We are all price conscious aren't we? Let’s be honest, everyone is looking for the best value or the cheapest price for the things we want most. We want to talk about what you need to consider when trying to find the best price when shopping for home improvement products online.

There are many places which offer a “Lowest Pricing Guarantee” or “Price Matching”. You have probably also seen attractive promotions or sales to get your attention and provide discounts. You might look at a product that's being promoted on one website for a specific price and then see what looks to be the same product on another site, but in reality it isn't! And that's what so many people get wrong nowadays. Take your time and pay attention to the details.

You can only truly compare quotes or prices of products if the suppliers or websites are providing and showing you the EXACT SAME type of product. We cannot stress this enough. To find the best possible deal you need to ensure you can compare “like with like” meaning the exact same product.

This is something we come across on a regular basis so we wanted to take some time to break this down for you. Let’s use exterior shutters as an example. There are many different types of materials, styles and manufacturers for shutters. Furthermore, there are different types of installation hardware for these products. Once you have selected or have decided on which type of shutter you want for each window, make sure to ask the seller to quote on the exact same material, style and installation method. This is the #1 mistake people make when trying to capitalize on pricing promos.

For example...if a window shutter is quoted by one supplier or website to be a shutter made of solid red cedar with black hinges make sure the other website offers the shutter with exactly the same specs. Another common example is letting a supplier quote a window with an arch, while another supplier quotes that same window with a standard shutter. These seem very obvious but you would be surprised to know how many times we come across this. 

To help simplify, make a list of all the things you are considering when making a purchase for a specific product especially while shopping online. If you are looking for exterior shutters, here is a list of things to consider when comparing pricing:

  • Shutter Material (ie. Vinyl, Wood, Wood Composite, Fiberglass etc.)

  • Finish to be put on the shutter (Painted, injection mold, wood grain etc.)

  • Number of panels per opening (Is the pricing per pair or per individual shutter) 

  • Installation Hardware (Metal Screws, Vinyl Fasteners, Hinges, Fixed Mounting Brackets etc.)

  • Warranties

  • Return Policy

You might be thinking to yourself... I am online and looking into product descriptions or product pages and don't see all of this information! Is that a bad thing? Does that mean the store is hiding something? 

The answer is no, not necessarily. The target market of most ecommerce stores are home owners and to a certain point contractors which work for homeowners. Both of them are given basic information when it comes to shutters but also have the opportunity to contact a salesperson or consultant specialized in the product so you can make the best possible decision and make your selection that fits your budget.