Ready to Assemble Cabinets Online
RTA (ready to assemble) cabinets make sense. An RTA dealer or manufacturer sends you cabinets flat-packed and you assemble them. You don't pay for a company to do the easy work of assembly. Plus, cabinets get shipped to you with less volume, saving you money.
RTA is a highly competitive market, with the potential for nice profits. If you play the game right, you can benefit, too. Here are some basics of the business.
Same Products, Different Dealers
Spend enough time looking at RTA cabinets online and it will start to feel like deja vu all over again: "Wait, didn't I see something called Sienna Rope 36A at the previous dealer?" Why, yes you did. You will find different RTA dealers selling the same product, often under the same name and product code. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. After all, you have the option of purchasing your Samsung Galaxy or Blue Diamond Almonds from multiple dealers. Why not RTA cabinets?
Some Dealers Are Just a Guy and a Laptop, Some Aren't
Welcome to the Internet age. While you might imagine a manufacturing facility teeming with workers, it might be more like a person with a laptop on a couch with a cat. If brick-and-mortar is important to you, then you shouldn't be ordering your cabinets online.
This is where site interface and dealer performance become so important. It could be that the big brick-and-mortar RTA company, complete with production facilities and warehouses, offers higher prices and poorer customer service than the laptop guy.
Features: Find an Apples-to-Apples Comparison Point
How do you know you're comparing the same product among different dealers?
First, some dealers tend to recycle names. Hampton and Sienna Rope are names you frequently see and may indicate that you're looking at the same exact product. Shaker is a generic style and might be a different product from dealer to dealer but still look much the same. Also, you might even be lucky enough to find the same product code recycled between dealers.
They Get You on the Shipping
I think this is the most important point of all. Some "like" cabinets vary by only a few dollars among dealers. Yet shipping costs vary.
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