We’ve all been to them for one reason or another… we needed college dorm furniture, or to fill out the rooms in our first home purchase, or we just needed to get furniture fast so buying something pre-made was the path of least resistance.
There are several large furniture and home goods stores across the world, and for good reason--they have great absurd margins by selling high priced furniture that’s made cheap...and the sucker is the consumer! Sure, they have their place in society. It’s an affordable option for college students, those on a tight budget, or furnishing infrequently-used rooms such as a spare bedroom.
Nowadays people just buy online. There are websites that sell dirt cheap furniture that looks nice in photos, until it shows up to your house and is nothing like the photos.
The part we find scariest however is that this mass-produced furniture which used to be relegated to purchases by college kids and people with budget constraints, is now considered acceptable to be sold as high-end. You can walk right into downtown Boston and see pre-made junk in all its glory selling in the 1000's of dollars at a place that rhymes with “Festoration Fardware”. Here are reasons to avoid buying these types of furniture:
With the cheap stuff, you get what you pay for. With the expensive stuff, you didn’t (and that’s even worse).
These vendors have the audacity to use fake wood in its furniture. Much of this furniture is made from “pressed wood,” which is actually a pile of woodchips compressed to form a new board. This means the wood with a veneer on the outsides. This is ALWAYS lower quality and will NEVER last as long as traditional or reclaimed wood. get ready to put this stuff out on the curb in five years… even if you paid $4000 for the table, your resale value on Facebook Marketplace less than ten years later is in the range of 10% of what you originally paid. At least if you buy cheap stuff, you expect if to fall apart in five years. But when you spend $4000 on a table that was made with cheap materials, the joke is on you and you can be sure it’s not the person who made your table you is getting paid well, but some CEO.
They’re capitalizing on the photo obsessed, purchasing at your fingertips economy
In the past, this cheap furniture would not find a home so easily because what the online furniture marketplace has done has taken quality as the main ingredient you look for in furniture, and made the photograph that you’re going to share of it in your home the more important. They hook you with a really nice setting and high quality photography, so that when you buy it you think you’ll be getting something nice.
I went to a friend's house recently and when everyone walked in they ooh-ed and ahh-ed over a 12’ long table that the couple had bought. But upon closer inspection, it wasn’t real wood at all, but a composite material. The underside of the table was a composite substrate an the table was wrapped in thin material to look thick. From afar, it looked like a 3” thick table when in reality the material was ¾” thick. I didn’t want to be a rude house guest, so I held my tongue. But the truth is that this room full of 20-30 somethings had no idea that they were sitting at a cheaply made, hunk of overpriced crap that would sooner rather than later end up in a landfill.
It’s Not Custom Made
Have you ever looked at a space and thought to yourself, “wow, I would love a table that looks like XYZ!” or “I wish my table was just a little bit longer to better fill the room.” You may be able to find a piece you love at one of these big chains, but it won’t be customized to fit your space.
Cannon Hill will not build a piece without discussing exactly what our customer wants ahead of time. Whether it’s a single shelf to hang over the mantle or a reclaimed wood dining table to seat 20, we always speak with our customers to ensure their needs are met and we can fufill their vision. We can help you measure your space and make suggestions if you’re not sure what style of wood you’d like, how big your table should be, if you’d like chairs, and more.
These Places Saves Big On Labor--Here and Overseas
One of the reasons why these chain stores are so cheap is because you actually need to assemble the furniture yourself! This comes with a slew of problems for those who aren’t naturally handy. It’s very uncommon, it is possible to purchase a table with missing parts or misaligned slots. A much more common issue is user error. Buying furniture from a local craftsman ensures that the professionals handle everything for you.
The labor to make the furniture was also inexpensive because it was factory labor overseas. We are a small local operation. We welcome our clients to come view their table being built and to meet the people building it. It would be an expensive overseas flight to find the machines making your table at one of these national retail chains, which leads to our next point...
It’s Not Local, It’s not Green
Shipping materials globally… not exactly responsible consumerism. Support a local business! Cannon Hill Woodworking is from Boston, and the workers here are local, well-paid, and supported.
If you’re in the market for a table that you want to last a lifetime, consider skipping the big-box chains and working with a professional. A custom-made table can become your home’s centerpiece and last you decades. Give Cannon Hill a call at 857-576-2089 to discuss options or schedule an appointment to come to our Boston Seaport showroom.