone think of Build.com? I just found it today.