Friday, 22 January 2010

It's Friday!!!!

The end of another week - and do I need the weekend to recover!

I'm sitting here almost falling onto my keyboard, even though there is another couple of hours to go. I've drunk enough coffee to keep a student going through the night and it's not making a difference so I've decided that it may be best to stop now :)

Why am I tired? Because of stupid kitchen salesmen...

We had planned last year to think about building an extension to the house this year - there are a few options and we though it best to do all of them in one go, expensive in the short term, cheaper in the long term and we only have the mess to clean up once. I kind of put paid to that idea on December 6th. It seems stupid to add another 60K to the mortgage with the uncertainty that we both have right now. But the kitchen is long past it's used by date and slowly stopping to work. As far as I am concerened *if* we have to sell it's easier with a neutral kitchen with nice appliances than the current blue and yellow kicthen that is dying. And If we don't, well, we need a new kitchen anyway. Not everyone I know agrees with this idea as we are not likely to get the money back but...

I am hoping we stay together and will use the kitchen for years to come, I'm just trying to be sensible with that we spend in case. And if we don't I'd rather lose a couple of K and sell the house than pay mortgage for 12+ months waiting for it to sell becuase the kitchen is broken and 'interesting' colours.

We had a meeting at the first kitchen shop last night. We got there at 7:30 and discussed (for the second time, we had already explained when spending an hour making the appointment what we wanted) our requirements. He then drew out the kitchen on paper, slowly, putting the cabinets in place.

Then went through the appliance list and where we could put it. Then the worktop list.

At this point it was 9PM and we wanted a figure to take away to think about, but no... Then he went through the cupboards one by one (even though we needed three of one type he insisted on doing it one by one). Then he worked out what the 'retail' cost was, followed by their 'normal' price followed by the 'we have an amazing offer this week' price. At this point (9:35 - the shop is supposed to close at 9) we said that we had enough info, and would think about it.

Then the hard sell started. 'What can I do to make you take it today'. Nothing. We have more appointments and are not going to buy from the first shop. 'But what price would you cosider to be a buy it now price'. I don't know. We have never brought a kitchen before and have no frame of reference. We'll think about it and get back to you.

Then he said he needed to speak to his boss about an evaluation of his perfornamce. I said if you want I can do that by email, but it's late and we have to get up for work in the morning. 'He always shakes the hand of customers before they leave - it'll be 30 seconds I promise.'

After waiting for a couple of mins Mrs Stace and I grabbed our coats, and I went to be polite and say we were going as it was taking too long. I found the sales guy sitting at a table nowhere near his boss. 'He's just working with another couple - he'll be 2 mins'. He can be two mins, but we need to leave now. Suddenly his boss appears. Rather than shake my hand...

'What price can I say to make you sign now'. You can't (repeat what I've already said). 'Not even 1000 euros?' You are not going to do it for one thousand. 'That's my decisison.' Fine, quickly whats the cheapest. '7000.' (A bit more than 1 then...) Nope, I'm not signing today for that. 'If you come back on Saturday it could be more. It could be 14000' Never mind. We'll live with it. '[To the salesman] Hou alle papier, geeft niks aan de mensen' (Keep all paper work do not give them anything to take with them). Brief discussion about the pointless ness of this: They will copy all of our work, they will undercut us by 10 euros and we'll lose a customer. Also that fact that he switched to Dutch and spoke under his breath about the paperwork really annoyed me.

We left at that point. (9:50)

Now, all the good will they had built has been destryoed in the last 20 mins of their time with us. *If* their 7K is the best with the equipment I may go back, but I won't be paying a cent more than 7K as they can obviously make enough money on that to earn their commision, keep the large, expensive salesroom open and keep the company afloat at that price. But the other offers will have to be appaling in order for us to go back I think....

ON a much brighter side... In a couple of hours we are having an office winter BBQ as one of my long serving colleagues has left. He went on Jan 1st, but as everyone was on vacation we postponed the party. Lots og Gluhwijn (mulled wine I think) and meat and hopefully much merriment :)

Have a good weekend,

PS: I've just realised that I have made it past the 6 month mark... Wow, time flies. Lots have changed in the last 6 months... Especiall with how my life is running and what I use the blog for. I think that a name change (for the blog, not me) may be in order...


