Get Ready for CARB Madness
Granted, as more time passes from the original “60 Minutes” piece the less the general public will remember such things, but some will, plus the award winning TV show has a history of following up on stories so this could easily spring to the top of the news chain again if it does.
What does this mean for the independent specialty retailer? Plenty, if you understand what the “60 Minutes” story is about and take advantage of it.
This is a major opportunity for the specialty dealer to show to Mrs. Consumer why it behooves her and her family to shop at a locally owned business that is fully invested in the community.
But before you can do that you need to make sure of two things: 1) You need to know about all the products you carry in your store—hard and soft surface—and 2) You need to make sure every person on your staff, from the salesperson to the estimator to the installer to customer service is fully trained and knowledgeable about the products as well as any of the local and federal regulations that have an impact on these products.
While the “60 Minutes” story brought attention to laminate and hardwood products and certain indoor air quality (IAQ) rules, I mentioned soft surface because anyone who has been in the industry a while knows carpeting has gone through and continues to go through its share of misperceptions when it comes to IAQ and other health-related issues.
Knowing your products, where they come from and how they are manufactured is not really as hard as it sounds. First and foremost is to do business with reputable suppliers. This alone will solve numerous problems if you are confident in the company. The company could be from anywhere in the world so long as you know it has a solid reputation as a supplier of quality products that it stands behind.
Beyond that, the next thing to do is ask your manufacturers’ reps about the products they are selling and ask for them to show you documentation about how it was tested, who did the testing and the results. Again, any reputable company will not only have this information, it will be happy to share it with you.
Next you can do some research on the Internet about a specific company and its products. As noted in the story on page 28, there are numerous companies and organizations that do independent, third party testing and they make it known which ones have passed.
Granted, most residential consumers who come to your store will not ask about formaldehyde, CARB, emissions, the Lacey Act, etc., but for the few who do, it behooves you and your salespeople to be able to not just answer their questions but show them products that will give them peace of mind concerning the safety and health of their family.
In today’s world of social media, it is even more important as one or two people can now reach your entire city—not to mention world. Armed with a little knowledge and quality products you can be sure if they do talk about you and your store on social media platforms it will be positive, which can only mean more business for you.