I really want you to consider value. It is easy to compare prices, but price doesn’t give you all you need to discern value.
If your conversation starts out with or is dominated by “how do your cabinets price against …”, or “they are too expensive compared to …”, without using the standards I explained above, you will make a decision based on price. And when you do this, you end up selling on price alone, and there is no worse cycle to be stuck in than selling on price.
I have intentionally not mentioned display discounts, co-op advertising accounts, brochures, the manufacturer’s web site, nationally branded companies, what manufacturer does on social media, 2020/pricing programs, etc. and how they affect value. The impact these items have on dealers is too varied for me to comment on in this Buyer’s Guide. For every dealer claiming the right display deal is imperative, I can find a dealer that doesn’t care. For every dealer that insists on manufacturer co-op advertising, I can find an off-setting dealer that sells lots of cabinets and doesn’t care if the manufacturer shares in marketing expenses.
Your cabinet supplier should complement how you sell and design. If manufacturer ABC is 15% less than manufacturer XYZ, but consistently puts out incomplete kitchens, with mediocre finishes, cumbersome replacement policies and poor customer service, why wouldn’t you consider a change to company XYZ?
Hopefully you aren’t the designer who goes looking for a slightly better version of company ABC, but expecting the same price. Only to discover the hard way that their quality is mediocre as well. Or suffering while the cheaper company flails aimlessly in an attempt to get better. Did you ever consider that cheaper maybe never gets better? Or is so rare you shouldn’t waste your life looking for it?