Early on in March of 2020 we loaded up on things that we figured would be in short supply, things like nails for the nail guns, screws, glue, and basic solvents. Even a few spare nail guns just in case supply disruptions hit.
What is nearly impossible to stock up on are the very expensive hardware items such as drawer slides which would run between $20.00 and $30.00 per set, or the specialty hardware like pull out trash cans or spice racks.
These items can cost almost as much as the sheet goods used in making the cabinets so investing in a large quantity and guessing what might sell in the coming year is risky. Plus you are heading into a pandemic that is unprecedented in modern history. Better to keep that cash in the bank in case no one is buying cabinets so you can keep the doors open and survive.
Things didn’t get that bad as business did slow down so there was plenty of supply for the most part until the beginning of 2021 when businesses started re opening and people were breathing a sigh of relief and investing in their homes again. Tires for the car though, second hand tires shops were all there was other than the big tire chains raping their customers as the Walmart and Sams Club option wasn’t there.
Oklahoma City’s Best Cabinetmaker
And we had plenty of MDF carcass parts in stock plus parts for hundreds of linear feet of the Okie cabinets in the pallet racks. Prices on veneered plywood shot up and became in short supply and still are as of late October of 2021.
Some woods went up dramatically like soft maple, red oak seemed to stay reasonably priced at first, the market and cost see sawed back and forth and still does today.
As of October of 2021 we have ran through a lot of the MDF carcass parts that are commonly used like lower cabinet decks and shelves so lately we have to make some parts out of new MDF sheets to go with the existing stock. Despite this we are in a lot better shape than most shops that don’t have pallet racks of parts made up and our prices have risen but they are still competitive with the other shops.
And as it always does, the downturn weeded out a lot of competition that was poorly ran or highly leveraged with big mortgage payments for equipment or start up cash. We picked up quite a bit of additional equipment during the downturn as competing shops went to the auction block.
Cabinet prices have risen around 20% over 2019 prices, the same on drawers as the slides and/or material for the drawer boxes has doubled in some cases. Then there is the shipping on the drawer slides, no longer in stock locally in a wide variety of sizes and styles, they have to be shipped in at sometimes more cost than the cost of the slides. One particular slide needed had only 50 in stock in the entire U.S., and I bought 20% of them that were shipped in for over $300.00 in shipping fees. Ouch…. but it was that or give the customer a shorter drawer in a tall drawer faced drawer.
Things will settle down as inflation on almost everything is hitting hard. The massive printing of dollars and giving them away has caused massive inflation plus the effect of the election of an incompetent and weak president. But we will survive and we will do our best to keep prices as low as possible.
Oklahoma City’s Best Cabinetmaker and Countertop Shop