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Old 10-12-2010, 08:29 PM   #1
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Rta Cabinets


The last 4 years I have been installing kitchen and bath cabinets for a few investors and the with the harsh economy everyone is looking to save some money. I have went from doing custom built to store bought and for the past 2 years flat pack cabinets. It is going ok but, i am looking for another cabinet supplier I do not have a showroom but i could give some one a good bit of business.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:00 PM   #2
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Re: Rta Cabinets


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Originally Posted by D Messina Renov View Post
The last 4 years I have been installing kitchen and bath cabinets for a few investors and the with the harsh economy everyone is looking to save some money. I have went from doing custom built to store bought and for the past 2 years flat pack cabinets. It is going ok but, i am looking for another cabinet supplier I do not have a showroom but i could give some one a good bit of business.
D Messina you do need another supplier.....and you need one who makes their product in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Pizz on that RTA crap. They are not only junk but they are infested with such a high content of formaldehyde and sulfur that you can get sick from exposure. Children exposed to formaldehyde are at great risk of cancer at worse and asthma at best. Other glues and resins used in the manufacter of Chinese brand cabinets are banned in the USA but permitted to be imported.

I can go on and on about those China made RTAs or KDs or flatpack or whatever they want to call them but that's not what you were asking. Without a showroom no manufacturer will give you an exclusive dealer. Your better off making a relationship with a local small cabinet shop in your area. A good small store is buying for about 25 cents on a dollar and should be marking up minimally for you as a regular customer. Don't ever buy from the big box stores, they charge full list price or MSRP. That is rape, highway robbery but they get away with it every day because consumers are not educated,

Next select a product....good luck. You can attend the kitchen & bath convention where you will find almost every brand under one roof. You are sure to find one that meets your criteria. Cheap but good brands? Quality Cabinets, Brandom, Armstrong, to name a few. Some of the mid grade stock brands have a builders grade very inexpensive line. My favorite is Merillat Essentials, I currently carry Legacy Advantage which is very inexpensive. We put them in hundreds of apartments as well as low end new homes.

The health risks associated with carrying that cheap China junk is just not worth it. These are quite new in our builder/remodeler markets so we don't know everything yet but we do know these things will delaminate in 5 years or less and will be falling off the walls creating one of the largest construction defect litigation this country has ever seen.

Hope I helped to some degree.

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Old 11-02-2010, 03:52 AM   #3
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Re: Rta Cabinets


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Originally Posted by D Messina Renov View Post
The last 4 years I have been installing kitchen and bath cabinets for a few investors and the with the harsh economy everyone is looking to save some money. I have went from doing custom built to store bought and for the past 2 years flat pack cabinets. It is going ok but, i am looking for another cabinet supplier I do not have a showroom but i could give some one a good bit of business.
Hi,Messina. Yes, your thought is definitely make sense. Please find my profile in the introduction sector of this forum. Why not think about buy them directly from China? First of all, RTA cabinet is economic for both home owners and contractors. As for the quality, all of the cabinets I'm dealing is good E1 degree plywood as carcass and solid wood door (or MDF VENEERED according to your need), totally meet the environmental regulation. Most of these are made of Birch. Now I am cooperate with dealers and contractors in Miami and LA. Look forward to cooperate with you and I believe I can bring promotion to your business.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:40 AM   #4
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Re: Rta Cabinets


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Why not think about buy them directly from China?
Because a vast majority of what China sends to the US is crap. Unknown materials, over packaging, terrible regulation, almost slave-like labor....

