Let's kick this off with a question: Picture yourself in Walmart, spotting signs that scream “Free Labor,” but the tiny print says, “Labor costs aren't baked into our prices anymore.” And yet, the price tags haven’t budged an inch. Would you buy into that? Not a chance! So why do we see folks getting hoodwinked by “Free Carpet Labor” at big box or flooring stores?

Here’s the skinny on this scam – sorry, 'sale.' These stores are betting they can pull a fast one on the unsuspecting, dangling the carrot of getting something for nada. Listen, I’ve been navigating the flooring world for over four decades and haven’t yet crossed paths with an installer who’s cool with working for zilch. So, what’s this really about? It’s about belittling the worth of labor. It tells you, the customer, “Hey, laying down your flooring right isn’t a biggie.” Couldn’t be further from the truth! Botched installation? Kiss your bucks goodbye.

And what about the installers? This deal slaps them twice – once in your eyes (thinking, “I didn’t pay, so why respect the guy?”), and again in theirs (feeling like, “The store couldn’t care less to acknowledge they pay me.”). In short, “Free Labor” is a lose-lose in my book.

So, here’s a thought: ditch the gimmicky sales and head to a local flooring store with a solid rep – places like Big Carpet in Farr West. They’re usually neck and neck with those big box stores hawking “free carpet labor.” Plus, they actually value proper installation.

Happy shopping – and remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!