Cheap Couches Vs Quality Couches
Being in the furniture industry for a good number of years, specifically specialising as an upholstered furniture manufacturer, i.e. sofas, headboards, dining chairs etc…, I had at an early stage developed a very good understanding of the industry and the problems that surround it. One of these problems are quality of the product vs cost of the item.
I had worked for a furniture company, reseller selling cheap couches, I will not mention their name, that had been a furniture re-seller, they use to purchase from what I would classify as “Street Manufacturers” cheap couches, dress it up in a beautiful showroom and mark it up between 300 – 400%.
Although this is the norm for marking up furniture, the problem for me was that we were selling couches for only 30% of what they were worth. I call them street manufacturers as that is literally where they manufacture them, in the street.
I had been working for the said company for 3 months when I was invited to go on a run to collect couches from their suppliers, I was shocked to see that the furniture I was selling, praising to clients was made from inferior quality goods. The framework was manufactured using pallet wood that was sourced by workers roaming the streets looking for any source of wood lying around. The inside seating was filled with papers and bits of left over material, flock, finished by covering it with a thin layer of foam to disguise what was really inside. The seating supports were made from cheap rejected webbing and finally covered with discount fabric that was reject and not up to industry standards. Working conditions for the upholsterers were also tough, working outside on the dirt with machinery that was being utilised via means of stolen electricity. If ever you wanted to have a look for yourself, all you would have to do it drive around Nancefield, South of Johannesburg and you would see for yourself.
I was horrified after that trip, I couldn’t believe that I had been selling those particular lounge suites as A-grade and unknowingly had been lying to clients about the quality of the couches they were purchasing.
Needless to say, my conscious got the better of me and I couldn’t bring myself to continue to sell, quite literally, RUBBISH!
I decided that with the knowledge I had on the industry I would be able to do a much better job and as a result, decided to start Custom Couches.
With a small loan from the bank and a newly formed partnership with a Master Upholster, Custom Couches (PTY)LTD was born in my single garage with the aim of providing quality furniture at an affordable price.
The first thing we implemented was for us to use saligna wood for the manufacture of our frames, although this timber was slightly more expensive than the industry standard utilised pine timber, we had decided on utilising the specific wood because it is by definition a hard wood and 3 x stronger than pine, it as well deals extremely well under a lot of weight. This decision early on allowed us the confidence to provide our couches with a 3-year warranty instead of the industry standard 6 months.
We had as well decided not to utilise cheap elastic webbing for the seating area and instead decided to utilise the more supportive 9-gauge spring, coupled with a high density foam as its seating allowed us to ensure additional seating support ensuring that the couches were never the victim of sagging.
Finally, our upholstered fabrics were only sourced from the best fabric houses in the country and we never compromised by purchasing the cheap defective material as we had always wanted to provide a quality lounge sets.
As a result, we were able to provide quality couches equivalent if not better than the ones on offer by top retailers at a fraction of the cost and this was as a direct result of us supplying directly from the factory. We were able to eliminate the 300 – 400% mark up and provide a quality sofa affordable for the everyday consumer.
We as well welcomed and still do welcome any of our clients to pay a visit to our factory so that they can see for themselves how the couches are manufactured. We have nothing to hide and really pride ourselves on providing this additional service leaving our clients with no doubts in their mind, whatsoever, that their money is well spent.
We are however still not the cheapest and you are able to find couches cheaper than what we have on offer, but know for a fact that cheaper than us is the inferior quality and although in the beginning may seem like a saving to the consumer, will end up costing them a lot more in the long run.
I have had to tell people to throw their couches away whom had desperately approached us to perform a repair, because the sofa was manufactured incorrectly from the get go and the companies where they were purchased were no longer in existence or simply refused a repair due to the 6 month warranty lapsing.
Due to our strict quality standard providing long lasting furniture our company has grown in leaps and bounds and we are ever expanding. No longer in the single garage.
I’m certain that we will definitely become a household brand and rival the big retailers sooner rather than later.
So, I guess the lesson learned is to remember that cheaper isn’t always better, sometimes it may be better to pay a little more even if you have to save a couple months extra and purchase a quality couch set knowing that the little extra spent will give you piece of mind that you are getting your monies worth.
They say a picture is worth 1000 words, so we decided to purchase one of these low quality items and strip them down all the way so that we offer you as a consumer some insight into what we mean;
As you can see from the imagery, very poor craftsman/workmanship, just an occasional chair like this can retail for almost R3 000-00 and we would hope that what we would be getting is a quality item, but this is not the case. Beneath the surface of the upholstery, which as well isn't very good, is utter RUBBISH! Definitely not worth the money you would spend.
We then attempted to re-create this same product with the unique factor of adding the Custom Couches quality touch and this is what we produced.
As you can see from the above images, we can only describe our product in one word, PERFECTION!
Ill let the imagery above speak for itself.
Best part, remember that retail price of R3 000-00, being that we are a factory, you would get this item at a factory price of only R1 950-00.
Its a no brainer, a clearly delightful superior quality product supplied with an attractive lower price tag.
Whom, after reading this, wouldn't choose/consider Custom Couches when shopping around for your specific furniture requirements.
Oh, and by the way, the company I used to work for selling the “Street Manufacturers” cheap couches, closed down about 18 months later as a result of having too many complaints they had eventually had no new business and drew their business into liquidation.
Hope this provides you as the reader with a little more insight on cheap couches vs quality couches.
You are as well welcome to visit our factory showroom at Unit 11 Trevallyn Park East, Cnr River & Malibongwe Drive, entrance on Hyskraan Close, Kya Sands, North Riding. We are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, Saturday 9am to 4pm and Sundays by appointment.
Pay us a visit at any time and we will be able to provide you with expert advice on any of your furniture requirement specifications.
Custom Couches (PTY) LTD Managing Director