I got an email the other day advertising bi-folding door sections at reduced prices. Nothing earth shattering in that respect. But it did start to dawn on me that these emails are getting quite regular now, and they’re spanning both the PVCu and aluminium bi-fold door markets. Is the market at risk of devaluation?

Race to the bottom

Could it really be that the bi-fold market is falling into the same trap as the early PVCu window market did when it first came to be? I hope not.

More and more often I am seeing bi-fold products of all kinds and all materials being advertised at “knock down” prices, presumably in an attempt to undercut their competition. For me, all this does is create a race to the bottom. As soon as one company goes down that path, the temptation for others to follow is often too great.

But we don’t need a race to the bottom. On the subject of price, bi-folding doors seem to be a rare product that home owners automatically assume will be expensive and are therefore already price conditioned. So the market doesn’t actually need to worry about the cost of it’s products.

A question of quality

What the industry does need to focus on is the quality of what they are producing. When prices are cut to silly prices, on any product, you have to question where those cost savings are coming from. For me there would be a serious question mark over the quality of the product being produced for peanuts.

You get what you pay for in this world, no matter what you buy, and if you buy cheap you’re generally going to know about it. So if you’re an installer buying in cheap bi-folding door sets then you’re probably going to know about that as well.

These are a premium, high end product that home owners expect to be amazing and spectacular as standard. The last thing they want is to find that their chosen installation company has gone and installed something a bit cheap and cheerful and lacks the wow factor they were looking for.

The point here people is that bi-folding doors are not a product we should be cutting the margins out of. It does no good for the product, the production, the companies buying, the companies making and the end users buying them. Lets not create a race to the bottom where fabricator after fabricator cuts and undercuts until there is nothing left to make. Lets not devalue what has become a great feather in the fenestration cap.

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