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Steve's Stages Of Floor Shopping

By Steve Simonson - steve@ifloor.com

When you embark on your mission of selecting your new floor covering, there are several stages that you pass through almost without exception. These stages are brought on, not by chance or choice, but as the results of a predictable shopping experience when considering a new flooring purchase. I decided to explain these steps in an effort to guide you through them. If you first know what you are getting into, your focus can be adjusted to prevent the unpleasant aspects of floor shopping.

There are four fundamental stages in shopping for a floor that the majority of consumers face:

Stage 1 -Excitement

Your entry into Stage 1 is based on excitement at the prospect of being able to improve your home by replacing your floors. The old, worn floor covering that you wish to improve or remove has long been on your to-do list. The time has come to take action and get that job done. This is the high point in your floor covering experience. Time flies quickly and the exhilaration is soon replaced by the longer-lasting Stage 2.

Stage 2 -Exploration

Not long after making your choice to select new flooring, you start to research flooring options. You probably are near a home store like HOME DEPOT and figure that you need to buy a hammer so why not start looking at flooring? This logic makes perfect sense on the surface. But it's not long before you run into the vast abyss of the non-existent customer service at these kinds of stores. Next, you decide to stop by a couple traditional carpet stores to look at different flooring and it is at that point that Stage 2 reaches its pinnacle. As you skip from one store to the next in confusion, you encounter the feeling of being overwhelmed. There are more choices than you ever imagined and figuring out which selection is right for you is not an easy task. Don't worry about Stage 2 because Stage 3 is worse and lasts longer.

Stage 3 -Frustration

You start to become totally frustrated and all seems lost here in Stage 3 because the conflicting information each store salesperson gives you is enough to drive you crazy. Why does one store tell you one thing and another give totally different information? In fact, different salespeople in the same store give you different answers to the same question. How is that even possible? Almost 30% of floor covering shoppers stop right here and end the entire process. They go home, try to forget they ever started this ordeal, and go out and buy a new TV to cheer themselves up.

Because some kinds of "information" are abundant, you can expect to receive more than you want and probably more than you need. The problem with the "information" is that it is usually incomplete and often wrong. For instance, instead of giving you a copy of the warranty for a product before the sale, the sales person will summarize the warranty. As we all know, the highlights of the warranty are typically misleading, which results in establishing unreasonable expectations about a potential purchase.

For those shoppers who stick out the process of Stage 3 they proceed to the final stage, Stage 4.

Stage 4 -Decision

The decision stage. You have reached this stage despite anxiety, a tedious unknowing, and now you are questioning if you made the right flooring decision. This uncertainty makes even the final phase of shopping for floors a complete displeasure. As you sign a contract with possibly misguided expectations, you are determined to make sure you get your money's worth.

If all goes well, you will have a nice completed project in the end. The best feeling is the day you return home from work, bursting with exuberance to see your new flooring, only to find out that the job is going to take an extra day and a couple hundred extra dollars.

Regardless of the fact that this may seem like one perpetual stroke of bad luck, you should feel better about the fact that you are not alone. The majority of floor shoppers face these steps each and every day.

Final Analysis

My basic idea in outlining these Stages is to inform you, the consumer, about the process of purchasing flooring. My feeling is that if you know what you are up against, then you are better equipped to handle the process. If you are lucky and well informed, you may be able to skip some of the bad parts.

I believe that if the industry could first present vital information and then make sure it is in a consistent format, the process of buying flooring would be easier for all consumers. I have created a website, iFLOOR.com, which is the first step in that goal. My company, iFLOOR.com, presents all kinds of information directly from the manufacturer about care, maintenance, warranties and other general knowledge. We will help you know what a 15-year warranty really means before you buy the product. The fact that we give you access to the full details about the products online means you can investigate the specifics about the flooring at your leisure. This is the first key to your flooring satisfaction.

I hope that you will use iFLOOR.com as a source of information and, if we do our job well, perhaps we will earn the opportunity to sell you the flooring. Please explore the website today - we may save you MORE than money. We may save you Stage 3, and that is priceless.

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