Saturday, October 18, 2008

Kitchen Conundrum (Avoid Alliterations Always!)

Okay... I've gathered my bids already!!!

And my sister says I "oughtta write a book!" Because, as always, the pitfalls have wrought numerous story-telling opportunities...

Let's see... I've spoken to Kitchenworks, MasterCraft Home Design, Kitchen Concepts, Kitchen Tune-Up, Sears, and Home Depot (Ooooops! Haven't "changed the names to protect the guilty!")

I figure 6 bids oughtta be sufficient.

Hate to say it, but I'm trying to stick with those who "specialize" in the whole Kitchen-Refacing field b/c of the alleged "buying power" that goes along with it (as opposed to "buying the materials ourselves" and hiring Juan, or Pablo, or Miguel, or whomever-of-questionable-residency-status" - which might cut-us a price-break). Normally, we prefer the "independent contractor" kinda guy - but in this case it seems to make more sense to go with someone who's "in the business" of doing this sorta thing...

My "Last Bid" came yesterday afternoon, from D***** of Home Depot.

And, again (after kvetching to the In-Store HD Rep about the "No-Show"), I had to go through the whole "Will your husband be there?" B.S...

"No, he won't. I am the 'Decision-Maker.'"

"So are you saying that if we install something that he doesn't like, that he'll just have to live with it?" (again, with that hint of derision!!!!!!!)

"Actually, pretty much - yes!" was my reply (Jeezus H. Jehosaphat Christ!!!)

So I got an appt scheduled with D*****, a Sales Rep from Home Depot. To be fair, he actually had the courtesy to call me when he was running late due to traffic (Understandable - given that it was 4:00pm on Friday afternoon during PEAK Rush-Hour Traffic - which is INSANE in Silicon Valley). I did appreciate the call...

Well, D***** comes in and wants to do a "walk-thru" of our house to "get a feel" for our taste - or whatever (probably more like "get a feel" for our income-level!). "So, who's the Piano Player?" "Me." "What kinda dogs do you have?" "Dachshunds." "My girlfriend loves dachshunds!" Yada-Yada....

He even looked outside and saw the Tropical Resort (and yes, I admitted that we'd put the pool in. And yes, *I* did the landscaping, thankyouverymuch)...

Seems D***** (who appeared to be about 16 yrs old - turns out he was 25, which isn't THAT much more, IMHO - as I'm learning to "Embrace my Inner Curmudgeon!"), *just* completed his Sales-Training from Home Depot. So I was subjected to the full-on Sales-Pitch - complete w/ PowerPoint Presentation delivered via tree-based paper-booklet.

"Why Choose Home Depot? - We are the largest Home-Improvement Supplier IN-THE-WORLD..."

"Can you turn the page?"

(I turned the page)

"Do you know how many ceiling fans we sold last year?"

"Oh, I dunno... Eight gazillion?!"

"Close! We sold seven MILLION ceiling fans last year."


("What's the freakin' bid already?!!" screams my inner-curmudgeon)

So I endured the entire sales-pitch. And we talked about my "wants" and "budget" and I made it Crystal-Clear that I was shooting for a number in the "As-Close-As-Possible to the Four-Range."

"Four thousand?"


No-frills, yada-yada. Nope, don't need pull-outs... Nope. No Lazy Susans... "Yes, I got a bid from Home Depot a few yrs ago... Nope, don't remember the exact number but it was 'somewhere in the middle.'"

Well, after a bit of hesitation on D******'s part "Well, our prices have gone up since then."

"Well, I didn't think that a three-year-0ld bid would be 'binding'..."

Anyway... Bottom Line... Bid du jour came in at (drum-roll please!!!) OVER Eight Thousand Dollars!!!!

Well, after D***** had done such a "FINE JOB" of establishing a rapport/interpersonal relationship, I felt no compunction as I laughed, outright, in his face!

"Wow!" I laughed "You're the highest bid, so far!!!"

Well, he went back and re-worked it a bit (Now mind you, I was pretty cognizant of the "Add-on's" like pull-outs, upgraded drawers, lazy-susans, etc. - and pretty-much LEFT THEM OFF of the bid, right?!!). His "revised" number came in, immediately, @ $7200.00 - which (while still more than $1K less than his original bid) was still pretty OUTRAGEOUS...

Side-note: I'd *just* gone through a similar "dance" with another Kitchen Refacer where the initial bid went from $6300.00 to $4900.00 - based, simply, on the fact that I'd raised my eyebrows! (Making me wonder how much the price would have dropped had I actually *scowled!*).

Well, D***** was prepared to offer me the "IVD" discount (Initial Visit Discount) of $300.00 - IF I would sign-the-contract right-then-and-there!

Yeah, right!

"No, that's not gonna happen. As I already explained, I am gathering MULTIPLE bids and will discuss them with my husband...."

"Well, when does he come home?" he queried (still hoping for the "IVD" discount, no doubt!).

"Could be any minute now - but I assure you you want to be LONG-GONE before he gets here. See... He backed our truck into his Classic Car last night and the LAST THING HE WANTS TO HEAR ABOUT is an $8,000.00 bid for a Home Improvement Project!")

True Story, BTW: Thursday night is "Garbage Night" and I dutifully dragged the trash and recycling bins out to the street - and parked the Truck in the driveway (which is de rigeur for Thursday Nights, BTW). When Rog got home, late Thursday night, he'd temporarily parked 'Scarlet' - his pristine ("Show Quality") '88 Corvette behind 'Red,' my '97 "Old-Beater" Pontiac Sunfire Convertible. When he backed Willie (our '00 Toyota Tundra) out of the driveway, he managed to scrape the sh*t outta Willie (and f**ked up the bumper), but did a SERIOUS NUMBER on Scarlet's rear quarter-panel (we're talking SO bad, he's gonna have to buy a whole new hunk 'o fiberglass, unfortunately - So "Garage Queen" Scarlet is no longer "Show-Quality").

So anyway, I figured that D*****'s presence probably would NOT be welcomed. Nor did I think that "this weekend" was the opportune time to drag Rog into ANY discussions about Kitchen Upgrade Projects. What with unexpected Car-Repairs on the docket, ya know?!!

So, our $300 "IVD" Discount is toast. But D*****'s price was simply freaking outrageous anyway!!! (And I'm sorry, but if you've got such a hard-on for getting us to sign-on during the First Visit, well, "Screw You!!!")

Soooooooo... Kitchen Tune-Up is *still* the front-runner and I need to schedule our appt (to include Rog this time) w/them.

That'll have to wait 'til I get back from the Girl's Vacation, week-after-next...

So that's the Latest from Nancy-Ville....

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