Having been in the vacuum cleaner business for the better part of 25+ years now has given me the benefit of experience, and the wisdom to know that what you see or hear is not always what you get.
I am always amazed when a customer comes into my store and complains about the vacuum cleaner they bought 3 years ago after reading a review of it in one of the leading consumer advocate magazines or online reviews. I smile and ask them if they had come into a local vacuum shop and asked the people that are actually in the business. More often than not the answer is no. In fairness to my customer; often times, there is a misconception that we independent vacuum store owners are going to be more expensive than the "big-box" stores. They might also think that we might be pushing our brand - to the exclusion of all the others.
The problem is that the review magazines tend to focus on the brands that you see in all the big-box chain stores and tend to downplay the really good brands that you see in the independent dealers. Sometimes there are valid reasons, but usually there are major trade-offs when staying with those brands the chain stores carry. The biggest issue is durablility. Since the chain stores do not repair them, they usually do not care about that. Since you can not usually do side-by-side comparisions you are limited to advertising and "reviews" to help you make a choice.
There is a formula that I tell my customers to adhere to.
1. If you see the brand (not just the model) advertised in your Sunday paper, my advise is to try to stay away from it. It might sound strange, but if you talk to your local vacuum guy that actually sells AND repairs, odds are that most of them will tell you that the average vacuum sold in the big chain stores are not the best performers or the best in durability. There is a need for those types of machines, but if you're tired of buying a new vacuum cleaner every few years, then it is time to talk to the professionals.
2. We are here to make money. Yep! It is true! But it is also true that we really do have your best interests at heart. The last thing I want to do is to sell you a vacuum cleaner that doesn't perform like I told you it should, or last as long as I told you it would, or that the company doesn't support us (or you) when things go wrong. We want happy customers. We want customers that trust us. Yes we are here to make a living, and that does involve insuring that you are happy with our service.
There are plenty of great vacuum cleaners out there - at every price point. But the best advice it to talk to people that are actually in the industry, especially the ones that repair them. Talk to a shop that sells more than one brand as well. We happen to sell Simplicity, SEBO, Lindhaus, Fuller Brush, Carpet Pro, Eureka, Royal, Panasonic and more.
Come on by the store sometime. We are located at 24260 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, CA 90505
There is also a map link in the lower left-hand corner of this page.
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