Updated: Oct 1, 2022
What Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy Flooring?
Contrary to popular belief, there is no best time of the year to buy floor covering. Retail stores have sales promotions throughout the calendar year, and all sales are very similar in pricing. Retail stores want to sell customers floor covering, and all stores have the flexibility to offer great pricing. There is a specific strategy a customer needs to use, in order to get the best price. The calendar month has no significance in floor covering prices.
What Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy Flooring?
If you do an internet search for "best time of the year to buy flooring," you will find numerous articles that tell you to buy flooring in December, around Christmas or New Year's Eve. The claim is that companies have year-end deals, and they will do anything to boost sales before the last month of the year is over.
Quite honestly, that is complete nonsense. The retail stores that advertise, have set up sale dates throughout the calendar year, that strategically promote certain products, and these store sales promotions have nothing to do with pricing.
The vast majority of sales promotions are based around specific products. Why? Because manufacturers will give stores a rebate for promoting their items. That's why at the end of a big television ad, you will hear the store promote a certain carpet, luxury vinyl plank, etc...
The pricing of these sales periods is all about the same. They might vary a little bit in the promotional language, but in the end, they are all the same. The time of year has absolutely nothing to do with getting the best price. Getting the best price on flooring, if you wait until the holiday season, is a complete fallacy. It just does not work that way.
The only valid reason a floor covering price would increase, based on the calendar month, would be if the product manufacturers increase their pricing. Product manufacturers usually raise pricing around 1 or 2 times a year. If you wait to buy, you might find yourself stuck with paying the higher price. But, most of the time, you never really know when the price increase will happen.
So, forget about trying to strategically wait until a big holiday, or some weird month (when you think things will be slow). Getting the best price on the flooring has absolutely nothing to do with the yearly calendar. Getting the best price on flooring is all about applying a specific buying strategy to your project.
Here Is Why Special Weekend Sale Promotions Are A Rip Off...
Retail floor-covering stores put price tags on their products that are insanely high. Crazy high. Mind-blowing, off the chart, embarrassingly nutty high. For example, a retail store might purchase a specific carpet for $1 a square foot from a carpet mill. That same store might sell this same carpet for $15 a square foot. A store might purchase a luxury vinyl plank for $0.50 a square foot, then turn around and sell this same product for $5.00 a square foot.
The bottom line is: if a store marks up their products that much, they can offer whatever sale promotions they want to.
We all have that one store (in our community) that advertises all of the time. You know which store we're talking about. You can't turn on the television or radio, or pick up a newspaper without hearing their name. How many times have you heard:
It's BOGO (buy one get one) time!
Free furniture moving
Let us ask you this: if a store has a $14 a square foot markup on a carpet, don't you think they can afford to give you free installation? If a store is selling luxury vinyl plank at a $4.50 s square foot profit, do you think they can afford to do a "buy one, get one" deal? Of course, they can.
Retail floor covering stores are in business to make money. Let us repeat that. Retail floor covering stores are in business to make money. When stores have a "special sale," the customer is not getting a deal. In fact, they are usually paying way, way too much. The only purpose of the special sale is to get you to the store.
Stores that have these special advertised sales usually set it up well in advance. Many stores map out their promotions at the beginning of every year. Stores never sit around and examine monthly sales, and say "things are really slow, let's have a sale," It just does not work that way.
Here Is The Best Way To Buy Flooring
Did you know the majority of retail store salespersons work on commission? In other words, the more they sell, the more money they earn. Did you know the average retail store profit margin (on an order) is around 35% to 45%? That's a lot of money.
However, did you know that most stores have at least one individual that works with commercial accounts (schools, hospitals, office buildings, realtors, new home construction)? In the commercial world, the profit margin per order is much, much less. A good commercial margin is around 15% to 25%. Compared to the residential side of things....that's a big difference.
Guess what? Not all store salespeople are equal. Some sales professionals are simply better. Some sales professionals have more experience, and better knowledge of products and company procedures, and some sales professionals are just more aggressive and eager to help.
The key to finding the best time of year to buy flooring is not centered around the calendar. Rather, it is centered around using our strategy to align yourself with the right salesperson.
The majority of stores have their retail salespeople working on a rotation basis. This means they take turns on who greets a new customer at the door. If you blindly walk into a retail floor-covering store, whoever greets you at the door, will be your designated salesperson for life. If you get stuck with a retail salesperson, you will be paying retail prices that are way too high.
The key to getting the best price is to get aligned with one of those commercial salespeople, that work on that 15% to 25% margin. If you can do that, you will be starting off in the right direction.
What Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy Flooring? Get Aligned With The Right Person First!
Before visiting a floor covering store, call first. Ask who in that store works with realtors. Even if you're not a realtor, that's okay. Introduce yourself. Explain to the salesperson that you are looking to find a good salesperson, and ask him/her for help. Set up a meeting. The meeting gets you past the retail person. Now, when you walk into that store, you will not get stuck with the retail person that greets you at the door. Rather, you will bypass the retail department altogether, and go straight to the salesperson that can get you the best price.
However, this is just the first step. Keep in mind that even commercial salespeople work on a commission basis. The more they sell, the more money they earn. Salespeople will always want to sell you the expensive stuff whenever they can.
At your store meeting, explain your project. Bring in a hand-drawn diagram of the space, with measurements. Most stores will offer you a free home measurement. Take advantage of that benefit.
In order to get the best price, you need to begin with the end in mind. Here is what we mean:
Know your budget.
Know where the money is going to come from
Understand your project goal
Understand the shopping process
Know your budget
A good price for you might be a terrible price for someone else. There is no sense in looking at products that you can't afford. Know in your mind how much money you are willing to spend.
Where is the money coming from?
It's not good enough to know how much money you are willing to spend. You also need to know where that money is going to come from. Are you paying in cash? Are you financing? Get a clear handle on your budget.
Understand your project goal?
Each project is different. Understand why you are doing this project. The type of material you buy should be based on your project expectations.
Understand the shopping process
If you take advantage of a free home measurement, you now know how much material you will need, as well as what the installation will cost. Let your salesperson know your overall budget, and have him/her start showing you products that will fit your budget. Create a "maybe pile" of samples and take them home. Pick the product that you like the best.
Conclusion - What Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy Flooring?
There is no best time of the year to buy flooring. Don't rely on store prices to dictate how much money you spend. Turn it around.
Use your buying power and knowledge to demand the best price. Follow our buying steps, and you will always get the best price...no matter what month of the year you shop.
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