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Thread: Sectional Help - Who to Choose

  1. #1
    cagoo Guest

    Default Sectional Help - Who to Choose

    Hi There,

    We are in the process of buying a new sectional sofa for our living room (never purchased a sofa before). We have two young girls (6 and 2), so we expect a good amount of stress will be put on them. We are trying to find a sofa that will not fall apart in two years but also know that with two young kids, likely not the best time to spend 7-10K on a sofa. Our budget range is between $3K-4.5K and have looked at a couple manufacturers:

    1) Thomasville - Mercer Sectional (http://www.thomasville.com/Furniture...Sectional.aspx)
    2) Harden 7901 Series (http://www.hardenfurniture.com/Furni...al-Series.aspx)
    3) Sam Moore Ricky Sectional (http://www.sammoore.com/index.cfm/up...ries-sectional)

    Absolutely loved the look of the Thomasville and the comfort was good. A bit concerned about the fact that it is engineered hardwood and not solid and then sinuous vs. 8 way hand tied. Not to mention the current bankruptcy of the company. However, at 40% off the sectional starts at $3800 down from $6300.

    Harden had the best seat comfort, but didn't see the exact sectional in the store so hard to say if we would like it as much as the look of Thomasville. Also, comes in at $6100 without any discount, but I do think I can get some discount applied or even wait to there is a sale that brings it down to a comparable price range.

    Sam Moore was really comfortable as well. Seemed to be solid construction - Solid kiln dried wood, 8 way hand tied, etc. but simliliar to Harden, didn't see the actual sectional in the store. Sam Moore is 35% off and comes in at the lowest starting point, around $3600.

    Any feedback on these three brands would be greatly appreciated. Also feedback on some of the quality concerns for Thomasville and the engineered hardwood vs. solid and the sinuous vs. 8 way would be helpful too.

    Finally, just a general question....Macy's has a nice looking Jonathan Louis for $1700...obviously not even comparable in quality, but with two kids should I get a toss away sectional and then change in 5 years...or will this sofa look horrible in 1 - 2 years?

    Thanks for all the help!

  2. #2
    hglaber Guest

    Default Re: Sectional Help - Who to Choose

    Be careful about those "% off" tags. Many of them are a trap, and the fact that you noted them means you are eyeballing the bait.

    Most people (me included) aren't furniture experts so we subconsciously look for an easy way to compare the quality of what we're buying, and retailers are only too glad to give you a big, red, simple one. If they have a sofa they can sell for $3000, and the guy across town also has one that sells for $3000, they just might be able to land the sale if their $3000 is MARKED DOWN FROM $6300!!! instead of the MARKED DOWN FROM $5000!!!! of the guy across town. But those "original" prices are made up. The price it what it sells for, not what it was "marked down" from. They are both $3000 sofas. One might be better, but you'll only find out if that is true using info like found in this forum, not on a slasher tag.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria VA
    Posts
    14,987

    Default Re: Sectional Help - Who to Choose

    Sam Moore is a division of Hooker Furniture and none of the Hooker affiliates use solid wood construction, they are all plywood-based (including their flagship Bradington-Young brand). And Sam Moore is not 8-way hand-tied, it sinuous springs. You might find a little bit of solid wood in their frames, but by and by they are plywood (engineered hardwood).

    Thomasville is in bankruptcy with no buyers for the company or any of the FBI brands at this time - they have been trying to sell them off but getting no buyers. Don't order anything, buy a floor model but don't expect any kind of warranty service. FBI brands include:

    Broyhill
    Hickory
    Thomasville
    La Barge
    Maitland-Smith
    Pearson
    Lane
    Drexel Heritage
    Lane Venture
    Henredon
    Lane Furniture

    Don't fall into the MSRP trap with slasher tags. The 'suggested retails' in this industry are 3x that of wholesale for dealers that actually use the MSRP book. 40 % to 50% off MSRP is where the heavy discounters live every day, selling a $ 6,000 piece for $ 3,000 to $ 3,600. That's not really any great clearance bargain, that's a regular sales price for stores that aggressively price.

