Window Sales Tactics

window salesman scams and tricks

If you’ve spent a little time shopping for replacement windows you’ve probably already discovered that there are some characters out there.  They have all sorts of interesting window sales strategies, tricks and scams.

Before you start thinking all window salespeople are jerks read this.

Some folks can be worse than others, but we’ll explain some of the most manipulative window sales tactics in use out there so you can know how to avoid them.  The fact that a company uses any of these tactics doesn’t necessarily reflect on the quality of the product they offer, but it most certainly does tell you how they treat their customers.

best replacement windows of 2015

A few of the more common tactics we’ll cover:

You’ll get the idea pretty quickly.  Whenever we talk to folks about these window sales tactics they will inevitably say “oh, I’d never go for something like that”, but these companies do millions of dollars in business with these exact tactics every single year.  Someone’s buying it.

Window salesmen scams and tactics
Most window salespeople are great folks, but if you’ve been in this business long enough you’ve surely met some characters like this fella!

Why would a company employ tactics like this?  Because they know they’re not offering a great deal.  You can be sure that every real company out there has a pretty good idea of what their competitors are offering and how their pricing compares.  If you did this for a living you’d have all of that info at your fingertips too.

If you were selling a product at a price that you knew was not competitive you would need to do everything in your power to get the customer to buy without shopping around.  You would know for certain that if they did shop around they’d discover a better deal and you’d lose the business.

You couldn’t tell them that you want them to buy on the spot because you’re offering a bad deal so you’d need to come up with a better story.  Whether it’s a manufacturers rebate, an appointment saver discount, a model home program or something else the real reasoning is all the same.  It’s to entice the customer to buy without understanding their options.

Successful companies are pretty good at this so you need to tread carefully.  The important factor to remember is that nothing in this business changes on a daily basis.  A deal they would offer today is a deal they would accept tomorrow no matter what they tell you.  If you remember nothing else, remember that it’s always smart to take your time and consider your options.  You’ll be shocked at how much you will save.

Take a look through the links above for more detailed information on each of these window sales tactics.  We’ll also be posting information on window features that are just hot air like this one on windows with magnetic seals.  Enjoy!

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.


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70 thoughts on “Window Sales Tactics”

  1. Thanks for your articles – I particularly liked the “The 1-year price, the 30 day price and the TODAY price” one, as I had the same thoughts as I was given a sales pitch.

    Here’s my question — what should this all cost? I’m replacing 6 ‘regular’ size casement windows, and the estimates I have so far ranging from Simentons to Anderson 400s to Marvin Infinity to Thompson Creek is $6200-$8000. It seems like most websites I look at say the cost including instillation shoudl be <$1000/window. Can you please advise?

    And finally – how do you feel about Home Depot instillation? I feel like they were the most straightforward in presenting options and were reasonably priced.

    1. We have a whole post about Home Depot window installations around here somewhere. I’d say you can probably find a better deal from a window company rather than a hardware store. You should be able to do it for WAY under $1000 per window. We’ll send you an email right now with a recommendation for a local company that can probably help out. Good luck with the project!

  2. Well you were right on with all the sales expectations. We both had to be there. Got a special and a manager’s special with in an hour plus the neighborhood special to get us to buy. We have a 30-year old home with 10 single pain metal windows. They started around 11,000 for their double-pane windows, then around 8,000 and finally a $5900 deal which did not sound bad. Got another really nice salesperson with Anderson and he came up with $6700 and the plus was triple-pane windows instead of double pain this month which was not bad either. But finally through a family connection we got a super information person, not salesperson with great double-pain, double strength, median grade vinyl windows with all the bells and whistles for $4700. Yeah for us! Plus 18 mos no interest. Full lifetime warranty no strings. All to fit our limited budget but getting the right windows for our house.

    1. See if it was renewal by Anderson then you really messed up! See I have renewal by Anderson and I’ve had them for 19 years. Yeah they were expensive but not only did my energy bill dramatically go down but I got what no other company had fiberex. Unlike vinyl it never warps, no seal failure, no condensation, and they’re not wood so no rotting. Fiberex is a composite of vinyl and wood. That means all the benefits of both without the problems of both. My windows also are custom made and came with a lifetime guarantee on all my windows. Why would you want plastic windows? You don’t live in a plastic home or sit on plastic furniture right? Yeah like I said pricey yes but they allowed me to do the front of my house first and the payments are affordable on any budget. Two years later I had the rest done and they paid for themselves in maybe 7 years. Also raised my home value by 8%.

