Hints for Smart Shoppers Published on: July 22nd, 2003

Confusion is probably the state of mind of most home improvement shoppers. Between fast talking salesmen and manufacturer statistic sheets, people can lose sight of the most valuable shopping asset — common sense. Following are six tips for home improvements that require nothing more than old-fashioned horse sense!

1. Most people think it’s acceptable to buy home improvements from a person they don’t entirely trust because they believe that all salesmen are alike. That is a big mistake. Never buy anything from anyone you don’t trust and feel 100 percent comfortable with. Trust your instincts!

2. Sometimes, what sounds good in description or looks great in pictures turns out to be a total disappointment. Never sign a contract without seeing the product first and never be afraid to tell a salesman just that. An honest person would understand your apprehension.

3. A company’s record says it all. With one phone call, find out all that you need to know from Consumer Affairs or the Better Business Bureau. Don’t call a company unless they are in good standing with both agencies. Check out a company within three days from signing a contact so as not to forfeit the right to cancel.

4. Never buy a product or improvement from a person or company that does not work out of a showroom, factory or professional storefront. Those working out of a house, truck or post office box can disappear into thin air.

5. Before signing a contract, make a list of everything you expect in the job and everything the salesperson promised. Compare this list with the contact to be sure each item is clearly written. Don’t hesitate to have the salesman add what is missing.

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