As more people are staying indoors, people love the convenience of shopping using a computer or phone screen. Shopping online is not only limited to clothing, food, or consumer goods. Kitchen cabinets can be purchased just as easily with a simple click of a button as well. The question is, how does one shop with confidence at these stores we find online? To shop smart, look at the four main areas of a shopping transaction when shopping for kitchen cabinets online:
- Store Reputation
- Item Description
- Payment Information
- Don’t count out small businesses. A large business dealing with several transactions is more likely to be secure. This should not be the ONLY consideration when shopping at any online store. Small businesses can have high quality or custom products as their advantage. An online presence gives small independent businesses the opportunity to do business at the same level as bigger stores. Big box cabinet stores can charge more for cabinets. Small online businesses may even have a better pricing for your kitchen purchase.
- Reviews: When in doubt, shoppers can look up the reviews of other customers’ experiences of the company. A good review should have details about the transaction of the product as well as the merchandise itself. Details can include the ease of transaction, if the item was in stock, and how long did shipping take. Most importantly, check to see if the item is accurately depicted from the online description. Do the cabinets meet the description of what is listed? Most cabinet stores will have sample doors to purchase to let you view the quality. Drawer slides, soft-closing door hinges, and even cabinet accessories should be evaluated by reviews as those are some things you cannot predict.
If there is still not much information, a way to talk to the company directly is very important. Starting businesses will appreciate, not be offended, by an interest in their products. Reviews for buying kitchen cabinets online will help small businesses and even be a steal for the buyer too.
When shoppers cannot physically see or touch the item, the description becomes more important to give the photo context. However, several things may be implied by an image to sell the product so more information is needed. Look for these hints when buying kitchen cabinets online:
- Size: Look at the dimensions of the product, including the height and weight. A few returns have happened because customers did not realize the picture is not the size that is implied. Also, long items and heavy items will affect shipping prices.
- Materials: Depending on the item, the listing should have list what the product is made of. This should also include the components of what is in the package.
- Comparisons: It’s a good idea never to automatically buy at the first place you see. While shopping online, looking at another product is only a few clicks away.
- Is it too good to be true? If most places offer something for $250 and someone else sells a similar item for $100, tread carefully. Do some investigation and avoid giving into impulse over the first bargain available. Certain sales may happen to increase specific sales at particular times, but regularly will not have a price drop of that scale.
Safety is the most important concern when making online purchases. A few people get paranoid about not knowing who has your personal information. There are some ways to stay safe when making transactions.
- Types of payment: Most businesses will go with payment options that are standard such as Visa, MasterCard or PayPal. If a company is asking a customer to go through another method, they should look into why that approach is used.
If a company requests payment in gift cards or another way that seems indirect, this should raise concerns. This is also an inconvenient step for shoppers, done to keep the anonymity of transactions for the company.
- Requested personal information
When making a purchase, the most a company should ask when dealing with card transactions are:
Name on the card
Address the card is registered to the security code on the physical card
Information that are red flags:
Your social security number
Mother’s maiden name (or any other relatives’ names)
Any of the red flag information should not be given out for any purchase. Those are used for personal information. Salespeople should never require personal tech information beyond the username to complete a sale.
- Receipt: Upon purchase of any item online, there should be a receipt. If it is not sent via email, a printable version, PDF or screenshot of a bill of sale should be available. Should a problem arise in the ordering phase or delivery, a receipt or file about the purchase is important to have. Buying large items like kitchen cabinets online will typically always have a form of receipt for the buyer.
Shipping and Tax
The cost of shipping needs to be factored into any purchase online. In some cases, the shipping might cost more than the item purchased.
- Delivery time:The product shipment time is mostly dependent on the delivery method. Popular shipment places like the US Postal Service, UPS, DHL, and Fed Ex have tracking numbers to locate the position of your package.
Delivery time is also affected by the packaging of the item and the shipment’s destination.
- Handling fee: Handling fees refer to the cost of packaging the merchandise which can include the shipping box, wrapping, and labor.
- Tax: Depending on the region of the purchaser and the kind of merchandise, tax may be imposed on the purchase. It generally will not deter someone from ordering a product, but it is a separate fee not included in shipping. Certain states do not have tax, but it does not mean others abide the same way.
- Overseas shipping: If the cost of an item costs less but the shipping is projected to be at least four weeks, it is most likely shipped via container. Shoppers that need items quickly should not rely on these orders to come under time pressure.
- Free shipping: If an item is advertised with free shipping, check what the qualifiers are for that delivery. Usually the delivery will be standard or even longer shipping, with faster transport methods available at a cost.
Safely Buying Kitchen Cabinets Online
Many people take shopping online for granted, but personal attentiveness is important for safety and saving shoppers from headaches. Like buying anything else on the internet, purchasing kitchen cabinets online will require some research and careful inspection about their background history. Do not simply purchase from a company just because of the pricing. These tips should keep shoppers away from potential problems and concentrate on enjoying their products!