If you’ve been shopping for replacement windows you may have seen this ad running in your town. “Trade in your old windows and SAVE!”
I may not have told you much about my background, but I did sell cars in college and I think that’s an experience anyone who wants to work in business should have. You learn more about people in 6 months on a car lot than you will doing about anything else. This replacement window promo always reminds me of the old days selling cars in Lafayette, IN.
I guess it works because the idea of trading something in sounds a little nicer that throwing it out. It really does sound nicer. You wouldn’t throw out your old car, you trade it in for a nicer model. It’s pretty easy to see what happens to your old car after you traded it in. Just swing by the dealers lot a week later and you’ll see it looking all shine with balloons ties to it and a SALE sign in the windshield.
What happens to your old windows after you’ve traded them in? They go to the dump. It is completely impossible to reuse them for anything other than an art project and it’s pretty darn tough to recycle them (although we have an upcoming post on recycling building products). You can be sure they’ll never be used as windows again.
Why then do companies pay thousands of dollars to run ads referring to a window trade-in program? Generally it’s because the window business is pretty competitive and they’re looking for a way to attract your attention. Does that make them bad companies, no. This one is a little different than some of the other window sales tactics we’ve outlined.
It sure does make their ads silly and it might make them deceptive if they’re telling you that your old windows really are going somewhere other than the trash heap.
Some lucky highschooler might be thrilled to drive your old car, but there is nobody who wants your junky old windows.
If you’re looking for a window company right now, the best advice we have is to join Angie’s List. For just a couple bucks you can get a 1-month membership and it’ll be worth much more than a caramel macchiato in the long run. You can find the best pricing for Angie’s List on the internet right here.
If you’re already a member of Angie’s List or if you’re just not going to join (despite my ringing endorsement), you can find our suggestions for the best companies in your area right here.