The last thing we want to do is bad-mouth any other Cleveland window companies. We’re certainly not the only window company in the Cleveland area providing quality windows at reasonable prices with professional installers and we are proud to be in good company whenever we meet fellow professionals in the industry taking care of their customers. However, there are so many replacement window companies that use aggressive sales tactics across the nation that all you have to do is Google “window company sales tactics” and you get pages and pages of results detailing what to look out for when trying to choose an ethical window company. So, as a local window company, we figured that educating you on what to look out for would be one of the best services we could provide.
Window Sales Tactics: How to Spot and Avoid
High-Pressure, You Must Sign Now to Save 50%
High pressure sales tactics, deals that are only good on the spot and the “you must sign now” approach are all too common among less-than-ethical window companies. Even Angie’s List discusses this tactic in their post from 2015, “Beware of the Latest Scam When Buying New Windows.” Of course a sales person, any sales person, wants the sale, but an ethical sales person, who believes that their product and service are a true match for the customer at the price they offer it is going to encourage the homeowner to compare – not bully them into relinquishing their right to compare by signing a contract on the spot. Spotting this one is easy – if the sales person is telling you the only way to get the amazing deal on windows they just presented is to sign now, they don’t want you to compare. Avoiding this one involves being proactive with the window sales appointment. Tell whoever you are scheduling the appointment with (usually a scheduler) that you are getting estimates from three different window companies that night, each has only 30 minutes for the appointment and you will not be signing any contracts until the next day, when you have reviewed all the bids and determined which company to select. This may not deter the salesman from attempting the “sign now” approach, but at least you’ll feel better when you politely ask them to leave and explain that you value the ability to do your research and make a decision without pressure.
Window Sales: Buy One Get One Free, Buy 2 Get 2 Free, Etc.
We all want a great deal and we’re trained to shop for a good sale – whether it’s the clearance rack at a retail store or the weekly produce sale at the Giant Eagle, Marc’s, Dave’s or Heinen’s. But when it comes to replacement windows a sale makes ZERO sense. The windows are made to order right? You give us the size, the type of window, the type of grids or glass, handles, colors… – it’s all custom and doesn’t get made until there is a buyer on the other end. Unlike produce and clothing which are harvested or manufactured expecting some waste and offering deep discounts before the product is trashed or donated, replacement windows are made to order. Nothing is going bad or out of style, no one needs to move your windows quick in order to give more shelf space to the latest arrivals – there is no logical reason to discount a custom-made window because it isn’t being made until you have bought it!
However, national window companies, big box stores and other big players in the window industry with big advertising budgets have made a science out of marketing and know that they can increase appointments and window sales with a big offer of discounted windows. So they take that same vinyl replacement window you could have bought for $450 last month, raise the list price to $1,000 and offer the buy one get one free window special to get their salesman in your home, and make you think you’re getting an amazing deal, when you’re not. Angie’s List covers this same practice in their article “Beware of the Latest Scam When Buying New Windows.” Spotting this one: beware of ads that offer 50% discounts or any type of “free” windows. Avoiding this one is as easy as not falling for the special deal and making an informed decision without thinking the “deal” is real. Meaning, if you get a quote for $15,000 to replace all your windows during the special deal, you can be sure that after the deal expires $15,000 will still buy you all new replacement windows. So take your time, do your research and consider their “special” pricing with everyone else’s.
Nice-Guy, Pity Me, Mouths-to-Feed, Sales Tactic
Oh boy. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard about a window salesman from another company who plays this card. And honestly it’s hard not to want to help a nice guy that’s down on his luck by doing your part and paying twice as much as you need to for replacement windows, isn’t it? OK. Maybe it’s not.
They start by building rapport for the first 30 minutes: they love the house, “are these pictures of your children?”, “do you golf?” etc… Then move into an hour long presentation, or more, about the most mundane details of the window that are available in EVERY window on the market until they get to a ridiculously high estimate which you are then expected to negotiate for another 30 minutes or more. You think that’s bad? It gets worse! After 2 – 3 hours they try to make YOU feel guilty because they have “mouths to feed,” “could lose their job,” or “won’t be able to pay the rent” if they don’t get the sale. Amazing! The tactic is basically to force you to spend a ridiculous amount of time on the sales call so you feel guilty about taking up so much of their time that you will actually pay enough for the windows to cover the salesman’s rent, his grocery bill and help him keep the job!?! Spotting this one is pretty easy too. We all love to get to know the people we’ll do business with but if 30 minutes has gone by and the salesman is still trying to get to know you, red flag. Also, if you feel you’re getting a 60-minute lesson in how a window is made, another red flag. Avoiding this one does require a little proactive conversation at the beginning something like, “Thank you so much for coming to give us an estimate on our windows. Out of respect for your time I think it’s only fair to make sure you know I am not making a decision on my replacement windows tonight. I was hoping 30 minutes would be enough time to gather window measurements, work up an estimate and explain it to me. Will that be good?”
Bait and Switch $199 Replacement Window
Determining how much a replacement window will cost depends on a lot of factors, choices, etc… However, $199 is not realistic. Home Advisor puts the range from $300 to $1000 per window with pricing broken-down by single-hung, double-hung, sliding and casement here:”How Much Do Replacement Windows Cost?“. While Angie’s List has the average cost for a vinyl replacement window at $450-$600 and $800-$1,000 for a wood replacement window on their page “How Much Does It Cost to Replace Windows?” So any advertisement for $199 per new replacement windows is either a bait and switch advertisement, where they advertise a window that isn’t available, or it’s a made-up base price that doesn’t include removal of the existing window, disposal of the existing window, installation of the new window, any energy efficient features, or any necessary ad-ons like hardware, locks, latches, etc.
“The biggest bait and switch comes in advertising,” says Justin Howe, owner of The Window Experts in San Antonio. “When someone advertises a window for $199, be sure to read the fine print. It’s probably a size that no one has and doesn’t come with the energy efficiency options. By the time they get done with the sales pitch, the true price is about $450 to $500 a window.”
Spotting this one is self-explanatory. These advertisements can be found on our local radio stations, in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the mailbox, Cleveland area billboards and more. Avoiding this one is a matter of approaching the company with caution. We can only imagine what other sales tactics a company using this false introductory price will implement.
No Pressure Window Estimate
At Integrity Windows we don’t play that game. We’re a locally owned and operated window company with a showroom in Lakewood. We keep our overhead low by not blasting the airwaves and the billboards with advertisements so our prices are transparent, competitive and without the need to negotiate. You can come to the Lakewood showroom and get an estimate, or we’ll happily send Tim Folger or Ron Anders to your home. We don’t jack-up the price of our windows so that we can sell them 50% off and make you feel like you got a deal. We don’t pressure you – ever. And we don’t take more than 20 minutes to learn about what you want, tell you what we would prescribe and calculate the total cost of windows and installation. We’ll hang-out and chat a little longer if you want some company, or we’ll email you a quote if you would rather skip the pleasantries. Your choice. Call now and find out what it’s like to get an estimate from a window company that doesn’t play games – we’re confident you’ll choose to buy your windows with Integrity.