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Thinking About Buying New Carpet From Lowe's, 

Home Depot, Empire Today or Costco?

By Alan Fletcher - 30-Year Carpet Expert and Consumer Advocate

Here's what you might want to know BEFORE you write the check...


The last time I checked, all four of these National Carpet Retailers use OTHER companies to help facilitate their carpet sales, in-home measuring and/or sub-contracted installation services. That means if you ever have a carpet problem or complaint, you may have a hard time knowing what to do,  who to call or find someone, anyone willing to take responsibility for making things right for you. 


Did you know?

  • Home Depot and Lowe's contract out their in-home measuring and installation services to other privately held companies?

  • Empire Today REQUIRES their salespeople form their own corporation so they can be totally independent sales contractors?

  • Costco refers all their members to "Custom Decorators" a privately held company to handle all their in-home carpet sales, measuring & installations?


What does this all mean to YOU the homeowner? With so many fingers in the pie it is not too hard to figure out that you might end up paying way too much for your new carpet. These four big national retailers take a large chunk of the profit right off the top and then let all these other privately held corporations and independent contractors have a shot at taking some money from you too. From costly measuring fees to needless padding upgrades, from carpet removal and hefty disposal fees to costly installation add-ons. There are plenty of ways they will try to get you to dig deeper and cough up more and more money before it's all said and done. 


The Lure of a Great Sounding Deal...

  • Get Three Rooms for the Price of One!

  • Get 60% OFF New Carpet

  • Free Basic Installation!

  • Free Padding!

  • Low Price Guarantee!


Does this Sound familiar? Get out your magnifying glass so you can read all the fine print on these great sounding offers. These great sounding deals are designed to attract unsuspecting homeowners who would like to save money but don't know how to go about it. Unfortunately, these four massive conglomerates are big players who have only one thing in mind: Making Big Money. Their board of directors must satisfy their stockholders or risk being replaced or fired, and the stockholders only care about one thing... Making big profits from your purchase!


Both Lowe's and Home Depot have been working hard to lure-in unsuspecting homeowners by giving away free "basic carpet installation". They make up a portion of this free installation cost with profits from the carpet and padding charges, and then they increase the charges for anything and everything else that is considered beyond their limited definition of a "basic" installation. 


Their so-called "free" carpet installation you saw on a television advertisement may not end up being totally free once their subcontracted installers get a good look at your home. It's highly likely there will be numerous extra fees & charges tacked-on to your final bill. Final bill? Yes, while they do require that you pay for the whole carpet job in full before they will place your carpet order, the final bill may come on the day of installation when they (the installers) determine that your job requires charges for floor prep, haul away, transitions, upholstery work, flight of stairs, additional labor???, and/or any materials or services that may be deemed beyond their limited definition of a "Basic" carpet installation. This can easily add up to hundreds in extra fees and charges that you were unprepared for! Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!




Home Depot's Low Price Guarantee? They say they will beat out anyone with a lower price by 10%, but according to the fine print, that's only on identical in-stock items. That's virtually impossible to substantiate because they use private labels on all their carpet samples. They change the name of their carpet styles and colors to make sure you have a difficult time comparison shopping. A low price guarantee sure sounds good until you read the fine print.



The Big Box home improvement warehouses have been charging homeowners a measuring fee just for coming to your home and sizing you up. From what I have been told, the licensed & certified measuring specialists they contract with are required to measure your home using a special method. Does that mean they tack on an extra 5, 10 or 15% of labor and materials to the total? I'm not exactly sure, but basically they want to make darn sure there is plenty of carpet to work with so they don't run short of carpet during installation. That might translate into you paying for a lot more carpet and pad then you might actually need. Just an extra 10 yards of material could easily add $250 to the total cost of your job. Ouch!


Empire Today likes to attract customers by airing repetitive TV ads featuring great sounding sales and offering next day installation. If you call them, they will send a sales professional to your home who will show you samples and try to "close the sale" on the spot. Are you getting a fair & square deal? How long will these flooring products last in your home based on your level of foot traffic? These are just two critical questions from many that you need solid answers to before you should commit yourself to buying from any flooring retailer. My advice? Never buy any flooring product without taking time to comparison shop and be sure to get more than one estimate. 


They use private labels on their products and use independent contractors to install their products. If you have a complaint, you have to deal with the independent contractors to get a remedy. Have a Carpet defect? You may have to contact the carpet manufacturer. Have an installation problem? You may have to contact the carpet installer directly.


