Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Design Fees

Email me your Kitchen Plans.I'll review them, and make

O.K., so these times are a little slow for many of us in the Kitchen Business.
We welcome every lead with enthusiasm, in hopes that they'll become a client.
Unfortunately, some customers approach us with a disappointing agenda.
They're price shopping! and have NO intent on paying for our services.
If you send them on their way, they'll "Bad Mouth" you.
If you entertain them, you're "giving it away".

It's not uncommon for Kitchen Design firms to charge a design fee.
Our time and expertise is valuable, and most clients feel comfortable with the process.

But it's perceived a little different if you're also the cabinet dealer.

Customers tend to be more willing to pay independant designers, than the dealership.

Maybe, because they think we're earning our pay from selling the product.

But since times are a bit slow, what about that customer who doesn't see it that way.

The one that doesn't want to pay anyone for the design.

Do we stand by our grounds, or do we adjust?
How flexible should we be? I suppose it depends on how desperate we are?

I personally use the Design Fee as a tool to weed out such "leeches".
Most of the time I don't even need to bring up the "design Fee".
When I'm meeting with a referral, and my instinct tells me
that they will definitely be my client , I merely mention,
"when we get to the point of preparing detailed drawings,
I'll ask you for a initial deposit".

So getting back to the Shopper.
They'll even tell you that they have a design.
When you ask to see it, it's nothing more than a pencil sketch. "conceptual design".
If they would be satisfied with us just giving them a price, it wouldn't be so bad.
But they will insist on us giving them suggestions.
Now, isn't that using our expertise?

So my question is;

How do we spread the word to these potential customers?

"We're Professionals". Please treat us that way. You're money will be well spent.

I would like to hear from other Kitchen Design Dealers, as well as customers that are in, or have been the process of shopping for a new kitchen.


  1. I'm with you on this. It's most frustrating to be asked to do your job for free.
    As a sales/Designer, I get paid for making the sale,processing the order,overseeing the progress,and dealing with issues. All for a small percentage. There's always someone out there who'll sell the products for less. especially if he doesn't need to spend the time to come up with all the suggestions.
    Customers really need to realize that they have to pay something for our time.
    If we dealers all charged a fee, it would then be the norm.
    So, Dealers. Lets stand united!!!!

  2. I recently paid big money for a design fee.
    The deigner from the showroom outlined what I'd get for it.
    75% of it was to be applied toward the cabinet order.
    The balance applied as a management fee.
    Only problem that I had was: I wasn't convinced that the 75% actually applied to the purchase.;
    there was no way of telling how much the cabinets would have costed without the service.
    Overall I was pleased in the end.