Cabinets: When shopping for cabinets it’s worth knowing that every manufacturer has a suggested retail price list. Everyone in the distribution chain works from this list. The range of prices builders pay at the end of the chain is quite variable, but here are some insights. In the eyes of distributors, there are basically 2 kinds of contractors. First, those that buy through purchase orders. These customers say, “sell me the boxes and I’m done.” They negotiate the deepest discounts based on high volume and low service. Builders, who buy dozens of kitchens per year, can buy direct from some wholesale distributors and manufacturers. They can expect to pay about 50% of list for stock cabinets.
However, most contractors fall into a second category. They require design and layout assistance from retail dealers. It is not uncommon for retail dealers to purchase stock cabinets for 45% of the suggested list price. Builders buying single kitchens at retail can expect to buy cabinets for approximately 60% of list, providing dealers with a 15% margin. Builders who purchase multiple kitchens pay a few points less.
Windows and Doors: Windows and doors are also sold from manufacturer’s suggested list price sheets. Ask your dealer for a price schedule and find out what percentage of the suggested retail price you will be asked to pay. Go to competing dealers and do the same thing. Be sure to compare apples to apples. Make sure you are looking at the same window units and getting the same price sheet from each dealer. Be careful reviewing quotes.
Some dealers make up their own suggested retail price list to make discounts appear larger. The best deals come from stocking dealers who carry an inventory of boxed units. Displaying dealers offer the next best deals because they get windows at a better price than those who don’t display. Builders can purchase many brands of windows at 75% of list, but contractor prices are hard to predict. There is tremendous variability between brands.