Vermont Woods Studios Handmade Furniture

white glove

Gratuity: From Pizza to Fine Furniture

August 26th, 2013 by Michelle Rooks

Tipping your white glove shipper-gratuity

Another happy customer enjoying her beautiful maple bedroom set.

What do pizza delivery people, airport shuttle drivers, hotel room maids and Vermont Woods Studios furniture shippers have in common? All involve people in the service industry making your dining, travel or purchase experience less stressful and as comfortable as possible.

We at Vermont Woods Studios do not have our own drivers, but we have taken great care in selecting shipping companies that we trust. We like to think that our drivers treat the American-made, fine hardwood furniture our customers order as if it were their own!

Prior to working here I had never thought about the fact that, while our shippers are paid by Vermont Woods Studios, they frequently go above and beyond when it comes to making sure our customer’s fine wood furniture orders are delivered in perfect condition. “White Glove Shipping” was a new term for me. Did you know that before they leave our craftsmen’s shops, our shippers personally inspect each piece, then blanket-wrap it and upon delivery place it in the room of the customer’s choice? They also do whatever assembly is necessary and remove any residual packaging… leaving no work left for the customer!

Here’s a question. Do you give a gratuity to the pizza delivery person? What about your airport shuttle driver? Hotel maids? Why not consider your furniture delivery person? By no means should you feel obligated, it really just comes down to your comfort level. One person I know uses the price of a nice dinner for each delivery person as her guide for what she feels is appropriate. Gratuity is greatly appreciated—it’s a way of saying thanks for a job well done!

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Shipping It Out

January 3rd, 2013 by Liz Francese

Maybe the best things in life aren’t free…

Usually when we see the word ‘Free’ it is associated with a couch that belonged to someone’s great aunt and is now sitting on the curb in your neighborhood hosting exposed springs and splintered upholstery.  As a result of this common association, we’re apt to raise a skeptical eyebrow at the word.  Is anything really free?  Sure, you can take the couch at no cost, but you’ll be paying for the tetanus infection later.

Rest assured, there is one place where you can trust ‘Free’, and that’s right here at Vermont Woods Studios.  Our free shipping guarantee is applicable to most locations in the lower 48 states- that means you too, California!  And just because it is free does not mean it’s cheap!  Nay, we only trust our furniture to ship with the best.   Shipping companies and types  will vary with individual customer orders and needs as we see fit, guaranteeing the best shipping match for you and your furniture.

White Glove Delivery

Our cream of the crop delivery service comes wrapped in a blanket and delivered by our go-to shipping guys- Clark & Reid.  These guys know furniture- how to carry it, how to assemble it- and they do it with finesse and professionalism.  For local deliveries, however, Vermont’s own Green Mountain Messenger may be the ones at the door boasting the amicable attitude that comes standard with a Vermonter.

Another noteworthy white glove shipper we place our faith in is Manna Distribution Services- another good name for them would be Road Runner (we hear that’s taken though).   With them, the furniture may not come blanket wrapped but it will be there fast!

Threshold Delivery

For smaller orders, like a single coffee table or nightstand, or orders from our Copeland line, our standard shipping treatment is threshold delivery.  It means exactly what it sounds like- it is delivered right to the threshold of your home.  This is usually done by the popular shipping guys like UPS or FedEx, though we use a few others for larger pieces.  Occasionally we have a real do-it-yourself customers who insist on this sort of delivery, so they can put their new furniture together themselves.

Far Out Shipping

As I said above, free shipping only qualifies to most places in the U.S but those really determined to get a piece of the Vermont Woods Studios pie are more than welcome to contact us about shipping.  We’ve successfully shipped to Hawaii, Alaska and Canada and we’re even in the process of sending a Dana Thomas Grand Extension Dining Table to Kuwait!

 

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Packaging and Shipping Your Fine Furniture: White Glove or DIY?

May 16th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh

Furniture-box-1

Our new file cabinet was just delivered DIY from Copeland Furniture. This is the "outside" box.  It took 4 of us to get the file cabinet out of it.

 

We received our first fine furniture order from Alaska last week and that makes the 50th state we will have delivered furniture to.  Once the bedroom set arrives safely, we'll have to have celebrate this milestone with a little party. 

 

It's actually a pretty exciting accomplishment for a small company like Vermont Woods Studios Furniture.

 

It turns out that packaging and safely shipping your fine furniture is the most challenging part of our business and we're always working to make the system work better, faster, cheaper and stress-free.

 

 

 

Furniture-double-boxing

DIY delivery requires double boxing with lots of padding for the edges and corners.  Upacking can be difficult.  The file cabinet inside weighs almost 100#.

Our preferred method of shipping fine furniture is to blanket wrap it and send it "white glove delivery" with the world's number one, award-winning furniture shipper:  Clark and Reid.  They are the best.  When you receive your furniture from C&R, they carefully bring it into your home, set it up wherever you like, help you inspect it for any shipping damage and remove the wrapping.  You do nothing but smile. 

 

However Clark and Reid is not the fastest or the cheapest.  So when customer's are in a hurry and need to save money, we can sometimes (depending on size) package and ship their furniture via common carrier or even FedEx to get it there faster and cheaper.  We call it DIY delivery and it has just recently been made possible with advances in packaging technology.

