On Thursday night I entered into a Twitter conversation with a guy from Scotland who a few days before posed the questions as to why he wasn’t able to find guide prices for windows and doors on companies websites. I attempted to explain the ins and outs of why and how, whether it worked or not I don’t know. But it does beg the question, why isn’t there any guideline prices?
Cars, homes and other big ticket items
When you’re in the market for other big ticket purchases, like cars, holidays etc it is easy to go online and find prices and even buy the product online as well. So why is it that you can’t do so for windows and doors?
To be fair, there are sites out there which do advertise door prices up front online. Former DGB sponsors Value Doors UK do that on their site do that and seems to be quite successful for them. But when it comes to windows, there is very little pricing information on the web.
There are sites which claim to give prices, but they tend to be price engines which combine loads of prices to give an average, not a specific price according to a specific product.
I think the realities and character of the industry are the reason why prices haven’t made it online. We’re a very closed type of industry, where prices are kept on quotes in people’s homes rather than in the public domain. Companies aren’t that keen on showing their prices to the competitors. Probably because there is a high degree of undercutting and there will be a fear that the competition will try and out-price each other.
Another reason may be the fact that our products, especially windows, are made to measure. To create an accurate and highly customisable pricing engine takes a lot of man hours and a lot of cash too.
There is so much choice, so many options, so many variations, that the time and money it would take for most installers to create price engines for homeowners online wouldn’t justify the benefits they would bring. So it’s easier to ask customers to come to the showroom or arrange home visits to figure out what is required, then price that up instead.
You can understand why people might wonder why window and doors prices aren’t easy to find online, especially when you can find the prices of pretty much every other product imaginable on the web. But the nature of the industry and how it behaves, as well the plethora of options combined with the fact that small changes in sizes can affect price, means that in all likelihood online prices aren’t going to become the norm.
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