I have carpets at my home and it requires a lot of care and maintenance. I try to avoid spills (which have happened several times before) on my carpet and not allow people walking on it in shoes. I vacuum the carpet almost every week with my Dyson. Since I moved to my apartment in 2002, I have never washed my carpet before. I bought a Hoover vacuum washer, but it never worked. I couldn’t return it because it was more than thirty days after I found the malfunction. I emailed Hoover, but they gave me no feasible or alternative methods to have it repaired, without shelling out half of the cost of a new one.
This year, I decided to pay a third party to wash my carpet. I know it’s generally very expensive. But I have been seeing carpet cleaning promotional ads for $39.95. I thought that was a reasonable price to pay, so I responded to the ads recently. The company that I called took down my information and said that they will schedule an appointment for me.
A few days later, a guy from Tri-State Carpet came to check out my carpet. He took measurements of the carpet area to be serviced, which came out to about 160 square ft. I told him about the promotional ad. He said that the promotional ad is only for basic steaming, which does not really help clean my carpet. He explained to me the different type of cleaning service. My carpet requires much deeper cleaning service, because it was not cleaned for more than a year. I asked him for the prices. Initially, he quoted me $2.00 a square foot, or $320 totally. He said that he will cut me a deal and said that I can have the job done for $300. I told him that’s way too expensive for me. I thought I was only going to spend $40. Then he told me, he was going to cut me a very good deal, $250. It seemed like he just made up numbers in front of me. I was very skeptical at this point. I told him that the price was still out of my budget, and was sending him out. Before he left, he said, “Best price, $200.” I felt like I was the victim of a pushy salesman. I told him I would have to think about it.” He doesn’t want me to think and asked me how much I want to pay. I reiterated that I only wanted to spend $40 for the basic cleaning. He told me the basic cleaning was useless. Then I told him I can’t spend that much. At this point, he was really desperate. He had one foot out the door already and asked me very sternly, “What is your maximum price?” I stepped back a little and uttered, “$100.” He said that’s impossible, and took his last shot at me. He became impatient and said, “$175.” I didn’t agree to it and he left.
First of all, I’m new to this carpet cleaning business, so I have no idea of the pricing. But I can tell from my experience the price range varies greatly. I was offered a price range from $175 – $320, or about an 80% spread. Perhaps the $175 was a great deal, but I couldn’t agree to it when I have no idea about the market pricing.
I remembered a while ago, some guy told me he knew someone in my building could clean my carpet for $75. I called up the guy and he came to look at my carpet. His first offer was $125. I negotiated a bit and we agreed on $100. He did the job on Tuesday and even helped me move furniture out of the way. The carpet looked clean. However, I am not sure if he did a good job because I have no basis of comparison. Perhaps the guy from Tri-State could have done a much better job. And it would have been worth the $175. Or perhaps the guy from my building had done a better job and I saved myself $75. I don’t know which is better at this point.
The lesson is clear. It helps to do some research before you talk to a sales person. Because I have no experience in carpet cleaning services, I have no idea if he was offering me a good deal or not. I had to go with the referral and I thought the referral did a decent job.