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Old 06-11-2009, 10:28 AM   #1
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Lighting Store rip off


Hey Gang,

Need some input.

We are slowly changing up our kitchen and DR/LR and we went with our designer to the lighting store. We found some lovely fixtures and just now got the quotes. Either I don't understand the business or something is fishy.

Here is an example:
Retail price on quote: $835
Our price: $489 (our designer gets a discount and we pay 15% on top of her price).
BUT I see on the stores website the same fixture priced at $503 not $835.
AND I see an online lighting store where I can get the same fixture delivered to my door for $292.

Two other fixtures with similar markups.

So I am pissed at the store, I am pissed at the designer and am just about ready to buy this fixture on line.

Is this the way things are typcially done?

Has anybody bought light fixtures on line before?

Any suggest webstores?

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Last edited by drtbk4ever; 06-11-2009 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:39 AM   #2
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Lighting Store rip off


I buy many things online. I save some money that way. Or, find things normally not available at retail stores. The only drawback is you cannot put your hands on the item to be sure what you are getting. If the part number is the same as the part number the manufacturer uses then you should be fine. Some retailers and distributors use their own part number. They try to make the part theirs is a sense. But some research and knowing exactly what you are ordering is very important. Returning internet orders is one of the worst experiences someone would have to endure.
Buy the fixture at the best price. Show your designer, and ask why such a discrepancy in price is evident.

Ps.....Check shipping cost!

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Old 06-11-2009, 10:43 AM   #3
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Lighting Store rip off


No reason to be mad.. That's what you get for working with a designer.

Sorry, I didn't mean that in an argumentative way. My dad has been slowly redecorating some rooms in his house (it hadn't been redecorated since before I was born), and I'm always shocked at what some of the stuff costs going through the designer and her recommended suppliers. Many times what I know I could get the same fixtures (whether it be plumbing, electrical, or anything else) online for half of what he pays, but he doesn't want to bother shopping around.. I think he should, but hey, what do I know?

It's quite a bit of BS that they put the retail price for comparison at $835, and that same store's price listed online is $503. You should ask them for a discount on that price, not on an imaginary $835. Definitely show them the fixture online for $300, too.

Does their price include installation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drtbk4ever View Post
AND I see an online lighting store where I can get the same fixture delivered to my door for $292.

Has anybody bought light fixtures on line before? Any tips?
I've bought a few fixtures online (well, the wife did the ordering.. so I couldn't even give you the sites right now), and didn't have a problem at all.

What's the address of the site you found your fixture on? If you post it, I'm sure someone here can give an opinion on its sketchiness (or lack thereof).

BTW - As much as I hate that kind of markup, hey, it's capiltalism.. They charge whatever they can get away with charging.. And unfortunately most people don't know the difference. You're doing the right thing being an educated consumer.

Last edited by ScottR; 06-11-2009 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:53 AM   #4
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Lighting Store rip off


You can buy nearly anything cheaper over the internet. The lighting store has a much higher cost of doing business. Rent and maintenance on the display area etc. Plus the time an employee spends with you to help you make a decision. Plus easy return/guarantee policies. Buy from the imternet to save after 'using' a service business to check out what you want to buy is a great way to help put them out of business-Then where are you going to go to actually see the product you may want? I have purchased items over the internet, but when I need to see the item, I gladly pay their additional markup because of the service
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:55 AM   #5
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Lighting Store rip off


Lowes had a bathroom light/fan setup
The same fan online was over $20 less
But I ended up with a $10 off card from Lowes
And if anything was wrong I could bring it back to Lowes

I bought a Kohler steam shower for a couple hundred less online then local. I also bought a pool filter & pump & had it shipped to my door for about $500 less then a local pool store

You pay for service, assistance & easy return at local stores
Have you mentioned to them the prices you have seen?

I have to agree that working with a designer you may end up paying more. My wife is my designer
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:49 AM   #6
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Lighting Store rip off


Often you can deal, at least ask for a discount. I am amazed how the same guy that spends days or weeks working a car dealer for a couple percentage points off a car would never think of asking another retailer for a discount. Imo it's always worth asking and if the guy/gal gets indigent with you ask them if they paid "retail" for their car, if they don't come around just leave. Often goods are marked up more than 100% and there is room for a better deal. And, you never know how bad they want to move something until you ask. I prefer to deal with a local guy if I am only paying a little more than I would from a big box or the internet but I try not to be taken advantage of.

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Old 06-11-2009, 01:13 PM   #7
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Lighting Store rip off


Thanks for listening to my rant. I have cooled off a bit and will follow some of the suggestions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
Buy the fixture at the best price. Show your designer, and ask why such a discrepancy in price is evident.

Ps.....Check shipping cost!
I'll talk to the designer about the pricing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottR View Post
No reason to be mad.. That's what you get for working with a designer.
Actually we truly need the designer to bridge the gaps between my wife's and my tastes. She is doing a great job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottR View Post
What's the address of the site you found your fixture on? If you post it, I'm sure someone here can give an opinion on its sketchiness (or lack thereof).

