Friday, August 16, 2013

Check prices - By Kaile Warren

I write this column to help make you a better informed do-it-yourselfer, and/or, a more informed purchaser of home improvement products or services.

The fact that home improvement knowledge throughout our population has drastically declined in America, may be behind the seemingly changing patterns in product pricing.

Historically, volume purchasing meant that pricing was more favorable with increased volume. However, as you may recall, I recently informed you of paint pricing that showed just the opposite was happening.
Now, I am going to provide you with another example of a pricing practice that may surprise you.

I was recently in need of wood strapping (1” x 3”) so I decided to price shop between 8- and 12-foot lengths. Here is what I found. 8-foot long pieces cost $1.52 each while 12-foot long pieces cost $3.17 each. That’s right. There is a 100 percent plus cost increase when you are only purchasing 50 percent more volume. On its face, this pricing seems very disproportionate. You can make your own call.

While the change in home improvement retail may be subtle, the point is that today’s pricing practices are drafting in the wrong direction for you, the consumer.

I wish mainstream media, and all of their “consumer reporters”, would be more diligent in covering this trend. If the pricing practices vary from retailer to retailer, it is important for you to find the best retailer to support. If the trend is industry wide, then it is very bad news for you, the consumer.

Shop ‘till you drop. The loss of home improvement knowledge in this country is one thing. The loss of what had been traditional pricing practices leaves the consumer in a tough spot.

Where is this country heading?  Will there one day be a company designed to be a personal “home-improvement purchasing agent” for homeowners? The theory may seem unlikely today, but of late, I have started to think that we may soon have a new industry.

For you the consumer, I urge you to shop aggressively and to leave no pricing unchallenged. And of course, contact us here at the “Windham Eagle” if you have questions.

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