From time to time I hear a prospective client say "Oh I can get this cheaper at _____". The response is "maybe, maybe not"; in many cases, it is CHEAPER and the client sacrifices quality, especially if the crate is for a puppy. They have sharp teeth and endless energy!
Often it is an apples to oranges comparison. When I know the specific brand, usually a bargain brand, I can point out the differences. On wire crates, there may or may not be "guards", little fasteners going forward and/or backwards anchoring the top to the sides. These prevent the dog from pulling or pushing the wire walls ajar, which can injure the dog. The less expensive crates have fewer of these.
The strength of the wire itself varies also. The bargain brands have what I call "winky" wire, not very strong. The generic brand I sell is mid range gauge.
The really strong stuff is found in crates such as Midwest Ultima brand-pit strong
I call them.
In addition, the plastic trays are often very thin, so can split under the weight of a bigger dog.
One of the most common requests I get at Pet Stuff Resale is for replacement trays.
Petmate, which has made some very good crates, has really lowered their standards
on some smaller plastic crates. The plastic itself is flimsy and the plastic connectors fall off frequently, especially the front ones. They have improved the door; I no longer see the round dial latch which was terrible. Unfortunately, these crates are not bargain priced.
I spend a lot of time educating customers and will refer clients to a pet store
if I do not have what is best for them. It's not just good business, I don't
dare ignore how my momma raised me!