Vermont Woods Studios Handmade Furniture

internet shopping

Avoiding The Race To The Bottom

February 29th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh

What's your favorite thing about Internet shopping?  Convenience?  Unlimited choices?  Price comparisons? You can get exactly what you want when you want it?

In the world of handcrafted American made furniture, the Internet has been both a blessing and a curse.  In Vermont for example, we've seen a growing increase in total sales of Vermont made furniture that can be attributed in part to the Internet.

But, of course we've also seen a growing list of nefarious websites that have stolen Vermont furniture photos and information from legitimate Vermont furniture websites and listed it for lower prices on counterfeit websites in the USA and overseas.  Furniture makers from all across America are vulnerable to this.

So, along with a weak economy, it's driving many American furniture makers to lower prices to the point where they are going out of business.

I love Herman Miller furniture. They're not the cheapest guy on the block.  They are the best.  Not just in terms of the quality of their furniture but in their contribution to society and their committment to help build a better world. 

Herman Miller is a good role model for other American furniture makers.  They're what American furniture is all about.




Anonymous websites?

June 17th, 2011 by Kelsey Eaton

By Guest Blogger, Dennis Shanoff

The way we shop is certainly changing. Shopping via the internet has provided us greater variety & access to products. In a physical or regional shopping experience you have the chance to at least drive by or poke in and see what the business is about. Meet the people, get a feel for the product or service, and develop trust and confidence in the business. You know, feel good about spending your money there.

So with almost every product or service you seek you have many choices as to where to purchase it. And it’s your decision who gets your hard earned money, right?

So why is it that there are a number of web stores that reveal so little about themselves? At the very least you should be able to find in one click from the home page where they are located, how long the have been in business, and as many ways to contact them as possible. And of course it wouldn’t hurt to learn more about the people behind the scenes. And are they truly experts in this product field or just capitalizing on a trend or popular product? It’s not hard to build a website that simply collects orders and transfers the order fulfillment via drop shipping? In that case have they ever seen or used the product before? Do they know how to use it, maintain it, properly size it, etc? Can they speak from experience about a products satisfaction, performance or reliability?

It just gives me the impression that they want you to just buy online and they not be bothered. Some even tempt buyers in with unusually low prices? Are they marking up list price just to mark it down? Or it makes you wonder how they might cut corners to sell for so low or how they can run perpetual sales? When buying something sight unseen online you want to feel confident that you will get exactly what you expect and that if something does indeed go wrong there is an expert ready and willing to help with an easy resolution.

So you may want to do what I do. When you find a few web sites offering what you want, take the time and poke deeper into each site. It should be easy to uncover the web business that not only has the best expertise but is working hardest for your business and appreciates it the most!