    One other point I like to suggest - the BEST piece of furniture in the house should be the one you use the most often. You can do with an inexpensive bedroom chair or settee, or even formal living room - they get very light use. But the TV / Family Room sofa is the one that takes the beating. Spend the money for quality there and you will be rewarded with a piece that performs just as well 10 years from now as the day you brought it home. Its false economy to buy cheap because of kids in the house, etc, on the most oft used upholstery. You want strong furniture that doesn't sag and is nice to sit in to watch a movie, etc. Only well-made, generally higher priced pieces can take the dishout of daily living...good luck in your quest.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  4. #4
    cagoo Guest

    Default Re: Sectional Help - Who to Choose

    Quote Originally Posted by drcollie View Post
    Sam Moore is a division of Hooker Furniture and none of the Hooker affiliates use solid wood construction, they are all plywood-based (including their flagship Bradington-Young brand). And Sam Moore is not 8-way hand-tied, it sinuous springs. You might find a little bit of solid wood in their frames, but by and by they are plywood (engineered hardwood).

    Thomasville is in bankruptcy with no buyers for the company or any of the FBI brands at this time - they have been trying to sell them off but getting no buyers. Don't order anything, buy a floor model but don't expect any kind of warranty service. FBI brands include:

    Broyhill
    Hickory
    Thomasville
    La Barge
    Maitland-Smith
    Pearson
    Lane
    Drexel Heritage
    Lane Venture
    Henredon
    Lane Furniture

    Don't fall into the MSRP trap with slasher tags. The 'suggested retails' in this industry are 3x that of wholesale for dealers that actually use the MSRP book. 40 % to 50% off MSRP is where the heavy discounters live every day, selling a $ 6,000 piece for $ 3,000 to $ 3,600. That's not really any great clearance bargain, that's a regular sales price for stores that aggressively price.

    One other point I like to suggest - the BEST piece of furniture in the house should be the one you use the most often. You can do with an inexpensive bedroom chair or settee, or even formal living room - they get very light use. But the TV / Family Room sofa is the one that takes the beating. Spend the money for quality there and you will be rewarded with a piece that performs just as well 10 years from now as the day you brought it home. Its false economy to buy cheap because of kids in the house, etc, on the most oft used upholstery. You want strong furniture that doesn't sag and is nice to sit in to watch a movie, etc. Only well-made, generally higher priced pieces can take the dishout of daily living...good luck in your quest.

    Hi Duane,

    Thanks for the feedback. This is a great help. Definitely not falling for the MSRP slasher tags. We actually have a copy of the dealer pricing for one of the manufacturers so I can easily see that the price provided is marked up 100% (no this wasn't provided by the dealer ). So a couple of follow-on questions:

    1) What is a good margin for a dealer? I know they need to make money and support their family, but let's just say I want to pay a margin for them to have a minivan not a Lexus.
    2) Realistically I can't afford a $10K sectional, no matter how good the quality and no matter how long it will last me. So with the idea of the sectional that has a corner wedge and then two love seat sections (total length on each side seems to avg. about 106-113"), what is your guesstimate for a fair price on a medium range sectional...what would you be willing to pay and can you actually get a good solid sectional for $4000 - $4500?
    3) In the $4000-$4500 range, who would be the best sofa mfgs that you would recommend?

    Again, thanks for all the help!