      1. Hi Jon, thanks for chiming in. You said in your other post that you work for Renewal by Andersen so that’s important to note. Last I saw you only got a 10 year warranty on your fibrex frames, but you say lifetime here. It would benefit you to be honest with potential customers who may be reading this.

  3. Moved into a house built in ’65 and need to replace 21 double hung windows…new to the NW suburbs of Chicago, looked on Yelp and had two sales pitches so far. One offered Great Lakes Maxuus 7.6 triple pane for 13,880 and a smaller outfit with Kensington 300 at 11,400. From what I read about Kensington I don’t feel comfortable about their long term success. Got a flier from Pella but not sure if I want the hassle of anther sales call with a higher quote… Anyone have success with Great Lakes?

  4. Wow I like what you said about that nothing changes daily. That is a tactic that for sure had me struggling. If there is a feeling of a time crunch its much easier to rationalize and accept higher prices.

    1. Yep, that’s why they do it. Best advice is to slow down, take a breath and know that if a company pushes you too hard you can just cross them off the list. There are plenty of fish in the sea!

  5. We have five windows that are 3′ x 5′, and less than two feet from the floor of the house. We’ve heard “your windows are bigger, so they’re more expensive” and it sounds reasonable. What should we watch out for in that kind of sales pitch, please?

    1. This size doesn’t really affect the price too much. If they’re charging $10-$20 per window more, maybe that’s reasonable. We charge the same price for any sized window. It’s typically just used as an excuse to charge you more.

  6. Hello WD:
    I moved into a condo last year and noticed immediately that the traffic noise is intolerable. Three large rectangular windows plus two large “cathedral’ windows face a heavily traveled street (I should have paid more attention before I bought the place). Of course, window replacement companies say that new double-pain windows will significantly reduce the noise. But manufacturers of window “inserts” (glass or acrylic inserts that go inside the windows, made by companies like Indow Windows and Soundproof Windows) say new windows will not solve the problem. Have you heard any success with these window inserts, or can you recommend a new replacement window brand that will reduce noise?

    1. We just installed a project that was along the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Alexandria, VA. It’s a busy road and the windows we put in made a HUGE difference.

      This is a great example to point out that it’s not about a brand or about taking anyone’s word for it. Windows will have an STC rating that refers to how much sound will pass through the window. I’ve heard companies recommend triple pane windows for this, but they’re not actually all that effective.

      Your best bet will be windows with laminated glass. They make a big difference and you can tell by looking at the STC ratings.

  7. Had a meeting with Renewal by Andersen the other day in the Syracuse, NY area. Many of the “sales tactics” were used…both present, time management, etc. At the end of a 2 1/2 hour nightmare he quoted me over $30K for 16 windows; albeit installed and stained to match the interior trim. Then he added they have a “pool of marketing money” set aside to use however they want. So if they can out a sign in my yard I get $200 for every person who buys based in seeing that sign. How does that work: a) I live on a dead end street and b) I will trust them to ask if they saw the sign in my yard?
    As an added feature my quote consists of a number on what is basically a rating of the product and presentation. Nowhere can you find one iota of what we will receive for $30K. I have subsequently emailed them and asked for an itemized breakdown of cost window by window, a copy of the warranty. and the options we chose. We will see what I get in return.

    1. The best advice I can give is if you’re not comfortable now, you should keep looking. There are many companies that install great windows. The warranty on the renewal by andersen windows is not the strongest (despite their pitch) and there’s noting too remarkable about it.

      Unless there is something pretty extraordinary about your project nearly $2,000 per window would give you a whole lot of options.

      Be sure to let us know what they say. People ask us about Renewal by Andersen all the time and I’m sure the other readers will appreciate any information.

      1. So the Business Mgr called me and I met with the Sales Mgr. I asked for an itemized quote for each window he said he would provide it and we agreed to him stopping by to hand deliver it.
        Now the price for a full replacement was $22.5K and for Inserts was $19.4K. That’s an instant $10K savings.
        In the interim I had Marvin provide a quote. They did what I asked and gave me a window by window cost for the window and a separate cost for the labor (local Marvin trained company). Had them quote the full replacement (Integrity windows) and the price is $17.2K. I think the decision is leaning to Marvin.

