There is quite a few awning manufacturers out there, so what do you need to know about them before making the big purchase?
Lets start with the one you see advertised on TV quite a bit. I won't mention their name but I know you know who I am talking about. The first thing you should know is that this is one of the cheapest made awnings on the market, they get everything from China and if you pay attention to their commercials, they state, "assembled in America". And you may say, yeah but they are inexpensive, which will save me money. My reply to that is you are right, but there is a good chance you may have to replace it in 3 years, and if you have a problem, are you going to be able to get service? I think that they don't have dealers for any length of time. And they sure won't come down from up north to service you.
About 5 years ago I added them to our line of retractable awnings. I found out that they really don't stand behind their warranty very well, and seeing as how customer service is very important to us. I dropped them after a year. Also go online and read their reviews, not good.
Another thing I notice is how some dealers, when you do a retractable awning search will say misleading things to try to make you think they are better than the competition. I can think of one offhand that when you see their ad it states, "life time warranty", when in fact if you actually go to their website, there it states that it is a limited life time warranty, covering the components only. The thing about that is if in fact the components are well engineered and well made they should last a life time. Most manufactures offer a 10 year warranty even though they last a lot longer. To me it is just wrong to be deceptive and doesn't speak well of the dealer.
That being said, there are some really good manufactures out there, but I'm asking you to keep in mind that quality awnings from different manufactures are going to be somewhat comparable in price. When you get a quote that is about half of maybe a quote or two that you already have, then it is buyer beware.