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Buying Carpet Wholesale

By Michael Hilton

Shopping for carpet online and eventually buying carpet online should not be the scary proposition that it initially appears to be. Every online carpet wholesaler that participates in this forum is a registered Georgia (or other State in very few cases) corporation. All wholesalers have business fronts, retail locations, and most have hundreds of rolls of inventory. For a listing of carpet manufacturers visit our carpet manufacturers page.

Unlike many carpet retailers around the country, discount carpet wholesalers have significant financial investments in their business. As a manufacturers representative in the 1980's - 90's, I quickly learned in trying to secure credit lines for my carpet retail customers, many retail store owners own the building they occupy and lease the building back to the retail store to limit financial liability. I found this out the hard way, when a large retailer with 57 store locations went bankrupt and opened up the next day under another business name. The owner of the business owned the buildings under a separate corporate name and leased the buildings back to the Miami-based retail corporation. My carpet mill took losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and I had to repay sales commissions in the tens of thousands of dollars based on the default.

Many smart wholesalers probably use this same strategy, but the difference in many retailers and the wholesalers listed here is the significant amount of inventory investment that a wholesaler must maintain. Many of these wholesalers maintain hundreds of rolls in-stock with investments of $150,000 to $200,000 dollars and more. Some large Dalton, Georgia carpet wholesalers routinely carry in-stock inventories of $1,000,000 and more.

Dealing in Volume

These wholesalers sell to retailers and consumers alike. They deal in volume and do not work on a standard retail mark-up. When I built my house, seven years ago, I purchased a high quality Berber for my family room. As a rep, my retailers sold it for $25-$28 dollars. I purchased this style for about $14.00 per yard. Recently, my father and uncle came to Dalton to purchase new carpet. We found two styles which I had sold to retailers for $12.99 per yard and retailed for $22.00 to $26.00 per yard. The rolls were irregulars (off-goods) and were priced at $5.99 per yard. As we examined the two 150 ft rolls, we found the defect near the end of the roll. We purchased 110 ft and 125 ft off the other end of the roll, paid $1.00 a yard more for the cut and purchased what was essentially first quality material. These two purchases amounted to savings of more than $4400.00 from normal retail and more than offset the 250-mile cost of travel to Dalton.

Since these wholesalers are all located within about 15 miles of all the major carpet manufacturers, they are very savvy buyers and have a good understanding of the costs involved in manufacturing carpet products. Since they deal in such high volume, many of these single location wholesalers are listed as some of the largest selling single unit carpet sellers in the world. This high volume rates them a better purchase price from carpet manufacturers. Also, these wholesalers are willing to take a chance on selling trial color runs, off-shades, dropped styles etc. This frees up the inventories of manufacturers and actually acts as a service for the manufacturers and helps the wholesaler get these better prices. These wholesalers may have to inventory these goods for a year or more until they are sold, but manufacturers see this as a service since they do not have to inventory the merchandise themselves.

Recently (in June 2004), I purchased a 70-ounce Stainmaster nylon trackless carpet for my new office for $1.99 a yard. Normally, the piece would retail for $30 a yard or more. When I installed the piece the back-stamp had a manufacturing date of 1990. I was able to "steal" this high-end, first quality piece because the retailer had inventoried the product for 14 years. The product was new and unblemished.

There are numerous other reasons why these wholesalers have the ability to sell goods cheaply, but a primary reason is the availability of off-goods and irregulars. This is known as "plunder" in the carpet industry. Retailers around the country love to get their hands on this merchandise, because it can be purchased for $0.10 to $0.50 on the dollar as compared to normal prices. Unfortunately, you have to able to accept large "packages" of goods at a time, so you must have excellent credit, and you must be in the "right place at the right time." They must be able to take immediate delivery and you must have a sales contact within the mill. I had a number of retailers in the Indianapolis area that would make regular trips to Dalton in 24-foot trucks to haul this plunder back to their store. In many cases, they purchased these goods from wholesalers because of the large selection.

How to buy from a Carpet Wholesaler

If you plan to buy carpet from a wholesaler, try shopping in your own hometown first. Identify a style and manufacturer that you like and comparison shop for price. Once you get all the pertinent information, enter the information into our price checker "Request Form" and our carpet wholesaler partners will provide a carpet price comparison. The submit button will email your request to all the wholesalers who participate in this forum. They will prepare a quote and send via return email a price quote. Evaluate the price difference and make the decision whether it is worth the price difference.

If the price difference is worth it, place an order with the wholesaler, using a credit card. This gives you specific legal rights. Contact your card issuer for the details. In the past, I have had no trouble reversing charges on credit card purchases when expectations were unfulfilled.

Next, check our links under carpet installation to find a carpet installer. If one is not available in your area, ask the carpet wholesaler if he can recommend one. All Dalton Carpet wholesalers subscriber to a National Network of certified carpet installers.

If you decide to purchase carpet from a wholesaler, the seller will find the best shipping rate based on contracts they have established with common carriers. In some areas of the country this can be as little as $.35 a yard. While freight charges have escalated recently, your local carpet retailer pays these same rates to ship carpet from Dalton GA to their showroom.

If you are still unsure about buying carpet online or over the phone, consider using the Carpet Price Quote function to establish whether it is worth a family trip to Dalton. See Rock City, Ruby Falls, and visit nearby Chattanooga while you're here and visit the showrooms of these wholesalers. This way you also can inspect any irregular goods that may be available and even save substantially more. In many cases, we have been told that the difference in price paid for the family trip and vacation and left additional pocket money. Most wholesalers are open Monday through Friday 8:00 to 5:00 or 6:00.

Either way, the good news is you'll probably save money.

Did you know?

Buying carpet online can save you money and most online discount carpet wholesalers can help you find a local carpet installer, who is properly trained and certified. Many Dalton, Georgia discount carpet wholesalers are more knowledgeable about carpet construction and performance because they are based in the carpet manufacturer hub.

Did you know?

Buying carpet online can save you money and most online discount carpet wholesalers can help you find a local carpet installer, who is properly trained and certified. Many Dalton, Georgia discount carpet wholesalers are more knowledgeable about carpet construction and performance because they are based in the carpet manufacturer hub.

About the Author
Michael Hilton was the original creator of Carpet Buyers Handbook. Having owned and operated a carpet wholesale company, Hilton has a vast knowledge about all-things carpet related as well as other types of flooring.

Other Helpful Links
Buying Carpet Wholesale
Dalton Carpet Outlets
Carpet Price Quote
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