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  • Writer's pictureTri City Furniture, Auburn

Inside Scoop on Furniture Prices

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

If you have been shopping around for the first time in a long time, you may have noticed that prices are different from 30 years ago. Right now, a year in since this terrible pandemic begun- price are even different from 6 months ago.

Even though we have seen so many things change price- from gas, your fast food burgers, vehicles, and of course furniture- there are still some inside understanding on why furniture prices may differ from piece to piece, website to store or from store to store all together. Learn more about this and the reasons behind it on the next Design Time with Kathy Kilbourn of Tri City Furniture.

Let's talk cars for a moment. General Motors is a name we all know in Michigan. If you are buying one of their vehicles you could be looking at different categories.

Maybe you want the Chevrolet Spark running around $18,000 new.

Great vehicle- rearview camera, 10 airbags, leather seats and about 12 other amazing features that will get you to your next destination.

Or maybe you are looking at a Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing. It has the same features as listed above from the Spark, and of course, a few more. It will get you to your destination, same as above. The CT5 currently is selling for $110,000.

Both Vehicles are GM made. So, why is there a price difference? Well, if you are a car person, you are going to tell me very quickly that a Chevrolet does not ride the same as a Cadillac! You are going to tell me that if I got behind that wheel for just a moment on both of them, I would quickly know why one costs more money than the other.

I had a client tell me just the other day, "You can not expect the Chevrolet to ride the same as the Cadillac!" He said, "There is no comparison!"

Same goes for furniture or mattresses! You can not expect to purchase the $399 recliner and have it feel the same as the $999 recliner or even the $2300 Norwegian Recliner. They are different. Yes, they are all recliners. Yes, they all may have similar parts, but there are extra components in one vs the others that will give your that extra comfort and lasting warranty elements. Softer, less expensive foams are used in less expensive recliners. Less coils and support units are used in these seat structures. Within a Norwegian recliner, you have a steel frame- no wood is even used!

I hate to say it, but often you have to ask the questions to determine if the piece you are buying is worth the price it is tagged. I have had many people come into the store complaining about leather sofas purchased elsewhere in the past. "It peeled within the first year! We never even use it, and it is peeling! And we paid a lot of money for that!" So often I hear this story about paying a very good amount for fake leather. They didn't know it was fake leather when they bought it, but once they saw it peeling they asked about the quality. They assumed it was a quality piece, because of the large price tag, but you really need the information that supports the quality of the price. There are many tricks that can be done to lower a price within furniture.

Many import companies have found ways to remove items within their furniture to lower the price for the consumer. Just remember that taking construction elements away does not make anything stronger. We see seat cushions being one sided, have less support springs in the seats to NO support springs, to only using staples to secure the frame vs dowels, braces and glue. It may look good day one, but what about a year in? You work too hard for your money to waste it on trash furniture.

It makes me sad to see furniture on the side of the road waiting for the trash truck. It makes me even sadder to think about all that junk furniture in the landfills. I grew up when you were able to pass down furniture. Sure, maybe it went to the spare room first, and then the basement, but then one of the kids got it or it went to the cabin. And you know what, it was still in good shape when it went to the kids! They still appreciated it!

Quality furniture, well built, American Made can live many lives and last for many years!

Mattresses are another conversation. They should be able to live on. If my first mattress could talk, I probably would not want to know the stories it told. It started out as my parents' bed. When they upgraded, it went to my brother. Then when he wanted a futon, I got it. When my brother and I had both moved out and my room turned into an office, the mattress went to my brother's spare room. I moved into a new home near them and it turned into my main bed again. When I got married and we switched to a king size bed, my old queen went to our spare room. Once we moved out of state, the mattress went to my Mother-in-laws who is still sleeping on it today. That mattress is over 40 years old, but it was well built and taken care of. It was able to live on again and again and again!

Mattresses all look good sitting in their display. They all are pretty white rectangle boxes that probably feel better than what you have at home. The thing to remember again is a 300 coil mattress is not going to hold up as well as a 1000 coil mattress. Price should reflect again the quality inside the mattress. The 300 coil mattress should cost much less than the 1000 coil mattress. If we are thinking cars again, I am sure that 1000 coil mattress probably has many other features, warranty and elements that the lower one does not. The two mattresses will not feel the same. The two mattresses will not last the same. You can not expect a higher performance level out of the lower quality mattress, because it is not built the same. Yes, they both are mattresses. Yes, they may both be Serta Brand, made in Michigan, but the differences are inside the piece!

When you buy online, there are many things that you may not be able to ask. Who unloads it? What if it is damaged? What If you don't like it, how do you return it? Who do you call? What happens a year down the road and if there is a problem?

Buying from people you know and businesses that have been around and plan on staying around is very important. Yes, there prices may cost a little more than online, but you also get more.

  • You get to come in and try the piece before you buy it.

  • You get to sit on it.

  • You get to pick and see the fabric.

  • You get to talk to a real person and ask questions.

  • You get to know if this piece is quality at the time of purchase.

  • You know that your pieces are new and not used or returned.

  • You get someone to deliver it or help you load it.

  • You know who to call if you have an issue.

Yes, it may cost a little more, but it does cost a little more. There is a building, lights, taxes and employees to pay. Within a community though, that money goes back into the community and you are supporting the people who live within it.

Investing in your community is just as important as investing in the quality you buy!

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