I know there is a lot of argument about why one person charges more for a window than others. Even the same window across town will cost $150.00 more per window. The big reason is business itself. How many of you homeowners, sales staff, installers or even tradesman realize what it takes to run a company selling windows and taking care of employees. There are so many hidden costs and fees that most everyone never sees or even thinks of. Let's just use this example:
Company A is the normal joe that runs his company out of his home as a legal business. He subcontracts all his work out and only has someone answering the phone calls and scheduling appointments. This company offers doors & windows for sale and installed with no showroom. So no overhead what so ever. The owners work in the field hanging and selling daily. They purchase their product from local suppliers and pay a fair rate.
Company B however has a showroom with office space and a sales staff. They also have service technicians and upper management that oversee the everyday operations of the business. They also have an in-house marketing staff that does sales calls three nights a week. The building they are in doesn't just have office space and a showroom. It has warehouse space to store product and stage jobs for installation. This company also offers doors, windows, siding, roofing and other misc. home exterior products.
Now lets say they both offer an upper end window which they almost pay the same price for. Company B may get product a bit cheaper as they have more volume and sell more. Even so company B has to try and figure out a mark up in their product which will cover building rent with all the electric, phones, marketing, insurance and Uncle Sam that go with it. On top of that they need to get the salaries for employee's who aren't selling or physically working to make their pay. So the window they buy for $250 now has to be sold at least double to make ends meet. The installation fee will be added and marked up so the company can profit and pay an installer to do a great job. So they honestly have to cover any sale to make sure the company profits at the end of the year. They also need to cover the fact that some jobs will go South and them and a loss will occur. So their higher prices can be justified and have to be for their success.
Now company A is using the same window and probably pay around $300 for the same unit. There's nothing to really pay for on the overhead side other than one staff person. So they only need to mark the window up $100. He is now already under the cost of company B. His installation fee goes right in his pocket and may be split with a helper. So this fee is usually under the cost of company B also.
So the same window being sold and installed is probably $2-300 under the other price. It happens daily in the trades not just in exteriors. It's everywhere. Is one better than the other. Sometimes! Company B carries more staff and covers more territory. So they can get things done faster and offer bigger discounts if they are passed down from the supplier. Company B may never see these discounts because they don't sell as much product.
So please keep this in mind when dealing with your proposed suppliers down the road. There is more behind the scenes than you think.