To buy or not to buy cheap kitchen cabinets. That is the question.

It’s easier than ever to buy things online. More than ever, consumers have changed from going to stores to buy products to purchasing them online. Groceries, flat-screen televisions, cars, and even kitchen cabinets are purchasable with a simple click of a button. If online purchases are accessible to anyone, should people buy cheap cabinets in 2020? 

Why People Purchase Cabinets Online

In previous years, cabinets have standardized what is expected. Cabinet luxuries once thought to be expensive add-ons are now common practice amongst many cabinet companies. Most kitchen cabinets will typically have plywood boxes and soft closing hinges.  Now more than ever, shopping online for cabinets is easier and assuring for the consumer. Just like shopping online for anything else, buying cheap cabinets online saves the consumer money, time, and convenience. 

1. Saves Money

Like all products, there is a premium and a cost-efficient option. Not everyone has the option to afford the highest luxury. For kitchen cabinets, RTA (Ready-to-assemble) cabinets the affordable option in comparison to custom cabinetry. Rather than needing to be hand-cut for custom specifications, RTA cabinets are all precut and prepackaged to set sizes. Saving costs on the cabinets allow for low-budget renovations and house-flipping projects to get the biggest bang for their buck. 

2. Saves Time

Time is of the essence. In this era, nobody likes to wait. Most people nowadays want their purchases immediately. Even during the remodeling phase, there is no time for delays. RTA cabinets are readily available for anyone to purchase. These cabinets ship in flat boxes, making them convenient for fast shipment. Those who need to save further time on the project can request RTA cabinets to be assembled. Shipping assembled cabinets mean they only need to be mounted to the wall and are ready for the next step in the remodeling process.

3. Saves Convenience

Nobody wants to sacrifice their day with a kitchen designer. The design process in a kitchen can be a long and tedious process. A lot of back and forth can happen to get the ideal and perfect kitchen finalized and ready for the next step. Kitchen designers can create the ideal kitchen based on your preferences, even without having to ever sit down with them. Not only can you complete the whole order and even the design by email or phone call, but even from the comfort of your home or during a lunch break. The time saved can be put into other everyday tasks. As they say, the less time spent the better.

Be Cautious When Buying Cheap Cabinets

When shopping online for cabinets, always be cautious. Always do research first.

Cheap cabinets not only mean cheap price but can sometimes even cheap quality. Although the naming may reference a cost-friendly option, this may hide details from the customer making the purchase. This can mean cheap materials or even cheap services. Shopping online is easier, but without being able to examine each detail in person you might be mistaken and shocked by the final product. Always do the research before committing yourself to the purchase.

Cheap Materials

Not all cabinets are made the same. Some use a different type of wood and material for the overall build. Although most cabinets will carry a plywood interior box and shelves, the door quality may be subpar. Particleboard is a lighter option that is less durable than solid wood doors. These doors will not last as long and may need to be replaced earlier than expected. Even the terminology of “engineered wood” may sound durable, but actually maybe a product is made artificially using ANY part of the wood. This can imply a cheap wood product like particleboard, rather than a more durable wood.

Soft closing hinges and slides should be expected nowadays for all cabinets. Not all hardware is designed the same way. Hinges need are specific to certain cabinets due to the construction and location the hardware needs to go. The more complex the hinge location is, the more difficult it is to implement a soft-closing hinge on specific cabinets.

In terms of drawer slides, there are many options as well. Side-mounted drawer slides reduce the actual size of the drawer white under-mounted slides retain the full drawer dimension to the cabinet body. These slides might have plastic connections, which can break or deteriorate over time.  Even though the hardware is often overlooked, it is crucial to the cabinet.

Better Safe than Sorry

Many customers are first time buyers of kitchen cabinets. Many things can go wrong in the blink of an eye. Something as incorrectly measuring your kitchen may result in wrong dimensions, meaning cabinets may not fit or there is too much space. When ordering cabinets, accessory items like fillers, crown molding, and toe kick may seem unnecessary to get more. One wrong measurement and you may be left with a missing hole or will have to order more at a later time. These items are typically made in long size dimensions of 8 feet, not something small to ship easily. It may be wise when measuring your kitchen to check your work multiple times, or even ordering a spare piece.

