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Vinyl Flooring Buying Guide Where To Buy

There are plenty of flooring retailers both on and offline, each with varied selections and levels of customer service. In this section we will provide you with general vinyl floor advantages and disadvantages to consider for both buying online and buying at your local flooring retailer.

Local Retailer

Advantages

  • In–person service: Any questions or issues about your vinyl flooring can be answered by a salesperson within the store.
  • See the product yourself: You can see the options for different types of vinyl floors, and take home a sample to asses whether a color or pattern will work in your home.
  • Easy follow–up: Questions and comments about your new vinyl floors can be answered simply by calling or visiting the store.
  • Project resource: You can return to your flooring retailer for specific cleaning products and advice in the future.

Disadvantages

  • Selection: You may be able to find a wider selection of vinyl flooring and finishing options online.
  • Price: Online retailers may offer lower prices than your local flooring retailer.
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Online Retailer

Advantages

  • Selection: There is usually a wider selection of vinyl flooring and finishes.
  • Consumer reviews: Customer reviews may be available first–hand before selection. Reviews on a local retailer may need to be researched outside of the store, before or after your initial visit.

Disadvantages

  • Warranty issues: If you encounter warranty issues, the resolution process for an online purchase is more complicated than buying from your local flooring retailer. Instead of having a local flooring retailer to resolve your warranty issue, you are dealing with phone calls and emails to the online retailer.
  • Overall costs: Though you may be getting a better price on the vinyl flooring product, when buying online this price often does not include extra fees including shipping, delivery, labor, installation, etc.
  • Restocking fee: If you receive the flooring and it just isn't what you thought it would be, sending it back often means incurring a restocking fee that could be up to 30% of the overall cost of your order plus return shipping costs.
  • Shipping costs: Due to weight, this could add significantly to the overall cost.
  • Out of stock/discontinued products: Many flooring websites keep an incomplete inventory, and you might find that the vinyl floors you have your heart set on may not actually be available for purchase.
  • No in–person service: From the purchase itself to any follow–up questions you may have, all business will be conducted over email or phone.
  • Accessories: Vinyl floor accessories such as underlayments and adhesive (glue) may not be available through the same retailer and there may be additional charges to your order for shipping.
  • No affiliated installer: The online retailer is not likely to have a qualified installer available for you. If you utilize an online source for purchasing your flooring materials and a local resource for installation, there may be more difficulty in getting quality customer service and assistance when dealing with two separate businesses.

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