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Select Blinds vs Star Decorating

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SELECT BLINDS

Select Blinds was created in 2003 with the purpose of offering custom window shades and blinds at prices that the average consumer could afford. Promoted by big names like HGTV and the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition show, this company is accomplishing what they set out to do: for more than 200,000 customers and counting.

You'll find an extremely easy shopping process on the Select Blinds site. Browse the category images on the main page or use the top navigation to go directly to what you need: Blinds, Shades, Shutters, Motorized options, or shop by room or need (like Best for Kids or Water Resistant).

Then, use the side navigation to refine your options by color, price, production time, options/features, and much more. You'll quickly see which products meet your criteria, and most have thousands of customer reviews to give you an idea of how well they work when they're actually installed.

Each product has a wealth of information, from images and videos to detailed measurement and installation guidance. Select Blinds is one of the only companies to offer extended warranty options, too:

  • 3-Year Limited: included for free, this covers defects, internal mechanisms, and brackets
  • 5-Year Limited: covers the same items as above, but for two extra years. The price depends on the blinds you buy, but on a set of blinds that cost $8.99, the cost was just $0.67 more.
  • 5-year Unlimited: according to their description, this includes accidents, "general mayhem", "overzealous child or hungry pet", and "any damage you can dream up". (We love businesses that have a sense of humor!). We'd pay an extra $2.33 for this additional coverage on blinds that sell for $8.99.

Compared with other stores that sell in-house brands of window blinds, Select Blinds' prices are about average. Shipping is free; we didn't see the usual exclusion for products measuring more than 94", so we reached out to their customer service department via live chat. It took a few minutes, but we eventually got a very helpful person who confirmed that yes, shipping is complimentary on window treatments with large dimensions - no oversize charges. That could save you as much as $80, when looking at what the competition charges.

You can also order free samples of any blinds or other window treatments, especially if you're trying to match a particular color in your home. We found that Select Blinds will honor the price at the time you order your samples, so that you don't feel rushed in placing an order. You might need to contact their customer service department, to get the previous discount applied to your purchase.

What about returns? Select Blinds is equally generous: if they ship you a product that is defective or that doesn't match the measurements you sent in, they'll exchange or repair them for up to 90 days after delivery. If the mistake is on your side, you can either return them to be trimmed to the right size for a fee of $20 per window treatment or place a new order at a discount of 50% off.

You'll definitely want to use their measuring tools page, to ensure that the "oops" isn't on your part, though.

Select Blinds has one of the highest overall customer satisfaction scores we have ever seen. Not only do they have an "A+" with the Better Business Bureau, but they're one of the only businesses we've found that has hundreds of positive reviews there. Even looking at other third-party customer review sites, people have excellent things to say about this company. That doesn't mean that there are no complaints. On the contrary, the most frequent negative comment usually refers to problems with getting the right fit. But, many customers changed their reviews from negative to positive after getting a prompt, helpful, even apologetic response from Select Blinds' representatives, instead of being told "too bad" or refusing to accept responsibility for the problem.

There's only one small drawback to shopping at Select Blinds: you won't find any name brands like Levolor. Then again, when you see that you can get the same quality as a brand-name manufacturer, backed by excellent warranties and shipped for free no matter what the size, you may not mind. Select Blinds is an excellent choice for affordable, high quality window treatments.

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STAR DECORATING

Since 1985, Star Decorating has been a premier mail order company, selling not just blinds and shades but also area rugs and more. Their "A+" rating with the BBB continues to demonstrate that they do a good job of taking care of their customers. And, they offer a decent variety of brands in their inventory: not just the bigger names like Levolor and Bali but also Coolaroo and their own StarBlinds brand.

Star Decorating has made some changes since our last review, the most helpful being the ability to order free samples. You'll find that option with each window treatment you look at; this definitely keeps this retailer competitive, since most of their competitors offer samples too. They also guarantee that they'll beat any price you find at another store; just fill out their contact form and they'll get in touch with you to offer you a better deal.

You may not need to make that request: when we shopped the site most recently, the Levolor blinds we used as a comparison product across retailers was several dollars less than the price at other stores. We needed a coupon code to get that price, but the code was shown right next to the product description. Just be sure to enter your product dimensions: the default on those Levolor window treatments was 8" by 10", not the standard 24" by 36" typically used on other sites.

As with many window blinds stores, Star Decorating offers free shipping within the contiguous United States for all blinds and shades under 94". Expect an oversize charge of $70 if your window treatments are larger than that.

This store only accepts returns due to damage or defect, but you'll have to make that claim within 5 days of delivery. Any product warranties depend on the manufacturer, and you'll be responsible for any shipping costs if you have to return your merchandise for repair.

The only change that Star Decorating hasn't made since our previous review is their website. More now than before, it looks very outdated compared with other retailers of window blinds, and we still found typos in their policies and product descriptions. We also got text-heavy pop-ups during the ordering process; we appreciate the information that they provided, but when their competitors offer images and even videos to illustrate the same details, Star Decorating seems to have fallen behind the times.

But, because of the improvements they've made, Star Decorating earns an extra half-star in our ratings, and we hope to see an improved, more user-friendly site in the near future.

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Best Window Blinds

To help you find the Best Window Blinds, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Select Blinds and Star Decorating.

Who has the best Window Blinds? Whether you're decorating a brand-new home or changing the look of an existing one, window coverings are an easy way to add beauty and flair along with function. From traditional vertical blinds to roller shades and much more, your options are almost limitless, especially when you add in the dimensions of material, color, and brand.

Gone are the days of needing to hike from one store to another with the measurements of your windows, gathering price quotes and hoping to find exactly what you want. Most of today's top brands and retailers sell their window blinds online. These sites typically have helpful tools to ensure the right fit, and to help you choose the right window treatment for the room where you'll install the blinds.

When you order window blinds online, your order is shipped directly to you, and many stores give you the choice to put them up yourself or to pay for professional installation.

As you decide which window blind store you'll use for your purchase, you should keep in mind these criteria:

  • Selection. Does the retailer carry a wide variety of styles, brands, and options? Will you be limited to their in-house blinds, or can you also choose from established name brands? Can you get a sample of different types of blinds that they offer?
  • Price. What will it cost to get the window blinds you want? Will you spend extra for shipping? Are there any discounts available, to make your purchase more affordable?
  • Policies. If you don't like the window blinds once they're delivered, can you return them? Does the store offer a satisfaction guarantee? What happens if the blinds don't fit when you try to install them?
  • Reputation. Have other customers had a good experience with the store, both with using the site to place an order and once they receive their blinds? Does the retailer have a solid history, especially when it comes to resolving customer concerns?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Window Blinds stores available today. We hope this information helps you find the window blinds you want right away!



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