Sofa factory floor feature image

Can You Save Costs by Buying from Sofa Manufacturers?

When it comes to buying a product, consumers have many options to explore. One popular option is to buy a sofa from manufacturers.

This method has taken the Chinese consumer market by storm. Consumers no longer only browse for available options on Taobao. Taobao is a retail ecommerce marketplace seeking to match retailers with consumers. They also browse for available options on 1688. 1688 is a B2B ecommerce marketplace seeking to match suppliers with retailers. Chinese consumers are also starting to visit factory floors to do their shopping.

The biggest motivation? Getting products at lower prices. By bypassing retailers, you can get the same products for less. You will no longer need to pay for costs born by retailers in selling the product. Sometimes, the cost savings can be as great as 50%. This significant markup covers for cost of operations, manpower costs and margins of the retailer.

This trend has also extended to bulky items. Chinese consumers are now also buying sofas from manufacturers. Common places they visit are factory congregations in Foshan, Guangdong.

Could consumers in other countries do the same? What about countries like Singapore that do not have their own base of manufacturers? Could we buy sofas direct from manufacturers overseas? Read on for our view and our arguments. 

Our verdict: it is possible, but you might not want to try

It is possible, but you might not end up getting it at a cheaper price considering all the efforts involved.

Key arguments against it:

  • Longer search process to find a credible supplier
  • Troublesome return process or no return process compared to retailers
  • Hassle of arranging for logistics for sea shipping and local delivery

Longer search process to find a credible supplier

Unlike shopping for products from retailers, information about suppliers are harder to find.

Do you have a habit of reading reviews about a product before coming to a decision? Well, this is much more difficult when you try to buy products from suppliers. Reviews for factories are rare for B2B ecommerce platforms such as 1688. This is because, factories are less keen compared to retailers to ask for reviews. The volume of sales direct to consumers are also a lot lower. They are more accustomed to dealing with dealers and retailer who does not rely on reviews to form a relationship. Retailers also does not have the motivation to rate their suppliers. They gain more from hiding the identities of suppliers they work well with more.

It is also common for middleman, traders and wholesalers to pose as manufacturers. For retailers, it is easy for them to differentiate between posers and manufacturers. They understand the industry and also makes the effort to visit manufacturers in person before making a procurement order. For normal consumers, it is close to impossible to differentiate between them.

Combined, it is hard for consumers to source quality products directly from suppliers. Consumers cannot rely upon reviews to identify good manufacturers. Consumers are also unable to spot traders, wholesalers who are posing as manufacturers. It would be different if you know the space well or know someone in the manufacturing space. But, how many of us actually have knowledge about the manufacturing space? 

The best way to be sure is to visit the manufacturers. But, would you do that for a sofa? Also, the costs such as tickets and accommodations adds up. At the end of this, you might have high confidence about the quality of the manufacturer you work with. However, the time invested and the costs involved might not justify this in the first place. You end up "paying more" even though you bought your sofa from manufacturers for less.

Troublesome return process or no return process compared to retailers

Not satisfied with your products? You have an easier time negotiating about returns, cancellations and replacements with retailers. They handle such requests all the time and have dedicated personnels for it. Contact customer service and make your point. 

Manufacturers who do not have such dedicated customer service departments. If you are lucky, the manufacturer might agree to your requests. But, most of the time, they will only agree to provide a replacement. You will need to find your own ways to arrange for logistics.

It is more likely that returns are not possible when you deal with manufacturers. This is especially the case when there are no visible signs of manufacturing defects. Even if there are visible signs of damage, how do you justify that it is not damaged in transit? 

Dealing with manufacturers is many times more difficult compared to dealing with retailers when it comes to returns.

Hassle of arrange for logistics for sea shipping and local delivery

Congrats if you have reached this far and is thinking about logistics. If you buy a sofa from manufacturers, you have to arrange for all the logistics yourself. 

This includes shipping the sofa from the manufacturing country to your home country. Once it arrives in your home country, you would also need to find delivery companies to send it to your home. For bulky items, this becomes more difficult as fewer logistic companies deliver them.

Logistics is a significant hurdle for you to overcome if you are keen to buy a sofa from manufacturers. Had you bought from retailers, you would not need to worry at all about this aspect.

Still looking for a cheaper price? Why not consider us.

By now, you would have understood the difficulties about buying from manufacturers. If you are still keen about buying sofas and not overpaying for retailer markups, why not consider us?

We are a dedicated sofa retailer that have done all the ground work for you. We visited various sofa manufacturers in Malaysia and China to identify quality producers. We even ventured upstream to understand about the suppliers for sofa manufacturers. We leveraged on this knowledge to dictate the type of materials to use by manufacturers in our sofas. 

Also, we are cost conscious and have cut away the excess to bring you quality sofas at affordable prices. Warehousing costs for inventory? No, as factories nowadays are open to small order quantity placements. Retail outlets? We don't have it for the timebeing, but we offer those cost savings to you as well.

Check out our sofa selections to find your ideal sofa now!

Maximize Savings through Sofa Maintenance

Investing in a high-quality, affordable sofa is a wise choice for long-term cost-effectiveness. However, equally important is the maintenance of your sofa to ensure its longevity. Here are some essential tips to help you extend the lifespan of your beloved sofa:

  1. Swift Spill Response: Act quickly if spills occur. Blot liquid spills with a clean white cloth, preventing them from seeping deeper into the fabric or leather. Avoid rubbing, as it may cause more harm and set the stain permanently.
  2. Regular Vacuuming: Keep your sofa free from surface-level dirt and dust by vacuuming it regularly. This helps maintain a clean and fresh appearance.
  3. Professional Cleaning Maintenance: Consider scheduling professional cleaning services for your sofa every six months or annually. This routine helps remove dirt and contaminants that could lead to fabric deterioration over time.For more insights into the benefits of professional cleaning, explore our trusted sofa cleaning partner Cleanshade's informative blog.

By following these tips, you not only enhance your sofa's lifespan but also save money by avoiding premature replacement. Remember, proper care ensures that your cozy seating remains a cherished part of your home for years to come.

Last update: 31st Aug 2023

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