If you have ever shopped for rta cabinets or just kitchen cabinets in general, you have probably noticed that there are dozens of websites out there that seem to be selling the same cabinets because they have the same exact pictures. I started shopping for cabinets on-line a couple of years ago and there was only a handful of sites that were selling them. Within the past 2 years, dozens and dozens of more sites have popped up and they all seem to be selling the same cabinets at a wide range of prices. Without using any names, let's take a look at two different sites: Site #1, looks like an interior design studio. They have product lines like “Tuscany", “Cappuccino", and “Antique Nutmeg". Site #2, isn't quite as fancy, and they carry lines like “Honey Maple" and “Chestnut Glazed Maple". Ironically, they are both using the same exact pictures for their cabinets. So the obvious question that I found myself asking is. . . . what is the difference between the two of them? I started doing some research on these companies and I found out that there is absolutely nothing different about the cabinets that they are selling.
The reality is that the majority of the rta cabinets in the U. S. are being manufactured in China by a handful of factories. While there may be multiple importers that are bringing them, they are all coming from the same place, being made the same way, with the same features. The pictures that they use for as sample kitchens are straight from the manufacturer, which is why they all look the same. So the next obvious question would be, “why is one site charging $50 for cabinet x, when another site is charging $85 for the same cabinet"? I had been buying from the company that was charging $85 for the cabinet because I thought I was getting a deal (in reality it WAS cheaper than buying a similar cabinet at Lowes, but I still felt cheated after I found out). This really got me thinking and I wanted to find out why I should pay more at one site than another. . . especially if it is the same exact cabinet. What I found out is that some of the sites really do offer some extra services for the novice home builder that could probably justify a slightly higher price. In some cases the websites offer free design service, or include free shipping if you buy so many cabinets. So if you were absolutely clueless about which cabinets you needed for your kitchen, I guess it would be worth it. Having installed a cabinet or two over the years, I didn't need these services and I wanted to know exactly what I was paying for those cabinets to be delivered, so again I found myself saying. . . why would I pay more for the same exact cabinet?
As I searched around the internet I came across countless companies, big and small, selling the same or very similar cabinets. Ultimately I stopped buying from the big guy, with the fancy artwork and high prices on his site. While I partially wrote this article because I felt cheated, I also wanted to get the word out about the cabinet websites that are out there. . I am sure that some of them will change the pictures and change the names, but they are all the same product. So before buying cabinets on-line, do your homework.
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