Beware of “Discount” Metal Buildings & Dealers

By Scott Kyles   |   Posted In: Reality Of Discounted Buildings, Offers, Customized Buildings

Beware of “Discount” Metal Buildings & Dealers

I have a confession to make. I hate shopping. It’s not that I won’t shop for something I need – I will shop when necessary – it’s just that I don’t particularly enjoy it. Some people love shopping for shopping’s sake, even if they’re not necessarily looking to buy anything. That’s not me. For me, shopping is more of a “have to” than a “want to.”

I don’t like to pay full-price, either. In fact, I won’t buy a pair of jeans – no matter how much I like them – unless they’re on sale. It’s just a matter of principle for me. The peripheral route of persuasion (fancy social psychology term!) may work on many jeans buyers, but it doesn’t really work on me. With the peripheral route of persuasion, advertisers try to sell you something based more on superficial cues, than on the product’s actual features. You know, if you buy our jeans they’ll make you feel smarter, funnier, cooler, more attractive, more popular, blah blah blah.

But I don’t need fancy jeans; I just need jeans that look decent, fit me well (that’s pretty much non-negotiable), are made to last, and are on sale at a decent price. Is that too much to ask? If I can’t find those things in a pair of jeans, I’ll just walk out the door. And if you’re still reading this, then I’m guessing you can relate, too.

We’ve established that I don’t like to shop, but when I do have a larger purchase to make, I’ll spend a little more time shopping. I do my homework, because I want to make sure I’m getting the best product with the best service. I still look for a good deal (remember my jeans?), but when it’s a significant investment I’m making, I’m more concerned with value than I am with simply finding a bottom-dollar price. If you’re going to connect with me on a major purchase, you’d better follow the central route of persuasion (more social psychology!), and actually sell me on the product’s functional features and advantages themselves.

I’ve been burned before, as I’m sure you have too. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s best to do business with a brand you can trust, who make quality products they stand behind, and who also make my shopping experience as painless and pleasant as possible. At the end of the day, I think we all want that.

Are you dealing with someone you can trust?

If you’re in the market for a metal carport, garage, or workshop building, you’ve probably realized that there is no shortage of metal building fabricators and steel structure dealers out there. Who should you trust with your hard-earned dollar? Choosing the right steel structure is no small decision; you want to make sure you’re dealing with someone you can trust, and that you’re getting a good return on your investment.

More and more “discount” metal building dealers keep trying to lure people in by underselling their competition, but sometimes the deal you think you’re getting ends up being not as great as it seemed. For now, here are a few quick things to keep in mind when considering where to go to find the right metal building for you. In my upcoming follow-up blog, I’ll expound on these points in more detail:

Cheaper isn’t always better

You may save a few dollars in the short run by going with a discount dealer, but most of the time you also get what you pay for. In the end, saving a few bucks usually isn’t worth the hassle or the risk.

⇒ Longevity

If they’ve been around a while, there’s a better chance they’ll still be around when you have a question or need some help down the road.

⇒ Physical location

Some online dealers look good on the screen, but are hard to locate in the real world. Check to see if the dealer in question actually has a physical office. A reputable online dealer will also have a physical location where you can go and actually talk to someone in person, if you prefer.

⇒ Lead times

“Lead time” refers to the length of time it will take for you to actually get your building fabricated, delivered, and installed once you’ve placed your order. Lead times can vary based on building demand, material availability, installation location, season of the year, current weather, and other factors. Ask what their lead times are, and compare that to what you find with other dealers.

Many dealers will promise you a quick lead time in order to get you sign on the dotted line, but then once the deal is done they don’t deliver on their promise. You can expect the best lead times to come from established dealers that have healthy relationships with local manufacturers and installation teams. An honest dealer will also own an unforeseen delay, and will work with you to help find the best solution.

⇒ Communication

How does the dealer communicate with manufacturers and installers to go over designs, details, and lead times? And how does the dealer communicate with customers? The reality is that many metal building dealers can be frustrating to deal with; some don’t communicate clearly, won’t return phone calls, or simply don’t respond to your questions. If you have to beg to talk with them before the sale, how likely do you think they are to respond to you after the sale?

Customer reviews and BBB ratings

One of the best sources for credible information about a dealer is the people who have actually done business with that provider! Read a few customer reviews. A dealer with nothing to hide will put a link to customer reviews right on their website. Look at how many reviews they have; if there are only a handful, there’s a possibility that they could have been falsely provided by friends and family members. Also note that some dealers that receive lots of negative reviews have been known to change their business name while still remaining in the same location, so take note of that as well.

Be sure to pay attention to BBB ratings, too. If the provider you’re considering isn’t BBB accredited, or doesn’t even have a BBB rating … you should probably take a pass. And if their BBB rating is anything below A+, it would be wise to look for another metal buildings dealer.

Carport Central understands that buying a steel carport or garage is a significant investment, and it’s worth putting in the effort to make sure you’re getting the right product at the right price with the best service. Exploring real reviews from real customers is critical to ensure that you don’t get caught in a bad situation. At Carport Central, we do business differently; consider these features that set us apart from all the competition:

Carport Central is the nation’s largest online dealer of metal structures

• Mutually-beneficial relationships with the best local manufacturers and installers across the country to provide quality structures with the shortest lead times

• Cutting-edge online 3D Building Designer that enables you to easily create and customize your ideal metal structure, all from the comfort of your couch

• When you’re ready to talk, we have a full slate of friendly and knowledgeable building specialists who will take the time to LISTEN, and are happy to walk you through every step

• Delivery and installation of your custom metal building INCLUDED at no extra charge

• The best product, at a competitive price, with personalized customer service that extends beyond the sale

• The BEST rent-to-own and financing options in the business!

At Carport Central, we’re about much more than just selling you a metal building – we provide shelter for your way of life. Connect with us online or give us a call today at (980) 321-9898, and experience the Carport Central difference. Plus, check out our follow-up blog to learn the 9 essential questions you should ask before buying a metal building!


  • Scott Kyles

    Scott Kyles serves as lead content writer and marketing consultant for Central Steel Group, the parent company of Carport Central. He’s been speaking to the metal buildings industry and its customers for over 5 years, and also holds professional certifications in secondary science education, training, and customer experience.

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