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Common misconceptions about retractables

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There are two basic misconceptions consumers have about retractables: what modern retractables can do and how much they should expect to pay for them. That means sellers need to focus some of their marketing efforts on education.

They do what?

Kevin Yonce, MFC, IFM, CPP, owner of TCT&A Industries, Urbana, Ill., says some consumers think all retractables are crank-operated or that they have to be hard-wired into a house, requiring expensive electrical work. Some don’t know about the protection afforded by wind sensors, and a few even believe that roof-mounted units will cause their roofs to leak.

How much?

As much as purveyors of low-cost retractables have done a tremendous job of increasing product awareness, they’ve also set a price point in people’s heads, says Larry Bedosky, marketing manager at Eclipse Awning Systems® LLC, Middletown, N.Y. Custom shops may find that consumers have an unrealistic idea of what the structures should cost.

That can go one of two ways, says Yonce. “They know that by calling the local company, they’re going to get a different product and that it’s going to cost more,” he explains. “I’ve had people tell me, ‘You’ve got to be kidding, they cost that much?’ But I’ve also had people say, ‘Oh, I thought they’d be much more than that.’ Often, I think they think it’s going to be so much more that it’s going to be out of their league, but the reality is somewhere in between those two perceptions.”

Jamie Swedberg is a freelance writer based in Georgia.

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