I have been looking at the Canadian arm of 1Stoplighting and also looking at LightingUniverse. But can't get all the fixtures we want from one place.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehabber View Post

Plus the time an employee spends with you to help you make a decision. Plus easy return/guarantee policies.

I gladly pay their additional markup because of the service
All great points. And I don't mind paying a premium for all the reasons you suggested. But it has to be reasonable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
You pay for service, assistance & easy return at local stores
Have you mentioned to them the prices you have seen?

I have to agree that working with a designer you may end up paying more. My wife is my designer
I will talk to the designer and then the store and see what kind of song and dance we get. I don't mind paying "bit" more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RegeSullivan View Post
Often you can deal, at least ask for a discount.

Rege
You are correct, it never hurts to ask. So that is what I'll do.
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:21 PM   #8
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Lighting Store rip off


Quote:
Originally Posted by drtbk4ever View Post
Actually we truly need the designer to bridge the gaps between my wife's and my tastes. She is doing a great job.
Heheh, fair enough.. Designers are definitely useful -- I didn't mean to imply that they're not worth using. I only meant that often they go after the best look and not necessarily the best price. Also they've got suppliers that they work with regularly and may not go looking elsewhere for pricing because of loyalty or automatic discounts.

Quote:
I have been looking at the Canadian arm of 1Stoplighting and also looking at LightingUniverse. But can't get all the fixtures we want from one place.
They both look reputable to me.. I say this as both a web guy and a frequent online consumer. But I've never ordered from either site.

Generally the easier it is to find a phone number and physical address on the site, the more likely they are to be reputable. If all they get is complaints or they have no customer service to speak of, they push that info as deep into the site as possible. Also their return policies are both clearly stated so you know what you're getting into. BBB accreditation is a plus as well.

Last edited by ScottR; 06-11-2009 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I have to agree that working with a designer you may end up paying more. My wife is my designer
That's a good one
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:18 PM   #10
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Lighting Store rip off


Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottR View Post
Heheh, fair enough.. Designers are definitely useful
LOL, Did I mention my wife and I are worlds apart when it comes to taste? OH yeah I did. For example, we have been in this house for 15 years and we just hung our 2nd picture. I'm not joking about this one. Oh on second thought, make that 3 pictures and two diplomas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottR View Post
Also they've got suppliers that they work with regularly and may not go looking elsewhere for pricing because of loyalty or automatic discounts.
So true. On the one hand that can be advantageous, on the otherhand, you gotta watch the costs.
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Last edited by drtbk4ever; 06-11-2009 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:18 PM   #11
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Lighting Store rip off


I can get a steak at Black Angus for $15 or at Ruth Chris for $50.

They both pretty much come from the same cow.

The prices are on the menu so no one is getting "ripped off"

Last edited by 220/221; 06-11-2009 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:20 PM   #12
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Lighting Store rip off


Are you paying your designer a flat rate ( /hour)? Sometimes the 'mark-up' is part of how the designer makes their money. Also, don't forget that it might be worth SOME mark-up to not have to hassle with ordering/shipping/broken fixtures/returns etc. For many people that IS the point of a designer.

DH and I hired a designer to do a room. We paid her a flat rate and she gave us some ideas. We did all the 'foot-work' ourselves in order to save money. If I had it to do again, I would pay 50% more to not have spent two months of weekend shopping trips trying to get the 'best deal'. I won't even mention the light fixture we got at great price online that still sitting in it's box in the attic.
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leah Frances View Post
Are you paying your designer a flat rate ( /hour)? Sometimes the 'mark-up' is part of how the designer makes their money. Also, don't forget that it might be worth SOME mark-up to not have to hassle with ordering/shipping/broken fixtures/returns etc. For many people that IS the point of a designer.
Leah, we are paying her a flat rate, but there is a 15% surcharge above "Her" price from the lighting store. I assume that 15% goes to her, so in fact she is getting a cut of the purchases too.

I need her mainly for her ideas and to pull it all together. And you are correct, I don't mind paying some markup for the conveniences you mentioned.
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Old 06-11-2009, 05:40 PM   #14
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personally, i'd never use a designer... the wife tells me what she wants, and i build it... lol

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Old 06-16-2009, 12:35 PM   #15
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Hey Gang,

I'll just give you a quick update. I talked to the designer and the comments she got from the lighting store were that the prices I found on their website were in US dollars and didn't include shipping etc etc.

So me being the pain the arse that I am, started calling around the other local lighting stores to get prices. Their retail, out the door prices were very similar to what the original store was showing on their website and in all cases were cheaper by a few dollars.

So I then called a different location of the original store to get their retail prices. Hmmm.... the retail prices quoted to me were exactly what was found on their website. The prices I was given were out the door Canadian dollar prices. So somebody is blatently trying to screw us.

I called the designer back and shared what I found out. Needless to say she was pissed. I asked what we should do. She said "Nothing until I talk to the stores Head Office and find out what the hell is going on". I think she is thinking back to all the other times she and her clients have purchased items from this store. I am sure they all thought that with the designer discount, they were getting a good deal. Well maybe not.....

I'm waiting to hear back from our designer. I'll keep you posted.

Hehe, I'm such a sh&t disturber.

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