I could go on but bottom line, China has become synonymous with cheap and possibly dangerous imports. No thanks.
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:46 AM   #5
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Re: Rta Cabinets


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Hi,Messina. Yes, your thought is definitely make sense. Please find my profile in the introduction sector of this forum. Why not think about buy them directly from China? First of all, RTA cabinet is economic for both home owners and contractors. As for the quality, all of the cabinets I'm dealing is good E1 degree plywood as carcass and solid wood door (or MDF VENEERED according to your need), totally meet the environmental regulation. Most of these are made of Birch. Now I am cooperate with dealers and contractors in Miami and LA. Look forward to cooperate with you and I believe I can bring promotion to your business.
RTA is economic? For who? The Chinese? No thanks man, my health is much too important to me then to expose my immune system to all that formaldehyde and sulfur. The sulfur content is dissolving copper wiring in the walls and the formaldehyde is causing asthma in children and adults alike. For what? So you can offer a whole cherry wood kitchen for $895?
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:20 AM   #6
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Hey, Angus thanks for sharing your view for made in China. I know lots of people still held preconception like what you thought. But I need to say things is changing, that has became a stereotype and chinese manufacturers are moving forward and get progress now. They are trying to improve the quality and meet trade standards, national standards in US and improve the worker's treatment. I know some events still left negative impression on people, especially embellished by major medias. But we all should be open minded to permit people make progress.

Hi, Jimmy. We all care for our health which is much more important than money. But I don't think there's big difference between RTA or custom in main material. Could you guarantee all raw material you used are made in US or Canada? Unfortunately formaldehyde is a necessary additive in the glue used to make all the man made board. But firstly formaldehyde will not be released and that would not be problem if only proper techniques applied and edge well sealed. Secondly, Chinese people care for their immune system and manufacturers are already take measures to address this issue. For example, there's manufacturer invented a kind of manmade borad made of straw and MDI as adhesives which totally contain no formaldehyde. By the way, some manufacturers who I know export to CA get CARB certificate.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:23 AM   #7
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Re: Rta Cabinets


Look for a Merilat distributor in your area. Different distributors have different prices for the same stuff. I always did all the work, measured, put the order together, faxed it to him, he did nothing except fax the order on to Merilat. Working with that distributor gave me an additional 25% off list.

Merilat makes 3 (i think) quality lines with a large variety of styles and finishes in each line. They have multiple manufacturing plants throughout the country.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:54 AM   #8
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Try BDL Mill out of salt lake, Utah. I am not sure if they are still in business or not, but back around 2007 a business acqaintance of mine was into doing apartments/condo conversions etc, and he used their BDL (I believe) this acronym stands for "Break Down Line" of cabinets. Basically they were flat pack, and all he did was build the box. At the time I remember they had about 4-6 wood specie to choose.

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Old 11-02-2010, 12:32 PM   #9
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Look for a Merilat distributor in your area. Different distributors have different prices for the same stuff. I always did all the work, measured, put the order together, faxed it to him, he did nothing except fax the order on to Merilat. Working with that distributor gave me an additional 25% off list.

Merilat makes 3 (i think) quality lines with a large variety of styles and finishes in each line. They have multiple manufacturing plants throughout the country.
All true, everything you say and much more that you failed to mention. That 3 is actually 5 and when combined with all Masco owned companies that 3 you mention becomes about 23 lines.

Oh and I notice you are from NM which means you even have a plant just east of you in Los Lunas.
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:51 PM   #10
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Re: Rta Cabinets


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Hi, Jimmy. We all care for our health which is much more important than money. But I don't think there's big difference between RTA or custom in main material. Could you guarantee all raw material you used are made in US or Canada? Unfortunately formaldehyde is a necessary additive in the glue used to make all the man made board. But firstly formaldehyde will not be released and that would not be problem if only proper techniques applied and edge well sealed. Secondly, Chinese people care for their immune system and manufacturers are already take measures to address this issue. For example, there's manufacturer invented a kind of manmade borad made of straw and MDI as adhesives which totally contain no formaldehyde. By the way, some manufacturers who I know export to CA get CARB certificate.
Paul it does not matter if the Chinese people care about their health. Your govt tells them what they can and can't do and what they can and can't worry about. And what they are going to get paid for doing so.

