Archive for July 13th, 2015

July 13, 2015

A Different Economy

Three years ago Domingo and I needed furniture. The guest room was become a nursery, so the spare bed was going away leaving us with a falling apart futon. We decided in addition to our nursery feature a pull out sofa bed was in order for the office, especially if we wanted to host company like my parents. We paid $800 for one from Penney’s. We are once again in need of couches. We found ourselves once again in Penney’s. That same sleeper sofa now sells for $2,000. It’s a different economy. Prices are up. Our price point is staying the same, which sadly means quality is down.

I have returned a large number of our purchases to date; there was the picture frame with the shattered glass, the cube organizer with the giant gash across the top panel. Then there were the items I kept but needed to order a replacement piece for; the patio chairs with the gashes in the back pieces, and the media storage unit with the warped screw holes. Finally there were the purchases I didn’t return, but I’m not happy with; the dented dresser, and the garage shelving with rust.

We purchased two new office chairs. Neither one had the assembly instructions or user manual! I could understand the assembly instructions being absent from one box, but what are the odds of both our office chair boxes being sans instructions?

The two area rugs I purchased are nice, and I love the dinning room table, but my batting average isn’t great.

On the bright side, I haven’t had a single issue with customer support. In each case I took photos of the damage, but customer service took me at my word and was quick to accept the return or send the replacement. In my hunt for the assembly instructions for the office chairs I visited the manufactor’s website. I kid you not question 6 on the frequently asked questions specifically addressed missing or incorrect assembly instructions!

On the one hand these experiences are frustrating. It’s adding to our delay in fully moving in. But it’s not aggravating enough to adjust my price point to match the new economy. In my experience price is not necessarily an indicator of quality. My current laptop is a prime example. We spent nearly twice as much my current laptop than I’ve spent in the past in hope that it would last a little longer. It’s been a major disappointment. Less than a year old it will occasionally restart when I set it down. Besides, prices vary widely. I’ve seen as much as 225% on the same product from two different, comparable merchants. Let that be a lesson to always comparison shop! My favorite method these days is a reverse image search on stock photos.

I’m unwilling to spend more if I’m not assured of quality. At least I do eventually get the product I want at the price point I want. It just takes a little more effort on my part.

We’re nearly there with furniture!