It's the mystery of the missing kitchen cabinets, and even Sherlock Holmes might not be able to solve this one.
One woman is asking what happened to her new cabinets, after having a store hold them for a few months.
It's a warning for everyone redoing a kitchen or bath, tempted to have a store hold their purchases in the back room until they are ready for installation.
Grabbed an incredible deal
Joan Hardy is lamenting her lost kitchen cabinets.
"They would have looked perfect in my kitchen. Now I have nothing," she said.
Hoping to redo her kitchen, Hardy was thrilled to find a great deal on a display model set off cabinets at a local Menards store. They even included the counter and sink.
"They were $4,000 cabinets and they were marked down to $1,000, and we said, 'Hey that's a good deal,'" Hardy said.
So she paid on the spot. But because she didn't need them right away, when the store agreed to hold them for her, she said that would be ideal.
"They would be stored in the warehouse with plastic wrapped around them," she said. "The manager told me there was no rush, at my convenience I could just come and pick them up."
But when she returned, she says, "I went up there one Saturday two weeks ago, and there were no cabinets. They went all through the warehouse and there were no cabinets."
Hardy believes they either accidentally sold them to someone else, or threw them away once the display was dismantled.
"All we know is they took our money and we have no cabinets," she said.
How to protect yourself
So don't let this happen to you.
- When buying items for a kitchen or bath, try to take delivery at the time of purchase, especially if it is a "big box" store that doesn't normally hold items.
- If you need the store to hold them, make sure they have a secure location, and check to see that your name and the word "sold" is clearly marked on them, so they are not mixed with items for sale.
Hardy says the store offered her credit, but says "we don't want a store credit. We'd like to have our money back so we can go somewhere else and possibly get our cabinets."
She says they have no other cabinet set as nice anywhere near the price she paid.
We contacted the store's corporate headquarters, which told us they would try to work with Hardy, who is still unhappy over the new cabinets that might have been.
What you can do
There is one other option, if you can't bring cabinets or a sink or vanity home with you.
If you're using a contractor, sometimes they will pick up your new cabinets and hold them in their warehouse or your garage until they are ready to install them.
That way you don't waste your money,
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