Its been a dreadful few months for the glazing industry's big players. Namely Anglian, Everest & Safestyle.
Everest went bust yet again on June 20th after failing to sell enough windows to cover costs. I can't imagine how many overpriced frames you need to sell to pay for TV advertising, new vans, salesmen commissions etc. Probably a lot.
Rival firm Anglian Home Improvements have been closed since early March and still haven't opened up again. Maybe they never will?
Safestyle aren't breaking any sales records either with dismal sales of 40 million pounds last year, with an average frame price of around £620! (Another great reason to avoid!). This seemingly decent turnover resulted in a 14 million pound loss for the glazing giant who reported being unable to recover marketing costs.
Why? Simple, the three biggest glazing companies are not actually Glazing companies.
Let me say that again. The three biggest glazing companies are not actually Glazing companies.
What do i mean?
The three businesses all use an outdated 90's sales model called "Direct marketing". This means that they recruit the vast majority of their customers by knocking on doors or telephone cold-calling you at home. Usually just when the tea is ready!
This means that they are simply a marketing company who just happen to sell double glazing.
Why is this a problem?
Apart from being annoying, this type of company is grossly expensive to run, burning through cash, with the end customer (you) paying for it all. Most door to door canvassers are self employed individuals who are paid on a commission-only basis. An average rate would be £50-£70 per appointment made. This is the first cost picked up by the customer.
Next, whoever knocked on your door to make the appointment will have a team manager. This individual will again be commission based, usually with a bonus depending on the volume of business generated by their team. Maybe another £50-£70 per appointment made. We're up to maybe £120 cost to the customer before the salesman even gets on your couch!
Next cost to be borne by you, the customer, is the Sales Commission. This is paid directly to whoever is sat on your couch and varies between companies. When i was selling for Anglian, commission was usually 10% of the Net amount of the contract.
So if i sold you a window for £1920 (yes, really), take off the VAT, makes it £1600. 10% of £1600 is £160.
What are we up to now? £280. Okay, now add the actual cost of the average window, say £200, and we're up to around £480 for just one little window.
But that's not all!
You still have to pay a survey fee. This is usually an "admin fee" of around £150, making a grand total of £630 on average. For one poxy plastic window. Muliply this figure by however many windows you have and you get an idea of costs from the big companies. Then add a few more thousand if you want Doors!
This is why you should avoid bigger companies and buy local. This helps support small businesses and helps avoid you having your eyes take out by a greedy company.
Or you could try www.srpglazing.co.uk and avoid crazy prices.