Almost all locally made major cabinet manufactures here bend over backwards to have their product certified by KCMA and more and more do the same thing to have their product certified green by the KCMA. Both prestigious awards allow the cabinet manufacturer to place both these KCMA stickers inside every single door that ever leaves the factory. An educated cabinet consumer would never ever ever buy a cabinet without a KCMA sticker.

Formaldehyde. Way way back in high school science 101 we learned that formaldehyde dissolves glue if the quantity is great enough. China cabinets have been on our market for too short of time to see what is really going to happen but most agree once the glue in the plywood plys start dissolving there is going to be hell to pay.

Paul: Here is the cold hard truth.

The ingredients found in China cabinets are illegal for American manufacturers to use because they are banned by the EPA and violates the CARE initiative. Chinese have no environmental restrictions or health organizations like we have here. Yet we allow those products to be imported here without question. Children exposed to formaldehyde are at great risk of cancer at worse and asthma at best. Other glues and resins used in the manufacturer of Chinese brand cabinets are also banned in the USA but permitted to be imported. This includes other products like Chinese made drywall which also have thousands of documented cases of families getting sick and even several deaths.

Paul I sincerely ask you respond to the following. Help us understand.

Because China steals the trees due to a bureaucratic disaster created in a treaty from back in the 1940s, they can afford to sell their product so cheap. China owns a large forest inside of Russia called Suifenhe which they owned since the 1940s. All the outgoing trains leave Suifenhe with just one valuable commodity.... wood, and lots of it. No machinery is used. 6 Chinese men each carry a log to the train to ship to a China mill. In the factories they have huge CNC machines that cut out all the components that make up the various sized cabinet boxes. This and the labor paid to Chinese peasants who make these parts is laughable and allows China to sell cabinets so very cheap.

Thanks my friend......
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:43 AM   #11
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Re: Rta Cabinets


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Because China steals the trees due to a bureaucratic disaster created in a treaty from back in the 1940s, they can afford to sell their product so cheap. China owns a large forest inside of Russia called Suifenhe which they owned since the 1940s. All the outgoing trains leave Suifenhe with just one valuable commodity.... wood, and lots of it. No machinery is used. 6 Chinese men each carry a log to the train to ship to a China mill. In the factories they have huge CNC machines that cut out all the components that make up the various sized cabinet boxes. This and the labor paid to Chinese peasants who make these parts is laughable and allows China to sell cabinets so very cheap.

Thanks my friend......
Hi, Jimmy. I'd glad to respond you if this can help you understanding to any extent, though is seems a little deviated from the original subject of this post. Suifenhe is a Chinese city not somewhere inside Russia, just google it. Yes, many woods used by Chinese manufacturer is imported from Russia but it can't be called steal but just normal allocation of resource through international trade. I am not sure what 1940s treaty you're talking about is. And yes the low cost of workers make up part reason that Chinese commonity is relatively cheaper but this situation is changing too. Now many manufacturer is encountering big trouble in recruiting enough larbor due to the rising cost and increasing chance for labours.

I agree a KCMA certificated cabinet is good enough and it carry a gurantee to it's quality. But even though we can't draw a conclusion that anyone without KCMA sticker is a crap. After all KCMA is an association of US. A Chinese manufacturer may produce pretty good cabinet but he may even not know this certificate.

And about formaldehyde problem. I'm curious do your manufactuers use man-made board like plywood or particle board when they make the carcass or box of a cabinet? How do they handle this problem according to you environmental regulation?
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:35 PM   #12
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Re: Rta Cabinets


Paul, no doubt we need a very inexpensive cabinet box for our budget customers. I'm not sure of the condition of your economy but here we are in a pretty deep depression. Many here blame the majority of the condition of the economy on a massive amount of our jobs going overseas. But that's not what I want to talk about now.

First I will answer your particle board carcass question. Today's generation of PB is called furniture particle board. It is much much more able to recover from getting wet then the old PB. Furniture PB is not the 16 PSI that those round "decorator tables" that you buy from WalMart are made of. That type of partical board DOES fall apart almost instantly when exposed to water. Furniture board/industrial grade partical board is made from superior glues and resins and also uses much higher pressures (45 PSI) to set it. And it's more environmentally safe.