Costco members walk by a small carpet display rack and can pick up a brochure. (Lately they have been taking the carpet samples down) See the photo at the top of this page? If you grab their free brochure you will be provided with a phone number to call to start your in-home Carpet Consultation Process. A well-trained sales professional will bring samples to your home and be happy to write up your order and arrange for installation. They do carry good quality carpet, but be prepared for sticker shock when you see what the total cost will be. Again, you can't comparison shop easily because they change the carpet style names and colors to thwart you. 


I've spent over 30-years in the carpet business and my father was a carpet mill rep for 35 years. If you are in the market for new carpet or flooring of any kind, I think you should consider buying from one of the dealers that I have listed in my Preferred Carpet Dealer Directory. It's taken me years to locate, investigate and verify all these locally owned and family run carpet dealers and I think they are the best of the best in America.


I suggest you visit several flooring retailers near you and then visit the carpet store that I recommend. You can decide for yourself who to buy from. When it's all said and done, I think you will agree that my preferred carpet dealers are the best! You'll be treated with respect, get a fair and square deal, quality installation, and great service before, during and after the sale. See who I recommend near you! Visit Alan's List of Recommended Carpet Dealers  


(don't forget to print up my free coupon so you can get up to $100 off new carpet!)

Should I buy New Carpet from Lowe's or Home Depot?


Common Consumer Carpet Problems & Complaints


Alan's List of Recommended Carpet Dealers




What are Homeowners saying about my 

Complete Carpet Buying Guide? 


  • Thanks for the great info in your ebook. I read it, took good notes, and headed for the carpet stores. – Ken 

  • We purchased your online book, lots of good advice!. – Susan

  • Your ebook without a doubt saved me hundreds of dollars, let alone not allowing me to buy a cheap made carpet. I found out, without your ebook, you more or less go carpet shopping and are at the mercy of the carpet salespeople selling you what they want to sell you rather than them selling you what you want to buy. Thanks a million, or should I say "hundreds" - Ken Palmer 

  • I found your website this a.m. and I'm very happy that there are still good folks out there that is as helpful as you.  Thank you!  - Donna 

  • Thank you for all the great information.  – Sarah 

  • Your book just saved me!  I was pressuring my wife to buy Berber carpet for our family of 4 (and growing). She asked me to research it and I found your ebook.  What a great help it is! – Victor 

  • I bought your very helpful ebook last year and am finally getting around to replacing my carpet. – Don 

  • Thank you for your advice on buying carpeting.  Your ebook has helped me deal with the overwhelming choices. - Ben 

  • I purchased your book a few months ago and am glad I did. Thanks for your insights and advice. – Sarah 

  • I purchased your Carpet Buying Guide a couple of months ago and really learned a great deal from it. – Sharon

Make yourself a cup of hot tea or cocoa, sit down in front of your computer and relax. It's incredible how much you will learn about buying carpet from an hour or so of easy reading. 


Consumers email me to brag about how much money they have saved, and how they laughed at sly carpet salespeople! The closely-guarded insider tips, tricks and secrets I reveal will make your carpet shopping experience easy, fun & enjoyable!


Don’t take chances with this costly home improvement, download my Carpet Buying Guide and become one of the thousands of happy homeowners who have already benefited from it! Your satisfaction is guaranteed or your money back. 


Don't let a mere $14.95 stop you from having a successful carpet shopping experience! 












Order Alan's Carpet Buying Guide!

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Easy PDF Format - 136 pages - Full Glossary & Index, Read Print & Save

How to Choose Wisely - Save money - Avoid Scams!


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Own A Kindle?  Order Kindle Version at preferred carpet dealer directory Alan's Preferred Carpet Dealer Directory

It's getting harder every day to find honest & reputable Carpet Dealers to recommend to my readers! That's why, since 2008, I have been building my own special list of hand-picked carpet dealers who have passed my requirements and provide first-class customer service; are locally owned; give free estimates;  have knowledgeable sales staff; and use qualified installers. Don't take chances... See who I recommend near you!

Alan's Recommended Carpet Dealers Visit for more free Carpet information.  

Best and Worst Places to Buy Carpet  

Best Vacuums    How Often Should I Vacuum?   #CarpetProfessor   #AbcCarpets

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