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Home & garden.

Updated: 11 May 2022

Kitchen sales: expert shopping tips

Read our insider tips to help you navigate kitchen sales and find your dream kitchen at the right price.
Paula Flores
Sale signs_kitchen advice 482806

Sales can be a great way to save hundreds on your new kitchen, but you want to make sure you're not taken in by a promotion that's too good to be true. Check out our tips to get a great deal.

You might assume that the traditional peak sales periods – post-Christmas, around Easter and during the summer months – are good times to buy a kitchen. But don't feel pressured into agreeing to a kitchen refit that you're not in love with just because you see a sale. 

Read on for tips that will put the buying power back in your hands.

We also explain why materials and unit thickness can really make a difference to whether a kitchen is good value for money. 

Check out our Best and worst kitchen brands to find out which kitchen brands are really valued by their customers. 

Grey kitchen island with a wood worktop

Five tactics to get the best kitchen quote

1. Don’t be swayed by attention-grabbing offers

An attractive deal might sound too good to be missed, but your dream kitchen might actually be cheaper elsewhere.

Ask for how long a deal has been available, as it may be a long-standing offer rather than a time-limited kitchen sale.

Always shop around and compare prices. Get quotes from a few different stores to really gauge what is a good price for what you want.

2. Buy your kitchen only when you’re ready

Unless you’re only interested in a very specific kitchen or product, there will usually be some sort of deal or saving to be had. So don’t feel rushed to buy before a sale ends if you’re not totally sure. Ask whether there are similar alternatives available, which might turn out cheaper overall anyway.

If you're confident that an offer will save you money, check exactly when it will end – particularly if there are multiple deals running consecutively, as they may have different deadlines. You can sometimes find these details in T&Cs at the bottom of webpages, but you might have to do a bit of digging. If in doubt, ask a salesperson.

3. Double-check what is included in any kitchen deals

Sometimes an offer can appear to include a wide choice of kitchens but in practice may only apply to selected ranges. Make sure you know exactly what is – and what isn’t – part of the sale, to avoid disappointment.

If there are a few promotions running at once, clarify how they interact and what this means for savings and the final price. 

The end result of these mix-and-match discounts can be tricky to calculate, especially if there are exclusions, so you'll need to ask for clear guidance to be sure it equates to a good deal. 

Couple at kitchen breakfast unit

4. Avoid added extras you're not sure you need

Your choice of fitting could impact your quote, for example:

  • Soft-close hinges
  • End panels
  • Fillers
  • Cornices
  • Upstands (a small splashback that adjoins the worktop and kitchen wall).

Ultimately, add-ons and upgrades are down to personal choice: end panels, for example, will finish the look of your kitchen. Just make sure you're clear on what is included (and could be hiking the cost of your kitchen) and query anything you're not sure you need. 

5. Make sure there are no essential components missing

Check that everything you need is included in your quote, so that you're not met with any unexpected surprises when the kitchen is fully priced or delivered. 

Many of the brands will want to come and visit the customer's home to properly measure up and give a final quote. But it's worth checking the big items when you get an initial price, so there aren't any unwelcome surprises.

A couple discussing kitchens with seller

Save money in the long term by buying a good-quality kitchen

It may be tempting to try and cut costs by opting for lower-quality materials, or choosing flat-pack over pre-assembled units. But this might prove a false economy if it means the kitchen doesn't stand the test of time, or takes longer for an installer to fit. 

Ultimately it will come down to your budget, but make sure you know exactly what the kitchen is made of and how it will be delivered. A few points to bear in mind:

  • Kitchens that arrive pre-assembled are likely to be sturdier, as the joins will have already been fixed together – the top seven units from our lab tests are pre-assembled. Flat-packed kitchens, on the other hand, are sometimes installed incorrectly, leading to joins being less solid. They may be cheaper, but you may also pay more for the time your installer takes to put it together
  • Quality and sturdiness can also depend on the types of joints used. The weakest option tends to be units that rely entirely on wooden dowels glued into holes. Screws or metal studs and cams will make for more robust units.
A kitchen unit being screwed together

Bear in mind, though, that not all chipboard units are created equal – and the thickness of frames can make a difference. 

When we put kitchen units through our lab tests in spring 2021, thicker units were generally better – all of the kitchen units our lab assessed were between 15mm and 19mm thick. 

Two of the lowest-scoring units are just 15mm thick. 

However, thicker doesn't always guarantee better. One unit was 18mm thick but not among the best, according to our lab. While another was 16mm thick but got a higher score.

You can find out more about choosing the right size, type and style of kitchen units in our kitchen units, doors and worktops page, and about how our experts rated kitchen units for elements such as quality, strength and smoothness of drawers and runners on our kitchen unit tests page.