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: Customer's own materials  ( 846 )
65Buick
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« : January 19, 2017, 08:30:51 PM »

Does anyone have a theory about why so many people insist on providing their own fabric/materials?

Is it the usual that things are easy to buy, but much harder to install?

I've done it too, but at some point you have realize you don't know everything.
MinUph
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Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.


« #1 : January 19, 2017, 08:45:34 PM »

Cost is the main reason for C.O.M.s

  Some shops don't have the selection that fabric stores have also some people have special places they like to buy things like fabrics etc. But perceived cost is by far the main reason.
« : January 19, 2017, 08:46:06 PM MinUph »

Paul
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brmax
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« #2 : January 19, 2017, 09:19:30 PM »

Im most of the time more straight forward, so my answer is cost.
But with the people around here and many post, doing some searching could help dealing with it.
Many times it is just brought up in other post, but plenty of info as i recall. To start in my hot air conversation, whats important no-matter what considering is this material going to "bring the good to your business name and craft" as time is money and to spend time fixing a bad rap because crap material, well uno.
On the work side the job has its worth in your area so the material warranty is saved as its theirs, the inventory is their travels and homework. But you still add a cost to deal with things, and you have an idea what the money is spread around for.
Its kinda the same for us here but a twist with each shop and at different times as with some here that have been doing custom upholstery for many years.

Something some shops do or are required by their owners are listing pieces and parts and knowing the process the shop is still completing. There are areas or regions where people want it done and when to pick it up, others places everyone calls price checking.
Is there a pattern how you list sales now, or maybe a bit of whats your area like and im sure their is a better response to a customer supplied materials and whatevers.
Its really a tip for each of us, as time change  :)

Floyd
baileyuph
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« #3 : January 20, 2017, 08:13:53 AM »

It is all about cost:

Wholesalers can't afford to supply a good coverage of fabrics in the form of sample books -- free!  A small shop not formally in this business (show room, etc.) is not profitable to the distributor.

Plus, as said already consumers are looking at cost.

We small shops are a dying breed!

Doyle
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« #4 : January 20, 2017, 08:39:33 AM »

Cost generally.  But remember it is your reputation that is on the line if there is a problem with the material that was provided to you.  I speak from experience.

My first project was reupholstering bench seats for a local restaurant.  Yes, I was insane to attempt bench seats for my very first project but fortunately I learned quickly.  The seats would be tight as a drum when I popped them back into the supports at the restaurant but after several butts slid in and out, they would stretch out and looked terrible.  I spent a long weekend, along with the owner, popping staples, tightening and stapling down the seat covers and, again, they looked great for a short amount of time before they started stretching out.  I also cut one going the opposite grain as the owner thought that perhaps I had not cut correctly on the grain.  It made no difference and the same thing happened.  So forever more, until the owner gets sick of doing this; from time to time she and her hubby spend a weekend popping staples, stretching and stapling the bench seats.  She got this fabric at a "great price" from a very experienced upholsterer in the area.  Being rather cynical, I'm thinking this person knew there was a problem with this vinyl and wanted to make it someone else's problem so sold it cheap.  Why you would do that to someone I do not understand.   That first project darn near became my only upholstering project because of that vinyl.  The next restaurant I was hired for, I bought my own vinyl and 3 years later, those seats are still as tight as a drum.

Just my experience with owner provided material.  I've had some other, much lesser issues but they pale in comparison.

Virginia

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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #5 : January 20, 2017, 10:22:51 AM »

In the past, customers would drop off their furniture for a yardage estimate. Then 2-3 weeks later, they would show up with the material.

But now that a brand new Hobby Lobby store has recently opened up in my town, they're back in 15 minutes with material.

I agree that it's all about cost. But they also like to be able to see large rolls of fabric all at once, instead of choosing from small samples in a book. I don't know how many times a customer has told me "I'm sorry......but I just can't tell by looking at a small sample.......I have to see a BIG piece". So they run to a fabric store, and buy the exact same damn stuff that was in my sample books.

What REALLY fries me, is the ones that refuse to buy from my sample books, but they'll go online and buy from a computer screen.

Fabric stores are NOT selling people what they want........they're TELLING them what they want. One of the advantages to re-upholstery, is that you aren't limited to buying "cookie cutter" furniture. But if you run to a fabric store and buy "cookie cutter" material, then that advantage is lost.

But after all my rambling..........yeah........it's cost.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #6 : January 20, 2017, 01:47:24 PM »

In the past, customers would drop off their furniture for a yardage estimate. Then 2-3 weeks later, they would show up with the material.

But now that a brand new Hobby Lobby store has recently opened up in my town, they're back in 15 minutes with material.


Ugh!  Hobby Lobby has THE worst fabric I've worked with.  Their regular fabric is great but their home dec fabric is the pits.

Virginia

Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth.
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« #7 : January 21, 2017, 08:01:12 AM »

On this issue I'm fortunate to work mostly with interior designers. I get to see a lot of "upholstery" fabric, rather than drapery fabric that has been marked as "Upholstery".

When working with homeowners directly, I constantly tell them that they need a tight weave fabric. If they hold it up to the light and can see a lot of tiny holes, that IS NOT a tight weave. And if they can hold the fabric up to a newspaper and read the newspaper through the fabric, that also IS NOT a tight weave.

Thick like blue jean material, I say, unless it's a microfiber with a very tight weave.

Me, a professional upholsterer: "What's the rub count on that fabric you bought at Hobby Lobby?"

Customer: "Oh, the minimum wage cashier who's been working at Hobby Lobby for 5 months said the "rub count", whatever that is, is not important." Anyway, it was on sale and that's the most important thing, isn't it?"

gene

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
Darren Henry
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« #8 : January 21, 2017, 11:24:38 AM »

Quote
many times a customer has told me "I'm sorry......but I just can't tell by looking at a small sample.......I have to see a BIG piece".

One of my suppliers, J.Ennis fabrics, has their website set up where you can actually see what fabric A will look like on sofa style B. It helped alot of my "undecided customers" like that. Even if they didn't choose fabric A they had a better sense of what a plaid wing back would look like.


Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #9 : January 21, 2017, 09:10:26 PM »


One of my suppliers, J.Ennis fabrics, has their website set up where you can actually see what fabric A will look like on sofa style B.
I've had some fabric suppliers that tried that with their websites. It never really caught on. In the end, the customer still wants to touch and hold a giant piece of fabric. Unless of course, the price tag is really low. Then it doesn't matter what it looks or feels like.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
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