The following are a few more issues I have with Chinese cabinets. When the consumer buys a budget cabinet it should be understood that quality suffers but some of these issues are hard for me to swallow:

Do not feel like I am picking on you, I sincerely ask you comment on the following)

1.. The drawer guides are stamped a light gauge white metal, not steel and are of such low quality that it is common to see the drawer collapse under just 15 pounds. Any American cabinet company uses Blum or Grass guides and their drawers are rated at 75 to 125 pounds.

2.. They do not use hardening agents in their clear coat. Hardening agents also allow the finish to dry instantly preventing dust the chance to settle on the finish. You could scratch their doors with your finger nail. The finish almost looks like the cabinets were used. The finish appears dull and thin (this is a common complaint by customers who have looked at your product)

3.. You will never ever see a warranty on a Chinese cabinet. Little known to the consumer, say you scratch a door 3 months after your new kitchen is installed, with most domestic manufactures you can call up your cabinet supplier and order just the replacement door you need. With Chinese suppliers you have to reorder THE ENTIRE CABINET!! Since these products are ordered by the shipping container, a single part can not be ordered. If you could it might take 6 to 9 months.

I also want you to know that I ain't picking on just Chinese cabinets. I do not like Italian or German made either. The most expensive cabinet in the world is Pogganpohl and they are ugly as hell. To be fair though, that part of the world hates our framed cabinets and we hate their frameless for the most part.

Good day to you my friend........
Sorry for the length but I have much to say on the subject
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:26 PM   #13
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Re: Rta Cabinets


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Could you guarantee all raw material you used are made in US or Canada?
I guarantee my cabinet material is not only is made in the US, but the species are derived from the US. I will purchase material from other countries, but NEVER from China.

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Unfortunately formaldehyde is a necessary additive in the glue used to make all the man made board.
Fortunately for the rest of the world, you are wrong. Columbia Forest Products, North America's largest manufacturer of hardwood plywood and hardwood veneer products, uses Pure Bond; a formaldehyde free adhesive.

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Secondly, Chinese people care for their immune system and manufacturers are already take measures to address this issue.
Did they add more melamine to the infant formula?

You guys made your own bed. The purest definition of cheap is Chinese. Cheap, underhanded, conniving, deceptive, dishonest. And the more that you guys try to say you're not, the less credibility you have...if that is possible.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:05 AM   #14
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Re: Rta Cabinets


Hi, Jimmy. Not picking, I believe it's a rational discussion between us.

1, drawer guides. The guides we are using have a load-carrying capacity range from 30KG~35KG(66lb~77lb). The hardware supplier provide various choices usually, the most light gauge I know is 15KG(33 pounds) but we never use that. Collapse at 15 pounds, I can only say it's junk. In earlier period of Chinese manufacturer beginning to do American cabinet and when buyer's requirement is not clear and price squeezed too hard, it happens. But nowadays any responsible manufacturer won't use poor guide though they won't use BLUM either.

2, finish. I know that kind you've mentioned. That's so call "NC" paint here. Likewise it more used in earlier years. Now Chinese manufacturers mainly use "AC" paint or use" PU" as base coating plus NC as face coating as a improvement to pure NC. AC contains hardening agents and shows satisfactory hardness and very scratch resistant. PU is kind of like AC in performance. In my opinion AC is a little better. We use AC.

3, part replacement. I don't know how other Chinese suppliers operated but we always accept part order not only doors but also drawer face, or side panel or back panel, etc. The ordered part will be deliver along with next container or LCL if it's urgent. But that will never take 6~9 month (I think this supplier has problem in production capacity and effected delievery time). Actually I feel surprising why shipping container can't load single part.

By the way, in fact I know there's dealers in US sale framless cabinets which has a thicker side panel.(usually 3/4 inch)

Thanks and regards.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:55 AM   #15
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I guarantee my cabinet material is not only is made in the US, but the species are derived from the US. I will purchase material from other countries, but NEVER from China.
OK, whatever, if only that's best choice for you.

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Fortunately for the rest of the world, you are wrong. Columbia Forest Products, North America's largest manufacturer of hardwood plywood and hardwood veneer products, uses Pure Bond; a formaldehyde free adhesive.
Thanks, I've learned something from you. That's very encouraging news. Wow, seems totally formaldehyde free time looms ahead. I also learned a news that Smith&fong is developing a soy-based adhesive. But as Columbia Forest Products' exclusive innovation I doubt the scope it can be used currently.

Quote:
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Did they add more melamine to the infant formula?

You guys made your own bed. The purest definition of cheap is Chinese. Cheap, underhanded, conniving, deceptive, dishonest. And the more that you guys try to say you're not, the less credibility you have...if that is possible.
What can I say to this. Well. When you are just cursing and complaing, we progress, even if slow. Maybe you should look more on bright side then you could get more calm and happiness to your mind.

Thanks and regards,
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:11 PM   #16
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Re: Rta Cabinets


In my area, Northern CA around SF, Oakland, San Jose, you'll find a RTA cabinet store every corners you turn.

Banners & advertisements are all over the place. Customers are used to it (~$3,000-$10,000/10x10 mable or cherry). In my case, they specifically ask for it (low price). What can you do?

The only things I think I can do are probably:
- Look for decent enough lines with attractive colors (in RTA) from a long-time players (I know at least 2 companies around here have been in RTA manufacturing for over 10 years). Offer these along side with some other US made higher end lines to give them options.
- Add custom lines for more options

Nhi
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:57 AM   #17
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In my area, Northern CA around SF, Oakland, San Jose, you'll find a RTA cabinet store every corners you turn.

Banners & advertisements are all over the place. Customers are used to it (~$3,000-$10,000/10x10 mable or cherry). In my case, they specifically ask for it (low price). What can you do?

The only things I think I can do are probably:
- Look for decent enough lines with attractive colors (in RTA) from a long-time players (I know at least 2 companies around here have been in RTA manufacturing for over 10 years). Offer these along side with some other US made higher end lines to give them options.
- Add custom lines for more options

Nhi
I have a question. How do you evaluate the cost of RTA cabinet? For the same level, how much RTA can save your money or not comparing to custom cabinet? What do you think of the labor cost?
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:44 AM   #18
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Re: Rta Cabinets


Had someone rave about these "flat" packaged cabinets a couple years ago. They looked great and the price was great so on and so on.

Finally found someone who buys them and assembles them then sells them.

I checked them out, they did look ok. But after looking them over and over I couldn't figure how the wall cabinet was going to keep the dishes from falling out the bottom within a few months.

cheep cheep the birdie said.

As mentioned there are alot of alternatives for less expensive cabinets. But these things well............
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Old 11-14-2010, 01:24 PM   #19
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Re: Rta Cabinets


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I have a question. How do you evaluate the cost of RTA cabinet? For the same level, how much RTA can save your money or not comparing to custom cabinet? What do you think of the labor cost?
Lets see now. Lets pick a very common size box.
W3030 in a very high quality brand I carry. My cost is about $80. This box lists for $400 which what is the average uneducated consumer would pay if they bought it in the big box stores. I sell it for $160. I pay my Installer $20 to put install it. So my cost is $100.

I buy a W3030 in RTA for $50 (appears to be cheaper) from a middle man because I don't have the facilities to buy shipping containers full of flat packed cabinet pieces for $10,000 each so I can't be a dealer. This means I am paying my supplier $50 that he bought for $25. He pays the rent on his warehouse to store these things. I don't. I would still have to pay my Installer $20 to install this box as well as $20 to assemble it.

This makes my cost about $90 for a W3030. This appears to be $10 cheaper then using a fully assembled high quality box ready to hang on the wall.

