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Thread: Duane are your writing for the WSJ now?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
    Jacksonville, Florida

    Default Duane are your writing for the WSJ now?

    I saw this story in the WSJ and some of the language...landfill etc. reminded me of Duane. I think the link will work. Headline of the story is "Your New $3,000 Couch Might Be Garbage in Three Years."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Alexandria VA

    Default Re: Duane are your writing for the WSJ now?

    This WSJ piece is a fairly decent article. It doesn't get it 100% correct, but its 95% there which isn't bad for someone who is not in the trade. There are some recurring themes that come up in this piece that I have stated all along and I'll cover some of them here.

    The single biggest mistake shoppers make is they set a budget on what they are going to spend before they walk in the store. I hear this every week at least once, "I have $ 2,500 to spend on a leather sofa and no more". By doing this, they have bracketed themselves into a losing buy based on price. Can I find something to sell you? Sure, every retail furniture store can, but its not good quality and it won't last. Why do that to yourself? You are setting yourself up for failure in your purchase because you simply cannot make a decent sofa for that price in 2024. Go into a store where hopefully you can find a knowledgeable sales person and say instead "Educate me on what makes a good leather sofa in a quality build". If someone comes in my store, it will take me at least 40 minutes from that one sentence to cover the basics of what they should be looking for. LEARN FIRST, set your budget later. Then, once you have the information, you can decide if you want to buy top quality builds that actually will last for 20 years or more.

    Buy Direct From The Factory.. Another area where consumers think they are going to get more bang for their buck by cutting out the retail store. Surprise! Most those direct-to-consumer sellers don't sell quality goods. And they know very well that there is no store for a disgruntled customer to walk into when there is a problem. They simply ignore your emails and phone calls once past their return period.

    It costs "X" dollars to make a leather sofa. No matter how many hours you spend on Google searching for a diamond in the rough, the hard truth of the matter is making leather furniture is an established industry. There is no whiz-bang method of giving your more for less, nor some Elon Musk innovator out there. There are only two ways to reduce the cost of a piece. 1) Reduce the cost of the content of materials. 2) Reduce the Labor cost. That's it! Not very glamourous..but true. Almost every maker knows how to do it right, to the gold standard like Hancock and Moore. But they say "We don't want to compete in that arena, our dealers want us to deliver then a leather sofa they can retail for $ 2,999, how do we get there?). Well, you have to decontent the build first thing, and then hire kids out of high school (or go to third world countries) for the labor force.

    The most expensive component on a sofa is the leather hide. The second most costly item is the foam. Foam can be very inexpensive, or costly, depending on what the manufactuer wants to spend. Cheap foams fails quickly. High end foam should last a decade or longer. Eight way hand-tied suspensions are next, thy cost far more in materials and labor than simple no-sag springs (like you see sticking out of the bottom of the one sofa in the photo in that article).

    I don't agree with the author of that article that gins up that popular myth "They don't build them like they used to", and. you should shop for a vintage sofa. The truth is they build them BETTER that 20 years ago. There is far more accuracy in the construction with modern building techniques, and they are even stronger.

    $ 3,000 is what you spend on a quality chair or recliner in 2024. Not a sofa. so yes, your $ 3K sofa will be in the garbage in three years, just like this article says.
    Last edited by drcollie; 01-22-2024 at 09:37 AM.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
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