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Benchmarx vs Wickes (kitchens, again..)

23 replies

PinkOlives · 06/06/2011 17:50

Hi, just been on another thread and looking on the internet and discovered Benchmarx! Hadnt heard of them before, has anyone had any experience. They have the Wickes showroom kitchen i want, and there are a few branches not too far from me.
how do they compare on price/service etc. And how did you go about buying your kitchen, ive read you don't need to be trade is that correct? our fitter does not have an account with them but wonder if its worth him opening one.
im particularly happy with the fact that they are already assembled, can envisage that will save me a lot of hassle!
if anyone has any tips for either Benchmarx or Wickes id be very grateful.

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PinkOlives · 06/06/2011 23:12

anyone been to Benchmarx? Smile

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Putthatbookdown · 07/06/2011 07:29

Waiting for a quote from them - apart from having more timber kitchens than Wicks- their other kitchens are exactly the same as WIcks. Get their brochures and you will see.Even the same photos in their brochures! Same company Travis Perkins

PinkOlives · 07/06/2011 08:27

Thanks , I read that too somewhere. I just wanted to see if I can buy it from Benchmarx and how. As I've heard they would be a lot cheaper. Not sure by how much. Also they don't come flat packed which saves a lot of hassle. Will get their brochure then!
Did you go as an individual or did you send your builder?

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hobnob · 07/06/2011 16:46

Hello PinkOlives. I bought my kitchen from Benchmarx in Reading, having got a quote from Wickes. It was about 40% cheaper from Benchmarx (even with Wickes's super-duper half-price plus and extra 20% off offer), and you didn't need to be trade. I've an impression that they used only to sell to trade but since the recession will sell to anyone who wants to buy from them. In your shoes I wouldn't reveal the Wickes price to Benchmarx before getting their quote in case they only just undercut it.

Which kitchen are you looking at? We got Heritage Grey and it's a thing of beauty.

PinkOlives · 07/06/2011 22:43

i love Heritage grey, i wanted it with a stainless steel belfast sink Grin but my DH wants caledonia and our house is veering more on the modern side so i doubt heritage grey is suitable but i agree its a thing of beauty!
so caledonia it is i think depending on price. 40% off the Wickes' suppr sale will fit my budget. my aim is to get a decent quality kitchen without getting ripped off and it seems that benchmarx could deliver that.
i like caledonia in the sense that it is laquered as oppossed to the cheaper gloss ones.
did you buy your appliances from benchmarx.
and what did you say to them, that you were a property developer or were you upfront, aloso did you negotiate haggle abit or was the first price reasonable, i am in london so not sure if that will impact.

thanks hobnob!

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hobnob · 08/06/2011 09:12

I was upfront and it was fine. I think all of these places just need whatever custom they can get at the moment. I didn't haggle as I'd already had the Wickes quote and the Benchmarx one was so much lower that it didn't occur to me to question it. I did go back to Wickes and tell them the quote and they said they couldn't offer anything anywhere near as cheap as that.

I only bought the units from Benchmarx. The worktop I got from Barncrest after a MN tip-off (from cece I think!) which I'd highly recommend if you're having wood. I even bought the handles from somewhere else and the under-counter lights from an eBay trader (they're lovely triangular ones). The appliances (Neff ovens and fridge/freezer, Bosch hob and hood, Siemens dishwasher) were from somewhere called Roy Waring South, which sells unboxed but perfect stuff, all with the manufacturer's 2-year guarantee in place. I saved £700 altogether - and that was compared with the cheapest internet prices. I'd recommend them.

I spent about 3 months on the internet for this project and was delighted with the results so I'm very happy to share my research! Good luck with your kitchen. It'll be gorgeous.

PinkOlives · 08/06/2011 15:23

hobnob your research is invaluable! im picking up tips! i will definately look into the appliances place you said. you got some great ones there. I read about Barmcrest on here too, so will def try to do that online. its such a huge project for a small room! im overwhelmed. we wil be going to benchmarx now or tomorrow so thanks for letting me know how you did it, i didnt want to say the wrong thing. so much easier to be upfront.
i bet your kitchen looks stunning, i saw it again in wickes today and stroked it Grin have you seen /Chalon kitchens? lovely !

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Putthatbookdown · 08/06/2011 19:55

I went to Bechmark on a Sat morning and then contacted my builder. The problem with Benchmark is that if you are working they are not open i the evenings or after midday on Sat am I had to book appoitment via builder asthey do not even have an answering machine.!!Good service in their "store" but do not buy any paint etcas it is expensive, I doubt the customer service isany good as this is not retail and it is you/your builder who do the fitting but they do seem to know what they are doing, do not pressure you and are cheaper. You pays your money... the thing is to have a good kitchen fitters-getthem via personal recommedation only. Honestly I think they are all the same these firms- Wicks has just been on Watchdog _they all have!!

hobnob · 08/06/2011 20:29

I had excellent service from Benchmarx. The bloke did me a design and was painstaking about making sure I had exactly what I wanted. I did make an appointment but not through my builder - I just phoned the store. He also came to the house at no extra cost and measured up the space once the extension had been built to make sure that the units would fit exactly - he didn't just go on the architect's plans - which I thought was tip-top customer service. Maybe it depends which branch you go to.

hobnob · 08/06/2011 20:33

PinkOlive - have just had a sneaky peak at the Chalon website. Very gorgeous! Very expensive!

