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  • Writer's pictureTri City Furniture, Auburn

Do Brand Names Matter?

I was talking to a friend the other day and she was retelling the story of teaching her 16 year old son that there are certain items that she always buy brand names of. Her must were on ice cream, cheese and Oreos. This conversation came after her son came home with the wrong choice and the family was disappointed. We don't want that to happen to you and your furniture.

Many, Many, Many of the brand names that you may know for furniture, which you think are quality or are American made are no longer the same product. You need to ask and ask again.

Of course they keep the same strong name that has headlighted their company for the last 60 years, but the furniture itself, the standards of the company and the quality elements have all changed and lowered. Many of those names you know are now imports. I know one company that we use to carry 10 years ago is all a cut and sew programs today. This means that the units (sofas, chairs, recliners) are all cut over seas at the quality standards (lower) which apply overseas and then imported to the United States to be assembled.

Cut and Sew Programs are very different than American Made. These imports are American assembled, but do not carry the same materials, standards or warranty as a true American Made Product. Do not be deceived. Just because the name may say something that resembles the USA or has a red, white and blue flag on it does not mean that it is truly American Made.

American made furniture still exists! It is very reasonably priced and has great components and warranties that stand behind it's construction. The news and the internet may try to lead you to believe that everything comes on a boat over the sea as an import and that is why there are such long delays, but that is not true! There are skilled craftsman and women who work very hard so you can enjoy comfort, as well as beauty in your home.

I've often heard the saying..."Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is." Meaning Support your stated opinion by acting on it, investing on it, or betting on it. Origin of Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is This expression first appeared in America in the 1930s or 1940s. If want American to be great and thrive- then we need to support American companies and the workforce here. It is possible. I guarantee that you will be even happier with your purchase. You may pay a little more, but we all know you will get more as well.

I have heard people tell me that they purchased a recliner 25 years ago and it is worn out now, but it lasted a long time. A really, really long time.

Unfortunately, many of those BRAND NAMES have changed their products and continued to change their products to stay in business. The big box stores have demanded lower prices and that has continued to push the quality down. If you want a cheap recliner, we will get you a cheap recliner, but remember, you get what you pay for.....

 Labor costs here in the US are much higher than import production fees. Plus the components within an American recliner all make the cost to continue to rise. One way to cut cost is to remove parts. Who needs springs? Support foam? Quality fabric? Do you need wood arms or could you get away with cardboard arms? Why use nails and corner supports? Let's just put a staple in it! There are lots of ways to cut corners!  An example would be a starter price recliner again. It seems like I have sold $599 recliners for 40 years, but what you get today for $599 and what you got 40 years ago for $599 are not at all the same. Costs have gone up, but that selling price has stayed similar. So what has changed is the quality.

There are American made products. There are still good products made available. Manufactures do not spend dollars to advertise their names like they did 50 years ago. Many of them don't want to, because they don't want you to know all their details. The older names that you are familiar with have mostly gone the way of imports. Either completely moving production overseas or making all of the parts overseas and then assembling it here. Quality standards and parts made somewhere else are not put to American Standard and quality. American assembled and American made is not the same! Just because the word AMERICAN or USA is in the name of the brand, does not mean that it is made here. Be aware!

Ask questions. Ask for the warranty. Ask for the 800 number. Ask who you are going to call if you have an issue. Ask about the type of foam that is inside the product. Ask where the fabric is made and what is it made of. Ask about the coil system. Ask for the count of coils. Ask about the wood frame. Is there wood even in the frame? Ask if it has cardboard arms or fiberboard. Ask if the store has returns or complaints on the product. Ask if the sale's person would buy it themselves. Ask if it is leather. Ask as many questions as you can to know if the product you are getting is the product that you are expecting.

One of my manufactures make products for a brand name store you find in every mall across America. It is a product of that company, but they put the store brand tag on it and add $1000 to the price tag. I know these days I don't need the fancy brand name tag to feel better about myself or my purchase. I just want the quality. When you buy it in the mall it cost $1000 more and it comes in 3 fabric choices. When you buy it from me, you save $1000 and you have 500 choices of fabric. The inside does not change. Don't be taken advantage of. Come ask us! We will tell you the inside story.

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