Investigate the reputation of anyone you consider purchasing from. It is one thing to post testimonials from satisfied customers on a company’s own website. They can be carefully controlled; positive comments included and negative excluded. Epinions.com, Shopping.com and BizRate.com are a few independent sites available to assist you in selecting a reputable online retailer. These sites invite consumers to post their opinion of their buying experience.
Does the company you are thinking of purchasing your window coverings from, actively encourage you to consult an independent opinions website? If not, why not? If you do not find any independent testimonials endorsing the company, perhaps you should consider buying elsewhere.[Top]
Most online retailers do not fabricate window coverings. Rather, they coordinate the fulfillment of your order directly with the manufacturer. Many times, the company you buy from is at the mercy of how responsive the staff of the manufacturer is to them, when helping you.
The staff of the Company you buy from is a powerful resource to leverage between you and the manufacturer if you have a problem with your order.
That said, what does the Company promise if you do not measure correctly? Or your blinds are fabricated incorrectly? Or the manufacturer forgets to include the mounting hardware? Or your new blind does not operate correctly? Do they promise to be very responsive in helping you? Or do they NOT make any commitments? If no promise is made on their website, do not expect outstanding service if you have a problem. What is not promised on a company’s website is NOT part of that company’s values, culture, thinking or actions.[Top]
Most websites send a courtesy order confirmation after your submit your order online. Does the follow up end there though?
Most times, you have invested significant money into purchasing new window coverings. It can be very upsetting to not know the status of your order at all times. But how much time, energy and effort will you need to expend in achieving peace of mind that your order is coming?
Before you place your order, make sure you know what information you will be receiving from the company throughout the time between when you place your order and when you receive your new window coverings. Ensure that the company will automatically send you
Companies that are knowledgeable in the area of window coverings, KNOW how much information an average person needs in order to make a good decision when purchasing window coverings. It is easy to spot a website whose owner’s do not understand your needs when purchasing a complex product like blinds.Some things to think about when assessing a company include:
A website reveals much about the values and quality of the Company. Your experience with the site will, no doubt, foreshadow your purchasing experience.[Top]
You need to be satisfied that the staff of the company you plan to order from is competent at window coverings. How can you judge this from a website?
To assess this, look for how the company presents specific manufacturer information. Take as an example, how they present information about how much the manufacturer will deduct from the width and length of your blind during production (known as factory deductions) in order for it to fit your window properly. Do they disclose this information? If they do, is it a copy of a page taken from a manufacturer’s reference manual full of jargon that you do not understand? Or is it information that a knowledgeable person within the company “digested” and then had their web folks present in a format that is easy for you to understand?
If it is a copy of a manufacturer’s reference manual, you can assess one of two things.
Either way, they do not demonstrate they know the minute details of window coverings. So, how comfortable can you feel that your project will turn out as you envision? They need to know the details in order to help you produce a successful project.[Top]
The website you order from should provide close up pictures of the product(s) you are purchasing. These pictures should include room settings with the window covering you are considering, displayed so you can picture what it will look like in your home. The site should also include close-up pictures of the specific product features including valances, bottom rails, pull tassels and specific operating options, at a minimum. These details are important to allow you to be at peace that you know what your custom window covering(s) will look like in your home.
Some sites provide room scenes, but not close ups of valances and the like. If these details matter to you, insist that they send you a picture before you buy. You need to be assured that you will be receiving what you think, with no surprises.[Top]
All variations in how window shades operate originated in someone thinking, “If only my window covering could…” All variations in operating functions came from the real world to help people better take care of something important to them. These concerns include improving the ability to raise and lower the shade, keeping privacy while letting some light in, reducing glare on TV or computer screens, remotely operating hard to reach window shades and the like. This is what you care about.
Many websites provide a list of products and the options that are available with. Does the site make the effort to go beyond just a list of products and options to help you get a thorough understanding of what the various possibilities will help you take care of? The site you order from needs to demonstrate they are competent to help you take care of what you care about. Do not be satisfied buying from a site that throws a list of available options at you leaving you to figure out how they might be useful to you. Insist that the company help you create the situation that will work best for you and what you care about.[Top]