Here at US Home Improvement, we’re seeing lots of online activity about ‘new’ replacement window finding services. These websites will, for ‘free’, take some information about your upcoming renovation plans. They purport to match you with the best replacement window company for your project.
It sounds ideal, doesn’t it? You tell them your zip code, time frame, your contact information, and a little about your planned project, and they connect you with the very best replacement windows available on the market today. These services are ecuminical: they recommend vinyl replacement windows, fiberglass replacement windows, and wood replacement windows. You don’t have to do any of the legwork: you’ll receive a list of great replacement window companies to choose from without doing making any effort. What could be better?
What could be better is injecting a little bit of reality into the replacement window finding service model. What is presented as a free customer service is, in fact, not necessarily so benign in nature. Remember the first rule of business: There’s no such thing as a free lunch. If someone is willing to do all the work involved in identifying and researching the appropriate replacement window company for your home improvement project, they’re going to be compensated for thier efforts.
Now, they’re not getting that money from you, the consumer. So where is the money coming from?
By and large, replacement window finding services are lead generation services. They gather information from you, the homeowner, package it, and sell it to businesses who are interested in selling replacement windows. The replacement window companies recommended by replacement window finding services have, often, paid to have their company listed among the results for a given range of zip codes. That’s about the extent of the ‘research’ and ‘vetting’ provided by replacement window finding services.
Does this negate the value of their results? Not necessarily — if you’re smart about using the information you’re provided. The list of vendors you’re given? It’s not the end of your ‘find a replacement window company’. It’s the beginning. You can use this information to help you direct your research; identifying companies that do offer replacement windows in your geographical location. But remember, these lists are not exhaustive, nor are they objective. You will need to do additional research to augment these results, particularly if you’re determined to have the best replacement windows for your home.