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Carpet Flooring Buying Guide Where To Buy

With so many choices for where to buy your carpet, how do you choose? Below you'll find some general advantages and disadvantages between purchasing from a local retailer and an online retailer. This section provides recommendations along with points to consider when choosing a carpet retailer, so you can avoid common carpet scams.

NOTE:Be aware that carpeting is generally sold by the square yard, NOT by the square foot. Some carpet retailers are starting to sell by the square foot. Make sure you know which one you are dealing with.

Local Retailer


  • In–Person Contact: Consult with a salesperson face–to–face. Ask questions and deal with issues in the store.
  • See, Touch, Compare: Often the coloring, patterns, and textures of carpet can only be truly appreciated in person. You can usually take samples of the carpet with you to see how the color and texture fits into your home.
  • Professional estimating: Most stores offer an in–house service. A reliable estimate on how much carpeting you need can generally be available to you before purchase.
  • In–House Installer: Some stores will offer their own in–house installer for your project which can make your project more seamless and affordable.


  • Selection: You may need to visit several stores to find a wider selection of carpet flooring.
  • Knowledgeable Sales Staff: Although salespeople will be available to answer your questions, it may be difficult to know the depth of a salesperson's training and carpet knowledge.
  • Private Labeling: If a store changes the name of a carpet selection from its name at the mill it becomes difficult to price compare and shop for at other stores
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Online Retailer


  • Selection: A wide selection of different carpet floor colors and patterns may be available online.
  • Consumer reviews: Many online retailers offer consumer product reviews of different carpeting types, which can make for easy and instant feedback during your carpet search.
  • Pricing: Because online retailers don't have to cover the cost of a store location, they can usually offer more competitive pricing.


  • Restocking fee: If the carpeting from the website arrives and isn't what you expected, you might incur a restocking fee of up to 30% of the total cost when you send it back.
  • Shipping costs: Shipping and handling is rarely included in the price, and will add a significant sum to your final total.
  • Out of stock/discontinued products: Not all the carpet pictured on the site may be available, as some vendors list out of stock or discontinued products.
  • No in–person service: All interaction will be limited to email and phone calls if you have any questions or problems.
  • Color & Texture: It may be difficult to get an accurate idea of the flooring without seeing and touching it first–hand. Colors can be distorted online, and you might receive carpet in a shade or texture that doesn't fit in your home as well as you thought it would.
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