Whether you are looking to make a one-off purchase for a kitchen work surface for yourself or looking to place a bulk order on a construction project, there is the same due diligence you should take before purchasing from any supplier. Let’s talk it through step by step.
Every company looks good in the brochures and via their website; all it shows is that said provider has invested in marketing and SEO! And so, anything you see on the website should all be taken with a pinch of salt.
What’s in the inventory??
It might sound silly but if a bulk chain supplier is talking about hand made bespoke worktops in their inventory for a BBQ or a conservatory, this should be a bit of a red flag. It could be that the companies set of craftsmen have a wide skill set, but is more likely a generic construction supplier who is using basic cuts and moulds.
Don’t get these confused with a supplier who provides both high and lower-end goods of the same type e.g premium oak countertops, Oak Worktops and laminate worktops.
Installation, delivery and aftercare
What related services does the online supplier provide? Are they simply selling an item or do they have intimate knowledge of its construction, installation and long term care? If they do, they will provide these additional services, usually free of charge. It is not that you need them per se, it just highlights that they are happy to provide installation. Resurfacing shows that they are willing to stand by their work for many years and they’re not just looking to complete the transaction and go.
Is installation/resurfacing being provided by a subcontracted 3rd party or the supplier? The use of a subcontractor is a red flag in such a front-facing part of the business. It shows that customer care is low on worktop suppliers priorities.
Should you check reviews?
You should check reviews but also be sceptical; maintaining good PR in the online world has led to the reviews and comment sections being a battleground with false positive reviews.
Try to take the average of the reviews and consider the length of time that the business has been operating. For a 3rd generation family-run affair, it must be meeting the demands of its customers to still be in business. If it is less than 2 years old, it may be running on borrowed time.
Are they a manufacturer?
This is the highest standard of worktop supplier; one which is both a retailer and who manufactures and works the raw materials into the finished products. Their capacity to meet tailored and unique orders is far better than most suppliers and the investment in manufacturing both allows them to make and honour guarantees. Their reputation is very important to them so their customer care is usually better.
With a little observation, you can find high-quality, dependable suppliers online; it just takes little reading between the lines.