Even if the excitement of ordering the ideal dream kitchen with a simple click of a button, take the time to check. Like an order, check the details and make sure everything is what needs to be purchased. Multiple orders may result in high shipping costs and may cause later delays down the line. When finalizing an order, a double or even triple check might save more than the time spent. 

Likewise to missing items, damaged items and factory defects may happen. Since cheap cabinets are all in flat boxes, it is nearly impossible to detect which cabinet may have been damaged or defective from the start. Companies will more than likely ship out a new replacement based on the defect or corresponding damage, but this may delay the schedule of the project. When doing remodeling jobs, leave space to breathe in the case where error may occur. Scheduling too tight of time may result in later on jobs to be delayed, leading to stress for everyone. Time is important, but not everything can happen immediately. 

Customer Trouble

Customer service is second for a company outside of the product. What happens when your online purchase got damaged, has missing parts, or simply just needs to be replaced? Providing service to customers to resolve problems and issues is important to keep a good reputation. No one likes to have to sit with problems regarding a purchase. Having a customer service that ignores these problems will drive the customer insane. To prevent these, do research into the company. How? By reviews. Read about the companies and how they have resolved issues with online consumers. This will give you an idea of whether the company will help resolve potential problems if they arise.

Suggestions On How To Shop For Cheap Cabinets From The Internet

The material of the Cabinets

Always try a sample before you eat something new. This rule applies to cabinet companies as well. Cabinet companies will all have sample doors they sell, which will give the consumer an idea of how the cabinet feels. Not only would they see and feel the material of the wood, but even the paint. Customers can test the door to see how durable the door actually is, how easy it is to clean, and even what potential damage it may suffer. A small price to pay for such a big investment for your home.

Online cabinet stores may also feature videos that show the assembly of the cabinet. These might not be generally helpful to everyone, but they do show the hinges and drawer slides that might not be presented to the buyer. They can see how the hardware looks and see the functionality of the supposedly “soft-closing hinges and drawer slides.” Even the cabinet as a whole is presented in these videos. Customers can break down the structure of the cabinet to see what they are looking for before ever buying.

Service

Like any company, they should provide a good service for anyone purchasing or looking to purchase anything. The last thing for them to do is scare off potential customers. How the representative talks on the phone, the urgency they do to help out, and how they handle any of your problems all matter. It makes the overall purchase less stressful. Designing a kitchen and purchasing it all online can be a nerve-racking move. The service of online cabinet companies will make or break the overall decision to continue with them to make that purchase.

Reviews 

Which customers actually leave reviews? Typically customers who had bad experiences with the purchase are the ones who flock to the review section. Leaving a bad review leaves a scar on the company as other potential clients and customers will see the company for who they are. However, there are also customers who write reviews of companies that helped them through these troubles and ones with flawless transactions. Individuals working at the company may be idolized by many customers as the “go-to man.” Always read up on the company to see their true colors.

Policy

Nobody likes the hidden policy of companies. The small fine text is hidden in paragraphs of disclosures that they need to provide. The last thing customers want to hear is that they are not liable for anything. This ties in with the company’s service. Always ask for the company’s policy on returns, shipping costs, and replacements. It is better to know all these in the early stages of the project to know if problems arise later on. 

Find Professional Help or Become An Expert

Professionals deal with cabinet companies and even online companies on a daily basis. Contractors order from them for many projects. The average individual may not know what exactly to look for or expect, but they do. Contractors build these cabinets and are the most familiar with the product. If the idea of simply buying from an online company is too much to burden, let the professional help out. Not only do they know the whole process, but even assembly and installation are achievable through the same person. It may also be wise to make sure the contractor measures the kitchen out a few times as well. They may be a professional, but human error is always still prevalent. The contractor might catch a mistake that would have ended up being costly. When ordering online cabinets, having professional help can be game-changing.

Anyone, in theory, can become an expert themselves. It’s all about shopping smart. Not just looking for the best bang for dollars worth, but the best investment for the overall project. Find out and do research beforehand. The more you know, the safer your purchase will be.

Overall Conclusion

Like ordering anything online, purchasing kitchen cabinets is definitely a lot easier to do than ever imagined. Customers can do it leisurely at their own time without having to sacrifice their whole day meeting the designer. With all purchases, do the research beforehand before recklessly shopping. Not having background knowledge of the quality of the cabinet and service of the online store, buyers may walk into a dangerous trap. Expert online shoppers who do their research can find the dream kitchen for the best bang for their buck.