PinkOlives · 08/06/2011 20:50

Putthatbook - i have agood fitter we have used him a lot. Benchmarx has the exact same kitchen as WIckes, it is the same (same supplier) so im not too fussed about customer service i now know what i want exactly (well apart from a small drawer issue!) if you are in London which branch did you go to? To be honest the customer service at wickes today was appalling the guy didnt want to do anything with us even though we had an appointment so im not surprised they were on watchdog.

hobnob - i might just make the trip to reading if im unsuccessful here! i need to get that kitchen down to get my lovely appliances Wink
loved the barncrest iroko tops and am ordering them

oooh chalon... one day ..dreaming

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PinkOlives · 09/06/2011 16:04

hobnob - Sad whichever way we tried benchmarx didnt give us the desired 40% discount today, we only got £500 off. not sure whether to try another branch or a different kitchen (pref outside London!!! )

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hobnob · 09/06/2011 18:58

I'm sorry to hear that, PinkOlives. What I got wasn't a 'discount' exactly - it was just that Benchmarx's quote came out at 40% less. What happened with you? Did you already have a Wickes price? Did you tell them what that was?

PinkOlives · 09/06/2011 19:31

i had a wickes price but i didnt tell them acually my dh went and the man refused to serve him as he wasnt trade, he apparently was not very nice about it. then another worker said she would do the quote. she only came under the wickes quote by £500 (nearly the cost of a large pan drawer). its something, but i wanted to make a bigger saving as theres worktps appliances fooring etc etc .. to consider as you well know. she wouldnt budge. she told him to choose another kitchen. i suppose i was expecting the 40% that you and many many others on the internet seem to have got. dh said the branch was really busy and there were so many other trade specific places in the area that its probably a branch thats not in need to the business.

sooo... i called another branch (im persistent) and a lovely guy picked up the phone and told me to come in and didnt even ask if i was trade. i told him my budget is very tight and he said we can try and see what we can do! so im thinking to leave dh at home, i sent him strategically but this time strategically it should be me! if it doesnt make a difference and thats the price then ill give up (or drive to Reading). i had a feeling it might be different round here as everywhere i look people are doing their kitchens.

spent all of last night picking appliances, Hi-spek is brilliant also, for Neff Baumatic etc.

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hobnob · 09/06/2011 23:20

Good luck with that, PinkOlives, and keep us posted!

Putthatbookdown · 10/06/2011 21:39

i have Benchmark coming next Tuesday - I will let you know how it goes

PinkOlives · 14/06/2011 10:30

thanks Putthat, which kitchen are you going for?
i went to another branch of benchmarx the service was fantastic much better than how my dh was treated in the first one. they were £100 cheeper than the first branch i suppose every little counts! the man who served us was great though gave us ideas and told us whats necessary and whats not, so it was a much better experience all round especially compared to Wickes. Plus you are saving on time it takes to build (wickes flat pack) and benchmarx gives us a long guarantee so i think im going for it. now the rest!

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CharleyL · 18/06/2011 21:15

PinkOlives, what Benchmarx branch did you go to?

PinkOlives · 19/06/2011 12:33

are you in London? do you want to go

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alwaysanauntie · 18/06/2017 07:18

Morning! Hope all's going well with your kitchen plans, appreciate you're well on the way with sorting, but might be worth checking Wren, they are better quality with long opening hours. We're in Reading too and had a Wickes kitchen 1st times (fitted ourselves - nightmare!) and a wren kitchen for our second (brilliant quality and not bad service - can be a bit busy though). Have just been checking comparisons of the big retailers and an independant review had Wren as being much better than Howdens/Benchmarx for various reasons (will try to link in a min) so I think we'll be going back there - as I had been thinking of Benchmarx myself...

alwaysanauntie · 18/06/2017 07:19
LadyPenelopeCantDance · 18/06/2017 08:08

Why are you resurrecting a thread from 2011? Hmm. You seems to be advertising Wren?

For others falling for this, please do not use Wren. There is a long running thread about them and how awful their aftersales are on here that you should read.

We had a great showroom and design experience, but it has been all down hill from there. I have been without a kitchen for three weeks as their fitter has only done half the job leavin us with no cooking facilities or running water. Wren have done nothing to rectify this. Aside from the fitting issues, the products have huge quality issues. Around half of the cabinets delivered are scratched or damaged. Truly stressful experience!

alwaysanauntie · 18/06/2017 08:24

ah - just seen this was June 2011 so a bit pointless now Grin

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