Why It’s So Important To Get It Right
Did you know that studies have shown that the reason most people drop out of the window buying experience is due to confusion? Maybe you yourself have been confused? Our purpose is to help educate people about windows and how you can make the best decision you can for buying windows for your home. Our focus is to treat people with honesty, dignity, and respect, and to treat people the way we’d want to be treated.
So the five things that I see most common when people are buying windows are typically instances where people are being misled or are only given part of the information that they need. Buying replacement windows isn’t like going into Best Buy to get a television. If you aren’t happy with your new TV you can always return it.
If you buy windows and you don’t like your windows and they’re already in your house, you’re not getting your money back. You’re not getting your old windows back they’re in a dumpster somewhere. Getting it right the first time is critical.
Window Buying Mistake Number One
Falling in love with a window before falling in love with a window company.
What do we mean by that? Well, there are a lot of salespeople that are skilled at convincing you that their window brand is the greatest window on the market today. They’ll bang and bash all the other window companies and then at the end of their three-hour, high-pressure, presentation, you’re in love with their window.
The fact is, if you gave me three hours to talk to you about any one of our 20 brands of windows, I could likely convince you that it’s the best window in the world. We don’t play games like that here. We’re like the CarMax of Windows. We carry different brands of windows for different budgets. We believe in options.
High-Pressure Sales Tactics
You call company “A” or company “B” and you get them on the phone and one of the first clues that you’re about to be in a high-pressure sale is when they ask, “Will all the of the decision-makers be present?”
What they mean by that is if you’re married, or you have a significant other, they want you and the other person there at the same time so they can do a high-pressure pitch and then you can’t say, “Well let me talk to my spouse about that and get back to you in a couple of days.” They want to eliminate that opportunity.
They’ll come to your house and they’ll knock all of the competition and tell you how wonderful their window is. At the end of the experience, you may walk away with some contempt for the way you were just treated but perhaps you also became convinced that the window was indeed the best out there.
So you call the factory and you say, “I love your window but I don’t like company “A”.”The manufacturer will likely tell you that they have an agreement with company “A” and they are their dealer in that area for that window. Now you have a decision to make. Do you accept working with a company you can’t stand in order to get that window that you fell for? If you do you’re probably going to end up with a bad relationship because they’re not doing business the way they should be doing business.
Instead of falling in love with a window first, my advice would be to fall in love with a good window company, especially one that has more than one window. Back to the Best Buy example, they sell Samsung, LG, Sony, Vizio, and many more. Why? Because they want to have choices for different clients with different tastes and different needs. And so that’s the problem with falling in love with the window first; now you’re on a quest to find somebody who sells that window instead of finding a great window company.
Window Buying Mistake Number Two
Focusing on the performance numbers.
Some people will fall into paralysis by analysis. They want more information, they want more numbers, and they want to compare the numbers. Why? Because they get confused about the windows so they want to boil it down to just numbers they think it’s like math, right?
They might think, “If this number’s better than that number it’s got to be a better window.” Well, that’s not true. Some people say, “This window company is a bigger window company than that window company.” Bigger is not always better. Don’t get fixated by the numbers and don’t get fixated on the size of the company.
Instead of comparing the NFRC figures, think instead of how that translates into savings with your energy costs. Cardinal glass has a calculator here that allows you to figure out what the different performance figures mean to you. Most often, it’s just a few dollars a year and you’re better off going with a window that is beautiful, a window that you love, instead of choosing based entirely on the best performance numbers which lead us into mistake three.
Window Buying Mistake Number Three
Ending up with an ugly window because you focused on the performance numbers.
It all comes down to the glass. The better the performance numbers, the less glass and more frame you have. Because the numbers are taken as a cumulative of the entire unit. For example, adding grids to a window will slightly increase the efficiency simply due to the grid material blocking more sunlight. Think about it. What blocks sunlight better? An opaque window frame or a transparent piece of glass? But which would you rather have more of?
The two samples pictured above have the exact same glass but the one on the left “performs” better because of the thickness of the frame. I don’t know about you, but I prefer the one on the right.
Window Buying Mistake Number Four
Falling for the “Tonight Only” price.
I’m reminded of a client who had been visited by a window company and when they finished their three-hour presentation, they were given a bid of $100,000. But, wait there’s more, after discounts they got down to $78,000. Then, out of sheer generosity, they offered a “tonight only” price of $64,000. Amazing, right! Not at all. Please don’t fall for this.
It’s a tactic that has been around forever. They’ll spring a huge number on you and as the shock settles in they’ll ride to the rescue and “knock off” thousands of dollars. They’ll say, “Mrs. Homeowner, that price goes with me and you will not get a better price ever again. If I walk out the door you’re back at $78,000.” I mean, could someone please explain how that works? What could make the price jump by stepping out of the door? Manipulation, that’s what.
They want you to panic. They want to pressure you into making a huge commitment without being able to sleep on it. By the way, the customer who shared this story ended up buying a comparable product with a better install from us for $41,000. Sadly, a lot of people fall for that.
Obviously, it still works or these companies wouldn’t be a business. They wouldn’t be sending you these flyers every day they talking about a big 40% off sale. That big sale ends at midnight on the 31st, but then a new one starts that’s the same thing with different wording and it ends on the 31st of the next month. It’s all the same tactics meant to pressure you into buying.
Most of these big companies like this have what’s called a re-hash manager and their job is calling you back and offering a better price and then a better price and so on. The truth is, buying the windows that night is actually the highest price you’re going to get for those windows. Waiting will only lower that price over a period of time, so don’t be in a rush; sleep on it, and take your time to think about it. Even if it’s our window company, don’t be in a rush.
Window Buying Mistake Number Five
Falling for “Zero Percent” financing.
It kind of goes in conjunction with some of the other things that they talk about. They make you fall in love with the window. They focus on how great their numbers are. They tell you about how much you’re going to love the performance and then they tell you that you’ve got to buy it tonight. And if the “buy tonight” doesn’t seal the deal, they’ll often use “zero percent” financing to get you over the edge.
A lot of companies will offer something like 48 months of 0% financing. We have a great video on the “True Cost Of 0% Financing” that you can find here but I’ll give you a summary.
Anytime someone gets a 0% financing option it’s actually costing the company that’s selling the windows a percentage of the deal. They have to buy your interest rate from the lender so that they can offer it to you for 0%. Depending on the term and your credit score it will cost them anywhere from 5% to 15% of the loan amount.
In fact, the better your credit the worse it is for you on a 0% deal. They know you’re going to pay the bill and they won’t make any interest money off of you. What’s in it for the lender when you pay your bill? Zero. So they have to make their money from the dealer upfront. Don’t fall for that. Instead, make your best cash price deal.
At Houston Window Experts we don’t play those games. We do have financing options but we are always up-front and transparent with our costs. If your credit’s good you’re going to have a competitive interest rate; no matter what your circumstance it’s going to be based on how creditworthy you are and the dollar amount of your purchase.
So that’s it. Those are five window buying mistakes that we want you to be aware of. If you’re in the market for new windows and are in our area we would love to find out more about your project and see if we’d be able to help you in any way.