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Alan J. Fletcher - About Me | AbcCarpets.com

By Alan Fletcher - Carpet Expert & Consumer Advocate

It makes me feel good to help people, which is the main reason I created my free carpet buying information websites. 

 

Even though I donít sell carpet anymore, my goal is to help people select the right carpet and pad that will meet their needs and lifestyle, to have it installed properly at a fair and square price. Iím just a concerned citizen who doesnít like to see anyone get ripped-off. 

 

Growing up I often had the chance to make some pocket money helping out at my dadís carpet showroom. He was a Carpet Mill Rep. for over 35 years. I didnít know it back then, but my future was going to be in carpet. In 1977 I took a job as carpet installer trainee at age 18. 

 

I went through an apprentice program with friends of my father who had a flooring business. The Company was owned by two brothers. They were both very kind and respectable gentlemen and they treated me very well. 

 

A few years later they both retired and I was out on my own installing carpet, vinyl and hardwood floors

for a number of smaller retail carpet shops. It didnít take me long to find out that I didnít appreciate the way that most retail flooring shops treated their carpet installers. Rarely did they show much respect or appreciation for a job well done.

 

After a few more years of honing my flooring installation skills and learning more about the flooring business I began working for Mikeís Carpet store. It was then that I began to realize how many storeowners treated their customers just as poorly as they treated their installers. 

 

Mike would buy carpet remnants from the manufacturers. These were carpet leftovers, roll ends, closeouts, discontinued, off-colors, seconds, defectives, and so forth. Many of these carpets were pure junk. By that I mean it was carpet that was made so poorly that was not fit for residential homes. Mike would sell these carpets to homeowners and tell them anything to make the sale. It was obvious that he didnít care about his customers, he only cared about making money. He and his wife had expensive sports cars, wore expensive jewelry and treated me and all the other flooring installers like dirt. He wouldn't allow us to use his business phone to call the customer for directions to their home on installation day. He told us to find a phone booth. This was a few years before cell phones were commonplace.

 

When Mike would send me out to install his junk carpet, I felt really bad for his customers. They didn't know what they had purchased, they trusted what Mike had told them. And Even though I knew the truth, I was unable to warn them about the lousy carpet they had purchased. Customers often asked my opinion of the carpet I was installing for them but I couldnít tell them the truth or Mike would surely fire me.

 

When I was finished installing the carpet I was told to collect the final amount due. Since I had the original bill of sale I knew how much they had been charged for the materials and labor. Had they bought from a reputable dealer and done their homework they could have selected a carpet that would have been a good choice for about the same amount of money. Mike had scammed them out of their hard-earned money and I did not like being involved.  

 

I'll never forget this one particular carpet job Mike sent me out to do. This young family of 4 had finally saved up enough money to buy new carpet that they hoped would last 10 to 12 years. Mike had taken them for all their hard-earned money and sold them a lousy carpet that couldnít last for more than two or three years. That's when I decided to look for another carpet store to work for and I soon found work at another small carpet retailer about 20 miles farther away.

 

However, after a month or so I started seeing a familiar pattern at the new store. Many of the flooring materials they sold didnít meet the needs or goals of their customers. Itís not difficult to figure out that a low-grade carpet wonít tolerate a busy household with four young boys running around. I wanted to know why this was happening again and again.

 

Here again, I was in the same predicament like when I worked for Mike. Customers were not buying the right grade of carpet and I couldnít say anything or I could lose my job. However, after spending some time in the showroom listening to some of the salespeople talking with customers I figured out why this was happening.

 

The Problem 

 

The salespeople were not asking their customers about their needs, goals and lifestyle in order to help them find a suitable carpet. They were only asking customers how much money they had to spend and then would lead the customer to a carpet that fit into their price range, whether it was a suitable product or not. They would ask..."How much money have to spend on your project?"  What they should have been asking was, "how many people live in your home? any Kids? Pets? Teenagers? and How long do you want your carpet to last?" 

 

It became obvious to me that most salespeople have a fear of losing the sale if they try to inform the customer to buy a suitable but more expensive carpet than they had in mind. Instead of educating their customers about the benefits of a better quality, buying a more durable carpet that could last years longer, they would just show their customers less expensive grades of carpet and give the impression that they were more durable than they actually were. The customer was happy when they found they could buy a carpet that fell within their budget, but the carpet they selected was not suitable for their application. Ultimately these unsuspecting homeowners eventually ended up unhappy with their purchase because it would not last as long as they had expected.

 

In the first 15 years of my carpet career I worked for more than a dozen carpet retailers. It became obvious to me that the majority of retail carpet salespeople were only concerned about making the sale and not concerned about the needs and goals of their customers. That's when I began to learn everything I could about how carpet was made and what made one carpet last longer than another. My father was a wealth of knowledge and experience for me to draw from. 

 

In 1998, I realized that I wanted to become more involved as a consumer advocate. I believe that every consumer deserves to know the truth, even if they donít like what they hear. So I made the decision to pursue my passion.

  • In 1998 I wrote my first consumer guide "Carpet Buying Secrets Revealed" and my desire to be an active consumer advocate became a reality. Response was very good to the release of my book.

  • In 2000 I started my first website Abccarpets.com. I wrote "The Quick and Easy Guide to Carpet Shopping" and released both books to Amazon.com for distribution.

  • In 2002 I wrote a book for landlords called "Landlord Floors-Carpet and Vinyl management for rentals." and launched my second website Landlordfloors.com. I began development of The CFM

     Solution, a strategic way for landlords to reduce their flooring replacement costs. The Landlord Flooring Management Guide was compiled and offered as a resource for rental property owners and property managers.

  • In 2003 I launched Howtobuycarpet.com and I began offering a free service called "Ask the Carpet Expert" where people could e-mail me their questions about buying carpet. Since then, hundreds of carpets buying questions & answers have been posted on my web sites for all my readers to access.

 

Be careful what you read about Carpet on the internet... I constantly go online and read all the other "so-called" free carpet information websites on the web. Trust me, they all put a "spin" on what they are telling you. They all have a hidden agenda to hide or alter the truth in their favor or use sneaky wording to try to trick you out of your hard earned money. My website is the absolute best and most helpful to homeowners, hands down!

 

I don't have any hidden agenda other than telling you the truth about how to buy a carpet that you will be happy with, how to save money by not becoming a victim of lies and deception, how to avoid carpet scams and make sure you get your new carpet installed right the first time. You may need to a bit spend more on new carpet than you had originally planned, but in the end, I have a feeling that you will end up a happy customer.

 

I offer my incredible Carpet Buying Guide eBook for just $14.95 thru this website which helps me pay for website operating costs. It's well worth the small price I ask and I provide a full no-questions-asked refund if you are not fully satisfied. 

 

It's fun answering the thousands of questions that readers email me every year. Send me your questions! email: Alan@abccarpets.com 

 

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