UPHOLSTERY DISCUSSION BOARD
HOW TO UPHOLSTER FORUM

Rostov Upholstery Supplies Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
June 22, 2018, 09:58:31 AM
How To Reupholster A Couch, Chair, Ottoman.
Recover Car And Boat Seats. DVDs
Foam Cutters $130+
1/2" and 3/8" crown staple guns- air and Maestri electric.
Upholstery Tools
Long Nose Staplers $124
Sunbrella Fabric     Complete line of Sunbrela fabrics. We also custom sew beautiful cushions from Sunbrella.
Custom Cushions     Custom cushions sewn at a high level of craftsmanship. Choose from fabrics and a range of quality foam.



: Check out CoachTrim's Advanced Leather Workshop and Basic Sewing Course on Suppliers Page
***Please click here www.facebook.com/upholster.upholstery and click "LIKE" for our UPHOLSTER Facebook business page (it will help me promote this free site)-Ken***



 
 EZ Foam Cutters with 240 volts and plugs for Australia, New Zealand and UK and EU.
SPECIAL 110V MODELS $130 (limited time!!) http://www.upholster.com/toolkits/Foam-cutter.html



+  My Community
|-+  The Business Of Upholstery
| |-+  The Business Of Upholstery
| | |-+  Need Help in selecting or guiding customers in fabric selection
« previous next »
: 1 [2]
: Need Help in selecting or guiding customers in fabric selection  ( 693 )
kodydog
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +3/-0
: 2899

North Central Florida


« #15 : February 24, 2018, 09:55:16 AM »

I agree 100% on marketing to upscale customers. If I could tell my customers "we do not accept COM's" I surly would. Here in central Florida upscale customers are looking for a good deal too. Our business plan is to make our money on labor and let the customer save money by buying online or at the discount stores. And they appreciate that.

Maybe things have changed. When we sold fabrics, over 15 years ago, the fabrics in the books were the same quality as the fabrics at the discount stores. The fabric we bought from Greenhouse had just as many flaws as the fabric the customers brought us. Greenhouse sends us fabric in 2 or 3 pieces and the discount stores do the same.

It was nice to get the fabric sale, it was like icing on the cake but the prices in the books kept going up while the discount stores stayed the same. We often wondered how they could sell so low. I can go online and find designer fabrics like Kravet or Scalamandre for 1/2 price. In North Florida upscale customers will not spend $100/yard when they can get it for $50/yard.

But what really made us decide to go COM only was customers would have Rose show them her samples and then would buy their fabric someplace else. It was frustrating. it was the same fabric Rose was showing them for 1/2 the price. We couldn't hardly blame them. The only way we could sell our fabric was to sharply discount it. But then we weren't making any money. For us showing fabrics was a waist of time. We have done much better by raising our labor prices and let the customer buy their own fabric.

We still have a few customers who insist on buying fabric from us. They want us to do the whole job. For them we say, go online and look at Greenhouse website, select 2 or 3 fabrics and we will get them samples.

We all have unique ways of running our businesses, this works for us.
« : February 24, 2018, 10:01:42 AM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
sofadoc
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +2/-0
: 4415


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


« #16 : February 25, 2018, 02:41:39 PM »

Maybe things have changed. When we sold fabrics, over 15 years ago, the fabrics in the books were the same quality as the fabrics at the discount stores. The fabric we bought from Greenhouse had just as many flaws as the fabric the customers brought us. Greenhouse sends us fabric in 2 or 3 pieces and the discount stores do the same.
My experience has been the opposite.

Very rare for me to encounter flaws, extra cuts, or dye lot variances from Greenhouse, Charlotte, and other suppliers.
While COM from Hobby Lobby, JoAnns, or .com sites like newtoto or fabricworld is always substandard in one way or another.

Part of the problem is the "Blue collar" customer. They start out looking at the $39.95 yd. stuff. Then they gravitate down the line to the $9.99-$14.99 closeouts. Sometimes, they even go farther to the $6.99 garment fabrics. I've had customers that furnish something they don't even like, just because it was cheaper.

And I REALLY REALLY don't understand upscale customers buying fabric from discount stores. Why would they want the same "cookie cutter" fabrics that everyone else is buying? 


"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
baileyuph
Full Member
***

Karma: +1/-0
: 123


« #17 : February 25, 2018, 09:54:27 PM »

At a recent home show, got to meet another attendant who was building a new home, she commented
that the new home was just been recently completed and she was going to spend $100,000 on
interior furnishing!  Well, I got some of it!

Marketing does take on differences, depends on who has money.

Doyle
kodydog
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +3/-0
: 2899

North Central Florida


« #18 : February 26, 2018, 10:01:34 AM »

[quote author=sofadoc link=topic=14710.msg119745#msg119745 date=1519587699
And I REALLY REALLY don't understand upscale customers buying fabric from discount stores. Why would they want the same "cookie cutter" fabrics that everyone else is buying?
[/quote]

I agree. They can afford to buy any fabric they want. But like everyone else they are trying to save a buck. Even some of the decorators we work for are getting cheap. It always floors me when they bring me fabric ordered from Green House. Some even bring fabric from JoAnns. We work for one decorator who buys furniture from Rooms To Go. This furniture is so cheap she can bring it to us, recover it in her fabric and resell it to the customer.   