The most important deciding factor?
I can offer a manufacturers warranty for life. Forever. RTA can not.
I can offer a product which is certified by KCMA. RTA can not.
I can offer a product certified green by KCMA. RTA can not
( KCMA is like a consumer reports watchdog group of the cabinet industry for those not familiar)
I can offer color and quality consistency from box one to box one million. RTA can not and will not.

I can offer over 200 color choices, 5 wood species and over 100 door/drawer profiles. RTA can not, maybe like 5 tops?
I can offer a furniture finish of the highest quality. RTA can not.
I can offer unlimited box sizes and box options. RTA can not.
I can offer the highest quality materials used in the construction of my boxes. RTA does not.

If a customer breaks a door they can call me and have their warranty part in 2 weeks. An RTA has no warranty and if the customer wanted to pay for it they would have to buy the entire cabinet and wait 9 months for it.

Installers want nothing to do with RTA. Their opinions of this product are the same or more dramatic as the Designers who lay them out.

Another big issue is the majority of people in this part of the world DO NOT like frameless cabinets just like other parts of the world do not like framed. Personally if the trend and taste started turning towards frameless cabinets here I would give up my 30 years in this biz and go into farming. That is how much I dislike frameless cabinets.

The most important thing of all? I do my part in keeping people in America employed and able to feed their families. When people here buy something anything from foreign lands they are putting Americans out of work to save a few dollars. How sad is that.....
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:47 PM   #20
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Re: Rta Cabinets


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Cabinet View Post
Lets see now. Lets pick a very common size box.
W3030 in a very high quality brand I carry. My cost is about $80. This box lists for $400 which what is the average uneducated consumer would pay if they bought it in the big box stores. I sell it for $160. I pay my Installer $20 to put install it. So my cost is $100.

I buy a W3030 in RTA for $50 (appears to be cheaper) from a middle man because I don't have the facilities to buy shipping containers full of flat packed cabinet pieces for $10,000 each so I can't be a dealer. This means I am paying my supplier $50 that he bought for $25. He pays the rent on his warehouse to store these things. I don't. I would still have to pay my Installer $20 to install this box as well as $20 to assemble it.

This makes my cost about $90 for a W3030. This appears to be $10 cheaper then using a fully assembled high quality box ready to hang on the wall.

The most important deciding factor?
I can offer a manufacturers warranty for life. Forever. RTA can not.
I can offer a product which is certified by KCMA. RTA can not.
I can offer a product certified green by KCMA. RTA can not
( KCMA is like a consumer reports watchdog group of the cabinet industry for those not familiar)
I can offer color and quality consistency from box one to box one million. RTA can not and will not.

I can offer over 200 color choices, 5 wood species and over 100 door/drawer profiles. RTA can not, maybe like 5 tops?
I can offer a furniture finish of the highest quality. RTA can not.
I can offer unlimited box sizes and box options. RTA can not.
I can offer the highest quality materials used in the construction of my boxes. RTA does not.

If a customer breaks a door they can call me and have their warranty part in 2 weeks. An RTA has no warranty and if the customer wanted to pay for it they would have to buy the entire cabinet and wait 9 months for it.

Installers want nothing to do with RTA. Their opinions of this product are the same or more dramatic as the Designers who lay them out.

Another big issue is the majority of people in this part of the world DO NOT like frameless cabinets just like other parts of the world do not like framed. Personally if the trend and taste started turning towards frameless cabinets here I would give up my 30 years in this biz and go into farming. That is how much I dislike frameless cabinets.

The most important thing of all? I do my part in keeping people in America employed and able to feed their families. When people here buy something anything from foreign lands they are putting Americans out of work to save a few dollars. How sad is that.....
Well.oh... so... May I offer you my profound apology for all the great harm that RTA cabinets have done to American people? Oh, God, it's hurting so deep.

I know American people like framed cabinets but please be noted that there is not an intrinsic and necessary connection between "RTA" and "frameless". Actually all the cabinets we have here are all framed.

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