  5. #5
    Shelly Hays Guest

    Default Re: Sectional Help - Who to Choose

    Hello! I have the same question as this fellow on the sectional question. I am looking to purchase a new sectional and have been researching for days...almost bought an engineered hardwood with sinuous springs but am holding out for a kiln dried -eight way hand tied sectional. Problem is I just don't know which brand to buy without going over 8,000. Looked at
    Sherrill, Smith Brothers of Berne, Taylor King, Hickory White....my head is gonna explode with all this information. What are your recommendations? Thanks so much!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria VA
    Posts
    14,987

    Default Re: Sectional Help - Who to Choose

    cagoo:

    Well, you really don't want to put yourself in the position of trying to tell a dealer what you feel he should be making in profit on a piece by computing what you think is a fair margin. That sets up an adversarial relationship and you're not going to gain any traction on that one. If you know the MSRP on an item in a particular grade, suffice to say that 40 to 50% off that MSRP every day means you're getting a decent deal from any brick and mortar operation. You don't have to pay $ 10K for a good unit, but you will have to pay $ 5K. For example, using my store pricing as an example you can buy th Bradington Young 224 sectional in the leather as shown on their website for $ 4,507 as you see it, plus shipping costs to where ever you live (probably $ 400 to $ 600 depending on location). Now you have a solid, USA-made piece in leather that will outlast any fabric covered piece by a factor of 4, has down cushions, 8-way springs and will give you 25 + years of high quality decent use if you keep your leather clean and conditioned. Now those are the prices from my store, you might shop locally and find they want $ 8,999 for the same piece so pricing can vary wildly.

    Sorry, the forum software won't let me post a link at this time in this thread - you'll have to navigate it manually to see the sectional. From time to time our forum goes funky and needs a server re-boot.....

    Shelly:

    There are so few makers using solid wood construction & 8-ways these days that its going to be a pretty short list. Hancock & Moore, Leathercraft, Baker, Stickley, Taylor King, Sherill. Everyone else to my knowledge had moved to the plywood construction (there may be others, I may not know of them). You will stuggle a little on the price point in leather, but that's do-able in fabric for sure.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  7. #7
    cagoo Guest

    Default Re: Sectional Help - Who to Choose

    Huge help Duane! Thank you very much. I'll run out this weekend to our local Bradington Young dealer to get a feel for the sofa. I've heard good things about their quality.

    Thanks again!

  8. #8
    ISUFan22 Guest

    Default Re: Sectional Help - Who to Choose

    Quote Originally Posted by drcollie View Post
    There are so few makers using solid wood construction & 8-ways these days that its going to be a pretty short list. Hancock & Moore, Leathercraft, Baker, Stickley, Taylor King, Sherill. Everyone else to my knowledge had moved to the plywood construction (there may be others, I may not know of them). You will stuggle a little on the price point in leather, but that's do-able in fabric for sure.
    To add - Smith Brothers frames are also kiln-dried maple hardwood.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria VA
    Posts
    14,987

    Default Re: Sectional Help - Who to Choose

    Smith Bros is sinuous spring - and that's why I haven't picked the line up for my store.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  10. #10
    PhilTorrence Guest

    Default Re: Sectional Help - Who to Choose

    I have been looking for a one arm chaise and one arm loveseat (small sectional) in a style identical to the Crate and Barrel Axis (McCreary Modern). After quite a bit of shopping around for the same look, I came across the Stanton sofa brand (out of Oregon) and the Jonathan Louis (Mexico) from Macys. The Stanton and JL is an overall 13" shorter than the Axis which is a good thing for my small room. Do you know how the quailty compares between the 3 companies? I have to stay below $1500.00 for the 2 piece sectional. Stanton does not have any reviews online. But, several furniture stores sell it and have told me that they have not had any complaints. Hmmm... ?? I am told that the frame is kiln dried with sinuous springs, glued and bolted. The foam core is 2.0 and wrapped in a down blanket. When feeling the sides and back, the sofa appear to be hollow under there. They have a beautiful 100% polyester herringbone microfiber than I am considering. However, in floor models in this fabric, the fabric does not come all the way to the zippers. Instead, there is about a 3-4" strip of black fabric along the zipper on the the seat and rear cushions. After shopping around, I saw some in a different fabric where this black was not along the zipper. Any idea why that would be? Staton offers a lifetime warranty on their frames and cushions. I dont want the cushions to dip after a while. Especially the chaise cushion as it can not be flipped to even the wear, over time. Any inout would be appreciated.

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