This is a tough question for a flooring store to explain to a customer. How many times have you been shopping for a product and you found a similar product at Lowe's or Home Depot for a better price than at the local flooring store? It isn't the same color or style, but the price is really good. It looks similar to the flooring that was in the local store, but it is a dollar cheaper in some cases and they have it ready to pick up in some colors. The best way to answer this is "You get what you pay for".

The first thing I would ask a customer is "Why are you buying the flooring?" Are you buying the flooring because you need it, or do you want it? The customer also needs to know if they are being driven by price or by what they want. This can sometimes end the conversation quickly. If you are buying the flooring because you have to have it and you don't have much money or time, then the box store may be the place to go. It will satisfy the need for the flooring, and it is easily available many times. Flooring stores many times don't keep inventory and when flooring is purchased, there is a shipping cost for certain quantities.

Another reason the box stores do well is that they offer payments. It isn't always available for flooring stores to have credit for customers. For those who are being driven by price look for payment plans. They can't afford to get everything now and need payments to get the flooring done. Fortunately, some flooring stores have financing and can help those customers. If you are buying flooring because of quality and design, then I would stay away from box stores. Many consumers need to understand some basic principles to supply and demand of flooring. Box stores only want products that are popular and are at a good price point. Flooring stores are not restricted to those things. They want to offer products that are unique and give the home owner something that they will always enjoy. Because of that, they may not sell as much flooring and it may cost more. If a product can be found in both locations, such as waterproof flooring, then the manufacturer may be selling to them both. If the prices of the product differ by a good amount, there are only two reasons why.

The first reason for different pricing is quantity of the purchase. If a company can buy in bulk, it can many times get better pricing. It is cheaper for a manufacturer to run the same product longer than to stop and change colors often. This allows a company such as Lowe's to purchase thousands of feet of a product and keep it in their warehouses. A flooring store usually doesn't have that level of buying power or storage for that level of flooring. They also don't have the number of customers to sell to against a national chain.

The second reason is harder to see and compare. There are ways that similar products, such as flooring, can be made to look the same from box stores to flooring stores. The difference comes down to the actual construction of the materials and the quality. The core of a waterproof flooring in the box store may not be as tough as the core in the flooring store. The level of protection in the clear coat applied on the surface may not be as durable and contain less material in comparison to the products in the flooring store. To help with this also, many companies private label their products for box stores so that customers don't try to compare products or prints. The box store products will cost less because the quality is not a good as a product made for the flooring store. You will notice this in some products because the level of technical information on the product is not available compared to flooring stores.

I won't say that the flooring products in a box store are terrible, because they are not. They have a place for some people. You just need to understand that dealers in flooring stores try to sell high-quality products and the brands that they carry want to create high-quality flooring as well. They compete at a higher level in the flooring store because prints are more unique, there are many more different sizes of planks and tiles, and they are competing for the customers. Prices are an issue with them as well, but it isn't a driven force. They also want to give you a higher quality since you are investing in your flooring when you go to a flooring store. Buying from a flooring store is when you want something special for your home. You will find better quality, more colors, and sizes than in a box store.

You will get what you pay for when you shop at a flooring store like BPS Southeast in Spindale, NC.