Informative - Avoid Problems When Purchasing Kitchen Cabinets

Review by Beverlyblvd on 2008-10-16
Ordering cabinets online has more pitfalls than you might realize.
Don't expect the sales representative at BuyCabinets to know the specifications and design options available through cabinet manufacturers they use. They will know of some but their lack of knowledge cost me at the end.

If you have a project that you do not particularly care about specifics in the design - such as a rental or a flip - using BuyCabinets might work well for you. They are slightly less expensive than the large home improvement stores like Lowes.

But if design and function are important to you and you need to rely on your representative to know the features of cabinets and maybe even make suggestions, avoid using BuyCabinets. You will do much better going elsewhere.

My experience was terrible. They make a big thing about being "family" but that is prior to getting your money.

Even though the salesperson made errors, ultimately they fall back on the fact that as the customer you sign off on an itemized list. The list is all product numbers which are not easy to identify. You are responsible for every single thing - even slight changes to an item, though not made or authorized by you. If you do not catch it, you have no recourse - even when they admit they made the error.

This is not the case if you purchase cabinetry thru Lowes. We had a subsequent order placed with Lowes. Custom panels were ordered & when they arrived the door panels did not match our others. Turns out Lowes had 2 options for our cabinet design. No problem - just return & they expedited replacement. No fight or argument.

This is not the way BuyCabinets does business. I have a double oven cabinet that is not what I requested. We were able to track that the item number was accidentally changed by the sales representative just before placing the order.
Too bad.

We had no part in the change/error but BuyCabinets holds their customers responsible for anything & everything on the print out even if no changes were expected to be made on that particular item.

Once our main order was placed our design/sales representative became unresponsive - the reason the rest of our order was placed at Lowes. will provide excellent assistance with items damaged in shipping but that is a manufacturer's warranty that they coordinate.

The costs to order thru Lowes was approx 1% higher than BuyCabinets -- nothing when you consider the benefits. I cannot say that all Lowes will have the best kitchen design staff or that there won't be any problems. I can say that Lowes will accept a return of even a custom item which is fantastic considering that during a remodel changes are common. I only wish I had started with Lowes rather than working with BuyCabinets I purchased Kraftmaid cabinetry and received excellent customer service from them.

Kraftmaid will give the customer the phone extensions of the service representative so that when/if other questions come up the customer does not have to re-state their project to a new representative each time.
This is a great help. Kudos to Kraftmaid.

I read an online endorsement of BuyCabinets by a spokesman. Beware - that endorsement did not reflect my experience at all. I have spent $25,000 on cabinetry alone and sadly some of our order is not what we expected and we are 'stuck' paying our installer to modify them, live with the results or not use it.

As a customer at BuyCabinets, you need to be savvy enough to spot every little detail. For example, if you are ordering cabinets that will have glass in the door, you will need to know to request an upgrade so that the interior is finished. Little details like this most customers look for the designer/salesperson to suggest & indicate. Not so at BuyCabinets.

One last tip: at BuyCabinets they will include an estimate for moldings that they initially select to provide the customer with an "idea" of molding costs.
What they do not tell you is that they price it with the most inexpensive pressed molding that does not accurately reflect true cost of the majority of the moldings.
Comments:2 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-11-22
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-10-16:
When you order cabinets online, have you ever actually seen the item ahead of time? How do you know what you are ordering, or what it looks like close up? Is this something where you go to a store and look at cabinets first, then go home and buy online? Inquiring minds want to know.
Posted by Beverlyblvd on 2008-11-22:
Online cabinet ordering is pretty much self-service. They can provide a computer drawing just as other kitchen design retailers but to view the product you will need to find it at an authorized dealer. Most manufacturers have catalogs on their products but not the same as seeing in person plus you'll want to check out the finishes because pictures are not sufficient.
We had a miserable experience with overall. Any kitchen remodel service is about as good as the designer sales rep is knowledgeable, focused and the company steps up to errors they had a share in creating. No remodel will be without problems. What is important is how the retailer choses to handle problems. For instance, we did not realize that Lowes and Home Depot will accept returns on special order items but they do - a huge benefit. Just think how much pressure is reduced if you know you could return unused material-WOW! does not provide any refunds - maybe others do not as well. It never occured to us that a special order could be returned so we didn't realize the impact of that limitation in chosing
We are very pleased with the quality of the product from the manufacturer we chose, Kraftmaid, and more than that, the help they provide direct to customers while trying to determine the best selection and learn the various features. Kraftmaid provides direct contact to their reps so that you do not have to explain your project again & again each time you call-again a great benefit over others and all without ever ordering a thing. They will send catalogs and specialty catalogs on things like molding ideas to finish off your project. You can call Kraftmaid at 800.433.4559 if you are interested.
I'm sure other manufacturers have service centers too but we felt Kraftmaid had superior service.
I have special needs and their service center was invaluable in determining the best options for our needs.
If you aren't picky about the quality or features, getting cabinets off the shelf all at once will eliminate any problems with shipping damage or delays that might occur. And consider custom cabinets too. Don't assume they will be too much cuz like anything else there is a wide range of prices and skill but be sure you see their work and talk to their past customers.
We ordered customized closets from an online source and had a great experience - a lot of work but saved money.
Be skeptical of the reviews you find on the online retailers. If you are only finding glowing reports that may be suspicious, after all, most people complain in writing more than they bother to write letters of commendation.
Whatever you choose to do, keep in mind that there will be a lot of work no matter how much you contract out so be sure to consider that when deciding how you want to order your cabinets.
Our experience with has been so miserable that we have told our friends to consider moving rather than remodel - it would have been less frustrating. Some things went very well at but not enough to offset the problems. We placed a subsequent order at Lowes to avoid further dealings with them.
Hope this was of some help.
Good luck with your project.

Your Name:
(displayed with your comment)
Your E-mail:

Your Experience/Advice:
Check spelling

By clicking submit you agree that you have read and accept the Terms of Service & Privacy Policy.

Note: All comments are reviewed by a moderator before being published. Please be sure to read our guidelines before commenting.