If I’ve been asked once, I’ve been asked a million time….“why is furniture so expensive?”. It’s a good question and it’s a fair question. Here are the top things that drive the cost of furniture.
Original Designs – The Cost of Originality
Here’s an honest peek behind the scene of pricing. Countless hours are spent developing, designing and making prototypes of furniture. The trial and error to develop original designs is extensive. If you have ever purchased an original or handcrafted artisan piece, you know that they are well-made and timeless in design, as well as only a few exist in the world—Limited editions. When something is made in small numbers, like it is for high-end goods be it handbags, cars or furniture, the cost goes up exponentially.
Smaller Market Appeal
The desirability of having an exclusive item is for a small group of consumers that have the wherewithal to know they want something different and can afford the luxury. A $2500-$6,000 handbag isn’t for the everyday consumer. Which make for fewer people in that purchasing group and therefore the cost of goods goes up. No volume profits! If it is a one-of-a-kind or some-of-a-kind product, the cost to make something custom and in small numbers affects the pricing dramatically. On another note, it’s not just the custom and small numbers alone, the quality of the materials and the attention to all the small details makes that item stand out in the field of sameness.
Economy of Scale
Some companies can purchase larger quantities of furniture due to their size and they get discounts of up to 30% on the wholesale costs. They then price their items at the same price as smaller purchasers who do not get the discount. MSRP is the Manufactures Suggested Retail Price. As a business person, I can chose not to carry those items or not have a lot of them as I cannot compete with the discounts they can give. The available discount that large volume, container purchasers doesn’t exist for the smaller independent retailer, typically the service isn’t there either that the smaller retailer provides.
It all comes down to the quality of the materials used in setting the cost. In the case of The Arrangement, we always use the top of the line leathers. Fact: Only 5% of the world uses the leathers that I select, that’s interesting to know. Only handbag or shoe manufacturers use the same quality of leather. You might know, if you purchase handmade shoes or limited edition handbags (the it bag), they start high and go up from there. You have a desire to be part of that quality of craftsmanship and materials group, you wear it proudly. You are deserving of having that luxury. You have it in your car, your home and your toys.
A lesson learned long ago is you buy the best you can. This is not for everyone who has deep pockets, but my folks had seven kids and little money. The lesson was they bought designer or known brands which held up for their lifetime and mine. In 1955 they purchased designer furniture while stationed in Germany and those pieces today are on the cover of architectural magazines. Good design is forever. The grandkids have some of those pieces proudly displayed in their homes. Some people have an eye for timeless design and quality. Long after the purchase, you have a well-made, durable, sustainable piece of furniture to last for decades and its comfortable. So this actually is another reason why furniture is so expensive, you buy better pieces designed by individuals not what the masses are purchasing.
Sorry, back to the subject of furniture cost comparison. The cost of using sustainable goods from responsible companies is higher why? You can’t just use any type of hardwood for frames or case goods. Our upholstery companies use wood that comes from responsibly managed forests. Our case goods are made from trees felled in storms, which are salvaged and transported over long distances. Finding and transporting reclaimed timbers takes a lot of time. Your watch the American Pickers show. Mike and Frank are on the road for weeks and weeks. Our custom designed and crafted case goods are made of reclaimed timbers that can take up to 60% of the time to salvage. A whopping 87% of our total stock is responsibly sourced, sustainable goods. Our commitment has been to the healthy, happier interior air of your home environment. We are all in this together for our generation and generations to come. So whether you believe in this or not, it is healthier for your home interiors, the wood sources, the finishes and the longevity of the pieces makes them sustainable. End note: sustainable furniture costs a little more.
Back to the furniture cost comparison. There is cheap cost and you get cheap performance. If you hear the voice in your head it is saying “it’ll do for now”, “I’m in a hurry to fill that space”, “it’s the best I’ve found”. The final end result is that you will buy it twice– it will not hold up over time. It is proven that people spend way more on the re-buy because of frustration. This is a very, very expensive process and will cost your thousands of dollars you haven’t calculated in your budget. You may be all about budgets. If you are all about the price: we are not cheap but our product out performs. You buy it right the first time, you save buying it twice.
Planning The Project
You don’t over buy. There are no extra pieces when you are ready to move in. Planning the entire project saves you furniture dollars. It initially is overwhelming. With the right guidance you save money. You buy the essential pieces any see them all together. Not in your mind. But actually on the showroom floor, your rooms are taped out and the actual furniture is placed in the space. The arrangement of the furniture is just as important. That’s why we ask so many questions. If you let us help you plan it out….you will have a plan and it will save you on a billion hours of spinning your wheels looking. Your time is money, let us help you save some of it. You are investing in your home and your well-being.
If it comes down to pricing, you want a good value price for a good value piece. You just don’t know the actual value is and you may think we are marking it up too much. Not so. We have forthrightly calculated the cost, transportation, storage, care, taxes and insurance on each and every piece. Somewhat like gasoline, there is a lump sum of non-oil costs added to the purchase process at the pump. You insure your home and its contents and you know the carrying costs. So high-end furniture has a lump sum that ensures it’s care and safety while traveling to us and while with us. This is a non-negotiable amount that has to be paid out. Unlike car dealerships where you haggle for hours over a discount, the discounts we offer are what we can “afford” to give and stay in business so you have an amazing place to shop and be inspired.
Our simple goal is to help you have a beautiful, welcoming, comfortable, sustainable and amazing home or office. Sounds simple and it comes from the heart.