  1. I feel your pain on the tiredness front, up since 1/2 past 3 and I'm propping up my eyelids with matchsticks. Wish I had a barbie to look forward to at the end of work.

  2. Thankfully I have not been that bad for a few weeks - but I know exactly what you are saying...

    The BBQ was nice, very nice to see my old colleague again as well...

  3. I hope you are not tempted to give that jackass your business. In fact, you should write them to say that you're telling all your friends to stay away as well.

    Reminds me of our efforts to buy a Toyota Sienna in '98. They had none on the lot, yet a manager kept bugging us: What can I do to get you to buy today? Well, how about letting see the car we might buy! Idiots!

  4. To be honest Leslie it depends on the price from the other shops... If they are much cheaper for the same equipment then I do not want to cut my nose off to spite my face.

    I did have fun with a Toyota dealer in the UK a few years back. I had just finished Uni, and wanted an MR2. I went to one dealership where I was just stared at and blown off with 'You can't get a car like that for that price' I was spending 10K which was top book price for the age I was looking for. I was in jeans an t-shirt and only 21 at the time, but they could have taken the time to see if I was serious. I went to another dealership, brought the car, took it to the first dealership, found the salesman and pointed out that the MR2 in his forecourt was the car he said couldn't be brought for my budget. That was fun :)

  5. Assuming the jackasses will give you a proper written estimate, and it's a good one, I would take it around to other shops and see if they would match it. I would be very leery of any business that won't let you have a written estimate, regardless of the price they quote. In the US, contractors and builders are pretty close to used car salesmen in terms of trustworthiness. A slimy bunch.

  6. Thankfully the second place we went to were much better - we said the same thing at the start (ie not buying today, looking for costs and info) and whilst the salesmen looked quite downcast and a little upset when we said it he recovered well and went through everything with us. Looks like he's going to get close to the other shop, and we had a lot more faith in the guy himself (still don't trust him - he's a salesman) but better than the first place.

    (appologies to all salespeople reading this)

  7. > 'What can I do to make you take it today'


    We could have an honest discussion over the breakdown of charges...


    You could tell me the lowest you'll go and we can all save ourselves an hour of twitting about.


    Yes. Sales eh? We had a similar experience when we had a conservatory done. One chap knocked 2k off the price during the first 5 minutes. That didn't help build trust. I hope you get a good deal though.

    > appologies to all salespeople

    Sales are mostly okay, it's marketing people who are truly evil :P

  8. I did like the initial price of 17K dropping to 14K dropping to 11K within a couple of mins (due to this weeks special offer) which then dropped to 7K to try and stop us from leaving...

    Oddly enogh with the second shop, using stone instead of ply for the work surface and Siemens instead of Whirlpool for the equipment their first 'idea' price (ie before we start haggling) was the same as the 'Special offer today' price for next door. Still a joke though that 2K of work surface, + 8K of equipment + unamed cost of cupboards = 11K... (The shop next door wanted full cost of 8K for the cupbaords...)

  9. OMG...what an idiot! And I thought it was much better across the pond.

    Just remember, having been there, done that, and bought the tee, double the price they quote and double the amount of time they say it will take. Having a kitchen remodeled can damn near cause a marriage to blow up. I know!!

    I rather like the name of your blog, Stace!

    Calie xxx

  10. Calie said, "I rather like the name of your blog, Stace!"

    Yes, how could you possibly improve on the title?

  11. Calie: Unfortunately I think it's the same everywhere... I know that in the UK you have the same issue, only the salesmen come to the house rather then in NL where we have to travel to them to be pressured...

    Both: I am not sure what I would change it too - I was just wondering it the title still mactched the content... If it's liked then I guess I'll wait for a while before doing anything rash. (Odd I seem to remember saying the same thing to my parents last night on the phone... Guess what about?)