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Sherlock Holmes seeks to match the price

How to compare prices of solar kits - and always get the highest quality at the best price

In calls with clients, sometimes comparisons come up with kits from other vendors that supposedly sell at cheaper prices. In all these conversations we see that in the end, when you compare solar kits in equal terms, Robinsun offers a better product at the same if not a slightly lower price. At Robinsun we are committed to always give our customers the best quality of plug & play solar kits at the best price.

Compare apples to apples

In all conversations we have had with customers so far, the impression that you can get a kit somewhere else cheaper has always been proved wrong when you compare kits fairly. Checking the components included, their quality and features, the pricing and terms of shipment, once all variables were the same and the comparison is fair, Robinsun always has been the more affordable option, delivering the best value-for-money.

Panel quality

The solar panels are a main component of any plug & play kit, and also one of the most expensive. Meeting many manufacturers of solar panels at the recent Intersolar fair in Munich (Germany), Robinsun was able to get a good feeling of the latest technology coming to market in the next 6 months. We also got the latest on pricing, quality, production and warranty differences between vendors.

The main learning is that producing a solar panel that works well not just for a short time, but over the entire warranty period, that should be of 30 years for production warranty, has its cost. There are brands in the market that sell cheaper panels with shorter warranty periods. And you also need to trust that the brand will still be around once you actually have a warranty issue. Robinsun works with top brands like Aiko, QN Solar or Longi, that are among the biggest and highest quality manufacturers in the world. They produce the most advanced solar panels with the highest manufacturing standards. Since you want your plug & play solar kit to produce a lot over a long period of time, the small price increase to get a top quality kit is totally worth it.

Micro inverter quality

The other key component of a solar kit is the micro inverter. We already wrote several times about micro inverters, and how crucial choosing quality is. We also highlighted vendors of shady brands. And we reported about a major scandal in Germany, concerning the brand Deye (that also sells its products white label). Deye had omitted to include a key safety relay in the production version of its micro inverters, after passing CE and VDE conformity testing with a proper version.

As a result, the German Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) ordered a list of Deye microinverters to be taken off the grid. This has created a lot of uncertainty in the market, destroyed Deye’s reputation and made balcony solar look unsafe. But this is not the case if you use a quality micro inverter from a brand like Hoymiles, Tsun, Enphase or the like.

There are still a lot of Deye micro inverters on the market, at very cheap prices. Outside of Germany, where the scandal is less well known, customers buy Deye, unaware of the risks. At Robinsun we think that the safety of your installation is paramount. We have seen that vendors selling kits with Deye micro inverters usually also have other brands on offer. And guess what? Their kits with a higher quality micro inverter are more expensive.

Beware of VAT tricks

We recently found vendors that sell online, showing prices that don’t include VAT. In Europe this is illegal, unless VAT actually is zero on a product. At the moment in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands this is the case for plug & play solar kits. In Portugal there’s a reduced rate. But wherever VAT applies to a product, the vendor must include it in the price show on the site. Consumers can file a claim for deceitful advertising against vendors applying these tricks.

Shipment costs

We recently tried to exclude the shipment from our prices, thinking that we could give customers a better deal like this. But customer feedback was very clear: they want the shipment price to be included. When talking to customers we discuss the shipping costs openly. And when we compare prices between vendors, you should always check if the shipment cost is included in the final price.

Buying in another country

Sometimes customers see kits in other countries at lower prices. If you check German stores for example, they apply 0% VAT, since in Germany the government reduced VAT in 2023 on solar kits. If a non-German customer buys in such a store, it might be that the vendor has to apply the customer’s country VAT rate. And in any case, you will have to ship your kit from Germany to whatever country you want it delivered to. This is usually very expensive, and is a factor to consider when deciding where to buy your kit.

Cables and mounts

Another trick to reduce kit prices are the accessories, like cables to connect the micro inverter or mounts. We see some vendors pushing aggressive pricing, but when you check the package content, there is no cable to connect the micro inverter. If you have such a cable, that is fine. But Betteri plugs used in micro inverters are not a standard that you find in a normal electric supplies store. We include these cables into our kits, and recently launched a cable shop in case you need to add more or longer cables to your kit.

As for the mounts, we recommend you buy your kit with a safe mount. But customers sometimes have their own mount solutions. For this reason we sell our kits either in a Basic version (without mount), or with a variety of mount systems for different installation locations. When comparing kits from different vendors, check if the mount is included in the price. And also compare the quality.

Our commitment - we get you the lowest price

For Robinsun the satisfaction of our customers is the most important thing. As a result customers rate us 4.9 stars on Google and 4.7 stars on Trustpilot. That's why from now on, if you find a kit like ours at a better price, we'll match the cheaper price. Are you interested in a solar kit, and do you think you have found it somewhere at a better price? Contact us and we’ll match your price.


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