The High Cost of Affordable Furniture

Back in 2009, my wife and I bought our first house. That summer we spent a lot of time going to different stores to look at furniture for the house. The prices varied greatly and it seemed that all of the furniture was fairly comparable. Some may have been more comfortable and some were definitely more stylish but beyond that there didn’t seem to be a great difference. I didn’t quite know why there was such a difference in price. So what did we do? We bought some of the most affordable pieces that looked good and would fit in with our house. Wouldn’t you do the same?

Fast forward 6 years. The furniture looks very worn (and we don’t throw a lot of parties). It will maybe last a couple of more years but to be honest, it could be replaced at anytime. I was lured by price because I didn’t see a difference. I blame myself but I also blame the sales staff at those stores.

About two years, I was working with a client who owned a furniture store in Neenah on a web design project. He said to me, “Jason, we aren’t for everybody. Our pieces may be twice as expensive as you find at other places but it will last you three times as long or longer and will always look great.” That has stuck with me every time that I look at our furniture. Why didn’t someone tell me this before we bought our last set? It may be intuitive but if you don’t say it, it doesn’t exist. I may not be a math major but I can multiply cost by 2 ($1,500 x 2 = $3,000) and life by 3 (5 x 3 =15) to figure the cost difference of $300 per year for the “affordable” furniture versus $200 for the high quality furniture. We spent nickels chasing pennies.

Note to salespeople: never be ashamed of your price if your worth it. Focus on selling value over price. Trust me, we’re willing to listen.

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