Cautions When Ordering from
Online or Large Chain Stores
1. Read the description carefully.
For online stores, keep searching in the chair’s description for the exact type of leather being used. If any part of the leather, including areas that are not visible, are not in the Top Grain family (e.g., Bonded or Married Leather, Vinyl, or Faux Leather), DON’T BUY IT. You will be extremely disappointed in a few years.
2. Reputation of Manufacturers, Online, or Large Chain Stores.
A useful site for reviews is ConsumerAffairs.com. Founded in 1998 by Jim Hood , a former Associated Press executive, editor and reporter, he wants “to help the middle class from imploding so quickly”. The section on Furniture Stores is HERE. Store reviews include Ashley, Macy’s, La-Z-Boy, Williams-Sonoma, Restoration Hardware, Wayfair, Bassett Furniture Direct, Thomasville Furniture, and even Ethan Allen.
There are hundreds of reviews for each provider.You might be surprised at which providers have between 29% and 90% one and two stars, and why.
About half of the low scores are from the shopping experience.The other half pertain to the disintegrating, often China-sourced sofas or tables or chairs, and the outsourced warranty companies that can’t help the consumer.See the next section.
3. No Sales Tax from Online Stores
True. But you sacrifice some really important things:
You can’t sit on your ($5,000, $3,000, $1,000) chair or sofa to try it out.
You have no idea what the seat and back cushions feel like
You can’t see and touch options of decorative nail heads, welting, arm design, pillows.
Would you really order a Full Grain Leather hide sofa, high-end, sight unseen?
Eye to eye trust building
Delivery and care assurance done by the local store
And the big one: if there is an issue, you can’t call on that online store any more. They divert you to an outsourced warranty company
4. Is the Warranty Service Outsourced to a Third Party?
Online stores and many large chain stores often outsource their post-sale service and warranty obligations to third-party companies.In the Consumer Affairs site (click HERE) you can read the names of those warranty companies for each store, learn what is not covered, and see the tactics the warranty companies use to avoid being of help.
You’ll also realize that most described defects occurred with sub-par leather (i.e., Bonded, BiCast), since Top Grain leather doesn’t split or peel.
But those buyers got what they wanted – a low price, or a miniscule savings of sales tax!