 

If your order is eligible for DIY packaging and shippping, we'll let you know.  As you can see, it's not your typical UPS delivery.  It took 4 of us to wrestle this filing cabinet out of the box. 

 

 

 

Furniture-3-layer-packing

Finally we get to see what's inside! The 3rd layer of packaging consists of more edge and corner protectors and shrink wrap.

I always try to emphasize to our customers that unpackaging and moving solid wood furniture is not easy.  It's heavy (often >100#) and if it has doors or drawers, you want to be especially careful not to damage or unbalance them.  If you're a "handyman" DIY can save you money and time but for most customers I wholeheartedly recommend the luxury and peace of mind that white glove delivery brings.

 

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Fine Furniture Shipping and DIY Delivery

December 10th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh

Copeland-american-furniture-vtVermont woodworkers are among the best in the world, so the furniture making part of our online business at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture is the easy part.  It's the shipping and delivery that's our biggest challenge. 

All of our furniture is made to order in small and medium-sized woodworking shops around our state.  Furniture makers work with great care and precision to make sure their pieces leave the workshop in tip-top condition. The last thing we want is to have to ask them to make something over again because it got broken by a shipper.  Not to mention that receiving damaged furniture is a huge let down to our customers and totally unacceptable by any measure.

So over the years we developed a policy where (unless it was something small or a customer absolutely needed a RUSH delivery) we ship furniture via a white glove delivery service.  With white glove delivery, furniture is handled by only one company from the time it is picked up in Vermont until the time it's set up in a customer's kitchen, home office, dining room or bedroom. 

The delivery crew arranges a convenient time for delivery several days in advance.  They arrive at a customer's home in uniform, bring the furniture inside, unpackage it, help inspect it and set it up (including assembly, if any).  For fine furniture I've always felt this is the only acceptable shipping solution.

Our new partner, Copeland Furniture, however is beginning to persuade me that it's possible to engineer a successful DIY (do-it-yourself) furniture delivery system that will save customers money. Copeland has made significant advances in the art, science and technology of fine furniture packaging and shipping over the last couple years.  They are now the world leader in safe, efficient, economical fine furniture shipping. 

So, for Copeland furniture only we now offer free shipping and do-it-yourself (DIY) delivery as a more affordable option for customers who are willing and able to handle their own delivery.  With DIY delivery, your furniture is brought to your doorstep where you must unpackage and inspect it yourself, then sign for it.  You are responsible to bring your furniture into your home and assemble it, if needed.  For chests, dressers and desks, there is typically no assembly required, with the exception of drawer and door knobs.  With beds and tables, you must assemble them yourself– and easy directions are provided.

Customers can save an average of $300 with a DIY delivery.  If you're interested, just give us a call or specify DIY as your choice in the pull-down menu for shipping when you're making an online purchase.  Of course, Copeland furniture can also be purchased with white glove delivery for an additional fee.  You can specify that on the pull-down menu as well.  Either way, if you're purchasing furniture online be sure to review the applicable Furniture Delivery and Inspection procedures to protect yourself in case of any possible problems down the road.

We are eager to get your feedback on this new method of shipping.

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Fine Handmade Furniture: Shipping and Home Delivery

September 24th, 2010 by Peggy Farabaugh

Whether you're buying fine handmade furniture at a local store or an online furniture store, you'll want to be able to feel relaxed and confident that your furniture is going to arrive safely at your home, in the same pristine condition that it left the showroom or shop in.  Believe it or not, we spend almost half of our time working with the best professional shippers in the business to make sure that everything goes smoothly with the white glove delivery of your furniture.

 

Slab-table-walnut
The cold cruel fact about high quality handmade furniture is that it's going to take awhile.   We're always looking for ways to improve our efficiency and decrease our lead times though.   So far, we've been able to get it down to an average of about 9 weeks from the date of purchase to the date of delivery.  That may sound like a long time and we're continuously trying to improve, but the reality is that quality does take time.  Here's why:

When you order a piece of furniture from Vermont Woods Studios, it is built to order just for you.  Typically your craftsman will have other orders in his or her queue so it may be a few weeks before he begins crafting your furniture.  Once begun, it may take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to complete the crafting process, depending on the degree of complexity and the type of finish you have selected.

white glove shipping and delivery
As soon as we receive a planned completion date from your craftsman, we begin arranging for our award-winning white glove shipper to pick up your order. If you live in the Northeast, shipping can take as little as a few days, whereas those in California may have to plan for up to 5 weeks (worst case) for shipping. 

We do have shippers who can deliver faster, but with speed comes increased risk of damage.  It's not an absolutely intolerable risk, but it's one we like to discuss with you upon order placement so you can make an informed choice.

And finally, if you're in a hurry you are not out of luck.  You can still order handmade furniture and have it delivered to your home in about a month if you choose from our Quick Craft Furniture Collection.  These are our most popular items that craftsmen make all the time so they can be ready FAST.

Give us a call and we'll find a way for you to get the beautiful handmade furniture you've been longing for within a reasonable time frame.  And remember the furniture you order from Vermont Woods Studios will be in your family for generations.  When you receive it I'm willing to bet you'll say, "it was worth waiting for".

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