Have been visiting lots of shops every weekend as our house is getter closer to handover. The weekend before last, we visited around 10 timber flooring shops, and last weekend we visited some light fitting shops and shower screen shops.
One thing worth noting is about a nice timber flooring shop in Auburn, air conditioned, well decorated. When we were there, the sales person show us a long 2M timber board which was bent and twisted and said: this is the kind of bad quality timber from China. He then show us another "good quality" one which we quite like the colour and quality, and he said it's made in Malaysia and the price is $77 per square meter.
The next day we drove past the same shop and went in to ask some further questions about the installation process for timber floors. This time we were served by a different sales person, and again, he showed us that twisted timber from China. But for that same timber which we chose the day before, he said it's made in Indonesia and the price is $66 per square meter. Wow, $10 drop in one day? We felt a bit tricky about this company and left, we noted down the brand name at the back of the timber we chosen.
We later found a huge warehouse with lots of boxes everywhere, no air-conditioning, and a big container with a few guys busy unloading boxes of timber floors. The interesting part is, this company is actually the importer of the timber we chosen as we can see the brand name in every boxes in the warehouse. The price we got is $45 per square meter, even cheaper!
The good thing, at least we clarified about where all these timber came from. The raw material are all from Indonesia, and manufactured in China, not Malaysia of Indonesia as claimed by that Auburn shop.
And about that twisted bad quality timber, the importer is aware of that as it's just a sales trick. He said all timber floors will be nailed and glued to the floor, that kind of twisted thing will never happen. They suspect the shop did this on purpose just to attract customer, even though most of their timber floors are actually manufactured in China...
There you go, same timber, from $77 to $66 to $45, and all from China. There's nothing wrong with things from China and I am not against it. But I do hate those sales that are not honest, charge unnecessary high margins and play all kinds of tricks just to get some extra business.
That's why I keep saying make sure you shop around, ask lots of questions and you would be surprise in how much you could save!