If you are a local to Ohio or even the surrounding States, you may have heard about the Kraftmaid Outlet in Warren, Ohio. It is the spot to go if you are looking for quality cabinets at amazing prices. My cousin recently bought her children’s bathroom cabinet and granite counter top (yes, I said granite) for $95.
Years ago, Dan and I headed to the outlet (in it’s old location) but walked away confused, disappointed and empty-handed. We had no idea how to shop it and didn’t realize that there was a system in place for shoppers at the Kraftmaid Outlet. So when we decided to try our hand again (and save some money if only on one room), we did some homework beforehand.
Thanks to a friend who spent 30 minutes on the phone with me before our trip, we learned how to shop the outlet. I’m sure if not for him, we would have walked away empty-handed once again.
Most people do try to go several times in a row and watch for what they want. But for us, this was a one-deal trip. If we didn’t find anything, we were going to pay regular prices at a place near home.
What to Bring With You:
- Your dimensions for your space or cabinets.
- Mailing labels with your last name pre-written on them.
- A Marker
- Measuring Tape
- I also brought my budget info and other prices to compare on the spot.
Arriving at the KraftMaid Outlet:
First, you should know that the building does not say “KraftMaid.” Rely on a GPS, the string of traffic and police officer directing cars at the entrance.
You will want to arrive between 6:15am-7:00am when they hand out wristbands. The wristbands are numbered in order of arrival. We arrived at 6:30am and Dan was #106 and I was #107.
If you don’t arrive during the wristband distribution time, you will have to wait to enter until everyone with wristbands has been allowed in. To get your pick of the selection, it is worth getting up early and hitting the road.
At 7:15am, everyone gathers at the door and they announce how many people are in attendance and they draw a starting number. They then admit the next 150 people from the starting number. On the Saturday we were there, there were only 225 (I’ve head there can be over 400 at times). The man drew number 79 and started admitting 79, 80, 81…. We were so fortunate to be early in the group. At 106 & 107, we only had a short wait. *If you happened to have been 78 or anything less, you wouldn’t have been very happy.
Every 20 minutes, they admit another 150 people. My friend suggested if you have several people that know what they are doing, to stagger your check-in for wristbands. This way you may have a better opportunity to cover the first group of admittance if there is a large crowd.
Once Inside the Kraftmaid Outlet:
When you go into the Kraftmaid Outlet, you will notice cabinets are grouped by color on your left. If you walk beyond all the rows of kitchen cabinets, you will reach the bathroom vanities, followed by crown molding and other accessories. Granite is along the right wall after you enter.
We went straight to bathroom vanities. I knew I needed 84″ of cabinets and was looking for two base sink cabinets and a set of drawers for the middle.
At the outlet, if you see something you like, you put a pre-written mailing label (tape works too, but labels are fast and easy) on the cabinet with your NAME and #1 if you’re the first person to label, #2 if you’re the second one in line or #3 if you’re third in line…and so on. I don’t think I ever saw more than three labels on a piece, though.
My friend encouraged me to move fast, measuring quick and throwing labels on things if I was remotely interested. I put my last name with #1 on several things and #2 on a couple things. Dan was ready with the tape measure and I was ready with my labels.
We found the 3 pieces for our master bathroom (and were first ones to label!) and two for the kids’ bathrooms (2nd in line, but we didn’t get these).
Checking Out at the KraftMaid Outlet:
Assuming you’re #1 in line for the cabinets you want, you then find someone who works there. The employees were wearing orange or yellow and walking around with clipboards. Find one of the employees and they will take a crayon to your #1 label which means an item is being checked out. (If you see a piece while shopping that has crayon across the #1 label, move on. It is already spoken for.)
They will write you up and send you to the front counter to pay. From there, you go to the “pole” and wait to be assigned to another employee who will go get your cabinets and take them to the sidewalk. The person moving your cabinets (you are not allowed to move them for safety purposes) is not required to help you load your car. We loaded our own. A’hem, Dan loaded our car. I have heard sometimes they will help you, but just don’t rely on it and tip if they do.
What Happens if You’re #2 in Line for an Item:
If there is a cabinet that you are very interested in but you’re not first in line, you’ll have to keep watching for the first person to remove their label. If at 9:30am, the item hasn’t been taken, you can then have the person paged. If within 10 minutes they don’t show up at the desk, the outlet will let you buy the piece.
Are the Savings Worth It?
Mostly . . . yes! Bathroom cabinets vary by price. For the three bathroom cabinets I bought, I paid $250. They had soft close on the drawers and were a glazed finish. The local stock cabinets that were my backup (with no soft close and no glaze), cost $650. I saved $400 and bought better quality.
For kitchens, each cabinet is either $90 or $95 depending on whether it is a base or wall piece. If the piece has no doors, it is $5. Yes, really $5. If I didn’t have a storage issue, I could have started thinking all crafty on these things! Well, I’ll just wait until the house is built. ;)
If you are comparison shopping, it is a good idea to know what you’d be spending elsewhere. The kids’ bathroom cabinets that we were watching were only $50 cheaper (although taller) and not exactly the color I had been hoping for . . . But in the end, the first person took them any way. Granite counters with pre-cut sink holes were $20 per piece. Un-cut prices varied.
Info to Know:
Kraftmaid Outlet Address: 3418 Elm Rd in Warren, Ohio
Kraftmaid Outlet Phone Number: 1800-433-4559 x 22106 (Masco Cabinetry Sale Warehouse)
When They are Open: A couple Saturdays a month, 7:15am-1:30pm. You can find out which Saturdays by calling the above number.
Payments: MC, Visa and Cash. Sales are final.
You can also email KraftMaid and request outlet information at kmcares@Kraftmaid.com.