        1. Might be a little high. A full replacement project does involve a lot of work and it’s often completely unnecessary. Is there are reason you were going down that road or is that just what they were selling?

  8. What can you tell me about Storm Tight Windows? While the salesman pulled every trick you listed , we were impressed with the product, assuming his heat transfer tests were accurate, etc… They are relatively new to the Texas gulf coast area, but we live a bit further north so rather than promoting only wind strength, they are also promoting savings in utility costs exceeding that of ANY other brand. Couldn’t get a quote from the salesman because 1) we only wanted to replace a few west side windows versus all, and 2) we wouldn’t sign a contract immediately and receive all the discounts available to us (off the estimated $98k retail which represents 1/3). Anyone know how these windows compare?

    1. I’m not familiar with them personally, but from looking at the website they look like a Florida company making vinyl impact windows. I didn’t see anything that looked particularly unique on their site. I assume if there was something truly special about them it would be plastered all over their site. What did the salesperson say made them better than any other vinyl impact or hurricane window?

      For $98k either you have a TON of windows or they REALLY like their windows!

  9. Oh…sorry…the 1/3 was assessed value of our home. (Haha…grandkid interruption.). I can’t imagine spend 1/3 of home value for new windows!

  10. I recently had an estimate from Renewal by Andersen and it was such a horrible experience. We were entirely ignorant about windows a week ago, but have been doing a lot of research and have been learning things alone the way. I only wish I had known about this website first. As soon as the representative came to the house we made it clear that we were only interested in hearing options, learning about the work that would be done, and getting an estimate, nothing more. I made it clear that we were in the process of getting other estimates. Well he started with this hyper-aggressive sales pitch and that I would forgo a lifetime warranty “if I didn’t sign today”. He also immediately took 25% off the first estimate, which told me that the first number was bogus. It became this really weird, tense situation in our dining room. He then began to insult the idea that I was having a independent window/siding/roofing guy come out the next day. Insulting other professionals does not help your case. I was so angry by the time he left my house. I will not be hiring them. I just wanted an estimate on six casement windows and a patio door, that was all.

  11. A friend recommend this 30 year old Company! I got a price quote in 10 minutes. Reasonably prices replacement windows. I am going to “LOOK” at their product today!

    Richard A

  12. What’s the problem with your site. I had almost completed my comment to one of your customers. Then Blam! the page went blank, no explanation. nothing.

    1. I don’t know, I’m no Mark Zuckerberg. I did see your previous comment about Sears so I know that one posted. We do get a TON of spam so there’s a spam filter involved now too. If you have trouble you can always send me an email through the contact link at the bottom of every page.

  13. Here is an example of a buy 2 get 1 free offer.

    FYI, they presented an quote for a 37×36 and 37 x 25″ single humg windows for $777; Tropical blend virgin vinyl, white, non-impact, obcure glass, one tempered (in shower area), LowE 70xl, argon, Cam sweep locks, Soft warm edge spacers, half screen.

    1. I can’t say that I’m too familiar with them. What stood out to you? Why would you consider them over another model?

      1. Gulf Coast Windows came out and gave me a bid for 18 Windows. Bid came in at over 25k. Salesman offered some of the sales gimmicks and biggest thing was his false Statements on costs from other companies and constant put down of all the other window companies and their products. No way I would buy from them now.

  14. We’ve gotten several quotes for 12 large windows and a patio door. We’re concerned about sound, so we’ve investigated dual pane with dissimilar widths as well as laminated (even BOTH quoted by Home Depot with Simonton windows).
    Needless to say we’re amazed at the price. Our lowest was about 9,000 from Window World and the highest 33,000 from Andersen (RBA, not even sound glass!). He of course gave us the “same night” discount to get it to 21,000. We still said no. We are at a loss as to what to really expect, though the other quotes were all about 10,000-13,000.

  15. I have read quite a bit and yet have no simple answer on “bang for the buck”, and best features required in the Dallas/Ft Worth area for replacement windows (some single hung, and some sliding for a home built in the 60’s.