Around here it doesn't matter if they are high income or middle income. They are all comparing our price with new furniture. We try to educate  them about the advantage of recovering their mid-century furniture or, if they're buying new, at least buy in the $2000 to $3000 range. And some customers take this to heart. But most are just looking at the bottom line. If they can buy a brand spanking new sofa for $1000 then why would they want to spend $1500 to $2000 to recover their sofa. I'm guessing this is a big reason Sofa does mostly commercial jobs these days.

So if I can help the customer save a little money, not on labor but on their fabric, I point them to discounters or on-line stores. And when I show them how to save 50% or 60% at JoAnns they get excited. And I get the job.

This is why I asked Floyd where he is located. It's not that I doubt him or that I want to move to his location, I love where I am at and I love the fact that some upholsterers can still sell fabric. But it really intrigues me how he or anyone else can sell their fabric only, at full price and stay busy enough to keep a full schedule.

My only other question would be do you go to the customers house to show them fabric or is it mostly done in the store? This is a good conversation one we should have more of. I would love to have the extra income of selling my fabric.

 

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
sofadoc
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +2/-0
: 4415


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


« #19 : February 26, 2018, 11:47:57 AM »

My only other question would be do you go to the customers house to show them fabric or is it mostly done in the store? This is a good conversation one we should have more of. I would love to have the extra income of selling my fabric.
If I had a crew that I was trying to keep busy, I probably would be more inclined to go to the customer's home and show fabrics.

In my younger days in the family business, I was just a foot soldier doing what I was told. Which meant taking sample books to houses and spending 1-2 hours babysitting the client.

Nowadays, I'll be happy to drop some books off at their doorstep at my convenience. But I'll be damned if I'm going to hold their hand while they browse through them.

I love to sell fabrics in-store, but not if I have to lift a finger to do so. I point them to the books, and then I go back to work. I'm positive that I could dramatically increase my in-store fabric sales if I were willing to climb down their shirt with them like a pushy salesman. But it's just not my style.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
65Buick
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +2/-0
: 533


« #20 : February 28, 2018, 08:52:46 PM »

As you probably all know, I am new to this business.

I have read extensively about this issue, and long since decided I won't go there. I will do designer jobs with designer fabric only.
I absolutely refuse to do any job with COM (public) with fabric bought from Joann. Simply not with it.
MinUph
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +2/-0
: 2064

Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.


« #21 : February 28, 2018, 09:26:45 PM »

65, pay close attention to how many jobs are thrown out because of this limitation you are putting on your business. Not saying don't do it just watch and learn.

Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
Website
Mojo
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +1/-0
: 4156


I'm Always In Trouble


« #22 : March 01, 2018, 09:40:00 AM »

I have to agree with Paul. I am a data hog and we keep a very careful eye on not only trends but how we conduct business. We routinely go back and adjust our operations and business model to either accomodate a new idea or to expand in our market or in somme cases drop product offerings. I constantly run P & L's ( Profit & Loss Statements ) to see where the money is coming in at.

A perfect example is I seen competitors throwing away $ 10,000's of thousands of dollars every year in business by refusing to make fabric replacements for a certain awning assembly. Yes they are a royal PITA but I latched on to it and while it took over a year to perfect them we now have the entire aftermarket for these panels to ourselves. I probably should send a thank you letter to our competitors. :)

Like Paul stated whether you accept or reject COM's is your call. Just be careful your not throwing a lot of money out the door.

Mojo
SteveA
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +2/-0
: 1225


« #23 : March 01, 2018, 12:03:32 PM »

65 maybe now you don't like for whatever reasons COM but there will come a day when it won't matter to you anymore. 
What do you say to folks who want to bring in a quality fabric specifically designed for upholstery ?  - would you tack on a per yard service charge since it's not your fabric  ?
SA
brmax
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +0/-0
: 596


« #24 : March 01, 2018, 12:46:42 PM »

  I personally think and have conducted myself presently and in my history to educate my customers.
It has been proven by myself with returning customers and new recommended clients. With that I have been thankfull now and for sure in my past with companies and institutions building, maintaining and engineering infrastructure projects. These projects and or items within as equipment for example to get task done has a big impact in all levels of the company.

  This is most times as some learn if they are in the positions discussed at the extreme top with engineers and financial leaders. These positions each have their knowledge and skill levels as you should and I am sure take pride in getting to know well. I have been lucky to meet and work directly with and for many in these projects.

So I would continue to say educating the new clients is in our best interest, the art is knowing how.  To help this. We all can have our pro technical connections to refer in our phone list. Im not sure any of us have on our payroll a technical consultant and above that a certified textile person on payroll. What I have found is being able to conduct a conversation without being over bearing or a knowledge idiot when the level actually request and honestly requires being instep to the customer and more important a leaders knowledge base.

Good day and try to know your customer

Floyd

: 1 [2]  
« previous next »
:  



Latex Mattress    Foam Order allows you to design your own latex mattress using layers of certified natural and organic components.
Organic Mattress     Foam Order makes a wonderful organic mattress using certified natural and organic components. Choose your own firmness.
SMF 2.0.14 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines