I am often asked on what defines value in the “roller blind” market and the simple answer is that’s up to you “the customer”. It’s ultimately the customer that defines “value” and this can be different depending on the customer’s individual needs.
It’s our job as the retailers to work out what this is for the customer we are targeting and to ensure we are doing all we can to demonstrate this. As many fight for sales by reducing their prices the quality of offering in the market has indeed decreased. It’s a no brainer that you can only decrease prices so far before the quality also depletes. Cost alone is not what defines value.
But for now let’s get back to the question of “Value”. What is value? Value is a measurement of a products ability to meet your requirements for a price that you feel is right. So firstly you need to ask yourself “What am I looking for?” and “What do I want from this product?”
Next let’s address the elephant in the room “PRICE”. Anyone who says this isn’t an important factor has probably just won Lotto. Price is always a factor. Equally is the product (and service). It’s what we use to measure “value” (Product vs. Price)
Once you’ve decided what your needs and budget is you can start the process of finding the blinds that are right for you. This may be cheap and cheerful, for reasons such as your putting your house on the market and you’re not fussed on longevity, or you really don’t have the money to spend at the moment and are happy to go with a lesser product in the meanwhile. And that’s fine, there are offerings that will meet those needs. (It’s just not with us)
The market we at Urban Blinds focus on is the customer that is after a great quality, good looking blind for a reasonable price, and in a timely manner. As a customer this can be tricky as how do you know if you are really getting a great quality blind for your money. To anyone outside of the industry they all look kind of the same right? And everyone seems to promote “good quality”, “great quality”, or even “the best quality”. They then back this up with statements like “Best price guaranteed’. So how are you to know if the blinds you are buying are going to offer you value for money?
To assist you with this we have 7 simple tips and questions for you to ask your proposed retailer
Look to see if they have independently tested fabric specifications. This will show the composition of the fabric and if it is suitable for NZ conditions.
Ask how the fabric is cut to size. It should only be cut using either a crush cut or preferably ultrasonic cutting table. This will seal the edges as it cuts and give a superior edge that will be more resistant to fraying. These specialist tables also enable a blind to be cut perfectly square and machine rolled onto the tube. This stops what’s called “rolling off”. Rolling off is when the fabric telescopes off to one side and rubs on the controls, damaging the blind. Some manufactures “blade cut” or “cold cut” otherwise known as a craft knife and hand roll which is far from ideal.
Look out for these tricks to make blinds cheaper.
The first is using a light weight or narrower tube. Anything over 1m in width should be using a tube of at least 44mm in diameter. If they use a smaller tube there is a chance the tube will flex or sag in the middle. This will cause the fabric to have “v” like ripples. It not only looks ugly but can cause the blind to “roll off” causing damage.
Also, ask if they have “spring assist” or “soft lift” inside the roller blind. These should go into any non-geared blind that is over 4m². It is a component that is inside the roller blind tube that makes it easier to operate. This not only makes it easier to lift, it also takes the weight load off the control and stops them from breaking.
These are things that are not easy for you as a customer to see but make a big difference to the quality of the blind. They are also costly for manufactures so they are often left out of cheaper offerings in attempt appear as better value than they are.
Give the retailer a call. Ask them the above questions about their products. If you can’t find a phone number to call them before you place an order what are the chances that you’ll be able to after they have your money and you have an issue.
Read the reviews but treat with a grain of salt. It is not uncommon for businesses to pay for fabricated reviews. If the review dates are very close together then this could be an indication that someone has paid a review service to fabricate customer feedback.
Don’t get caught up in the face value of a warranty. You should ask who is backing that warranty. If the retailer was to close up shop you need to know your warranty still stands. At Urban Blinds our warranties are backed by our manufacture and their suppliers. Every step of the process is accountable for the quality of their products and stands behind the warranty.
Finally this is one of my personal favourites. I call it the mark up to mark down sales approach. Don’t be fooled by the 40-60% off deals. Some of the largest retails out there still play this card. They simply mark up the price way above what the product is worth and then promote a large discount off that price. In reality the discounted price just brings it back down to what others have as their everyday price.
Happy Shopping. If you have any other questions… send us an email or give us a call. We are here to help.