    I am looking at vinyl, with the features required in my area. Could you suggest 2 or 3 brands and, or specific models that would suffice? I can look up prices from there.
    Also…… what would be a reasonable installation price to expect? Thanks in advance.

  16. Do you have any information on MGM vinyl replacement windows manufactured in Hendersonville, Tennessee

  17. Had TWO quotes so far and they couldn’t be more different!!
    Quote 1) STORM TIGHT WINDOWS (13 windows plus a sliding glass patio door) first price $34,000, second price (manager/show home special/ give us references/ let us post our sign out front) $24,475!! Almost fell for it but thankfully the financing didn’t work! Then they had the nerve to say, “give us $6,000 up front and we’ll do “in-house” financing for the rest”. Of course I said NO DEAL and sent them packing

    Quote 2) WINDOW WORLD (Same amount of windows and sliding glass patio door) $7309.00 with a lifetime warranty and all the options we wanted on our windows! No high pressure sales pitch, no “let me call my manager” crap. No “let me put up my sign and give me references”! Just straight up and to the point salesmanship with a true “no obligation” quote! (We get our new windows in mid-September).

  18. I am looking for comments on Climate Solutions 8000 vinyl replacement windows . Liked the product I was shown but would like some reviews if possible.

    1. From their website I would guess it’s a private label of another product, but can’t tell for sure. If you want more info ask them for the NFRC CPD# and we can look it up to see what it is.

    2. Relatively new (few years old), relatively small company based out of Chicago. You probably won’t find many reviews given the short history and limited distribution area. As far as the product itself, looked fine. Nothing stands out much good or bad.

  19. Could you please recommend a reputable window company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
    There are so many gimmincks, so far I have received estimates from Home Depot, Window World and Thermo Twin. I am interested in triple pane replacement windows, so far the estimates have been 600-800 per window is this expensive? Also, should the life time warranty cover parts and labor w/o a service fee for coming out? Thanks

  20. How can I get in touch with you? Looking to replace standard builder windows that are now soo drafty on a 2 story home built in 1992. I am petrified at the thought of getting beat!

  21. I’ve had 2 Cleveland-area companies come out and provide quotes for 22 double-hung vinyl windows. I haven’t signed anything yet, as I want to make sure I’m not being taken here.
    #1, Universal Windows Direct, which seems to re-brand the Polaris UniShield. When asked about full-frame vs. replacement, we were told “I always recommend replacement, because full frame is hard for my installers, and more expensive for you”. He mentioned a flat charge of $250 per window for full-frame if we really needed it. Their pricing scheme had some huge price changes in each category. The 30-day price quote was $28k, but if I signed within those 30 days they’d let me “split” the install up over 2 years. Then came the Home Show discount which dropped me to $19k, a huge change for simply spending 3 minutes with them at the show. The “tonight only” discount dropped it to $16k.
    #2 “New” Stanek, owned by Great Day Improvements, actually suggested full-frame , and came in with a similarly original price of $30k. The home show discount dropped it to $27k, and a “next 5 days only” price of $26k.

  22. My question is about the payment schedule in the contract. I would appreciate your thoughts.
    Deposit 10% at contract signing – ok, that’s fine. in CA a contractor cannot require a down payment of more than 10% or $1000
    40% due upon measurement of windows – I don’t get this one.
    40% due at delivery of windows
    10% upon completion


    1. Seems like a lot of work to me. We don’t have time to charge people 4 times in our company. We just have too much else to do. It may be a sign that they really need your money to fund their business or it could mean that they have a lot of people try to cancel their orders. Don’t know.

      Did you ask them why they take the time to charge you 4 times?

  23. A comment that I just got from a sales rep. was, “It’s almost the end of the month. If you could, I’d appreciate your business by then. Everyone needs to make a quota”.

    I almost fell off of my chair!! SERIOUSLY??!! No thank you Excel Windows!

  24. I had a Champion window salesman this week use pressure tactics to close a deal when done with his 4 hour presentation. When I refused to budge, he said “I need to contact my boss since you will not agree to close our offer”. It reminded me of buying a car when the sales staff “Team Tags” you by going to the sales mgr. All it did was convince me I’m going to find a different company to install our windows.

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