By CLARICE SMYTH
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DUPES ARE NOT REAL
There Is No Such Thing As Dupes
How quality differences are relative to the price. Defining Dupes and the FACT that they don’t exist. Compare a high-end piece with a less expensive look a like and break down the quality differences. Result finding: That there are NO DUPES just alternatives authentic in their own right. An informed consumer is not being duped nor are they buying a dupe….They are purchasing the best option for their need and budget.
DUPES DON’T EXIST. In this video, I talk about DUPES and share valuable information so YOU DON”T GET DUPED BUYING DUPES. Why Dupes Are Not Real – Are They?
Comparing high-end pieces with a less expensive Dupe and breaking down the quality differences that impact the price. STOP WATCHING DUPE VIDEOS …. WATCH THIS VIDEO FIRST!
Are There Really Such Thing As Dupes
DUPES. DUPES seem to be the trending fascination, looking for a believable look-a-like for less. It seems everyone in the interior design space is sharing Dupe videos. STOP WATCHING THOSE VIDEOS ….WATCH THIS VIDEO FIRST!
You should know a few very important facts before purchasing any product or its “Dupe.”
In this video, I will share with you WHY DUPES DON’T EXIST. Also, I will empower you with what YOU MUST KNOW prior to making a purchase – so YOU DON’T GET DUPED.
The use of the term Dupe can be traced to around 1704, meaning to trick or deceive.
It wasn’t until sometime around 1900-1912 that Dupe was used as a shortened term for a duplicate.
Duplicate means an exact copy.
and if you find an EXACT duplicate then you will need to know what…. Counterfeit means.
Counterfeit is to make an exact imitation of something with the intention to deceive or defraud.
Really there are NO DUPES… just alternatives authentic in their own right. Because if a thing, say a table or sofa, was an exact copy, which would include quality, craftsmanship, materials, resources, finishes etc. it is a COUNTERFEIT and that is a whole different problem.
Most often imitations, dupes, and counterfeits are sub-quality and fall short – on many levels – of the original piece it is attempting to replicate.
We are going to consider a few points that might shed light on why there can be a sizable difference in the price of seemingly similar products. Perhaps you will be empowered or better prepared the next time you go shopping for furnishings.
There are several important factors that differentiate the quality and price of often compared products. Here, we are discussing home furnishings but quality, across the board, affects the prices of goods.
Factors in furnishings often include material, construction, detail, scale, history, supply and demand, brand, and finish.
This is more of an overview to make you aware rather than an exhaustive deep dive into every scenario. I will touch on all the factors but we will focus mainly on materials, construction, and detail.
We can all relate to Brand as a common factor in determining the price of a product. If you or I design a pillow it will, most likely, be priced differently than if Kelly Hoppen or Kelly Wearstler designs the exact same pillow and markets it. This is Brand and if a consumer is willing to pay for the brand status – it may cost substantially more.
Supply and Demand, and History:
It’s all a balance. Supply and demand can impact the price of a product, all products. Let’s consider the currently increasing prices of building materials and other items that are in short supply. The consumer is willing or forced to pay higher prices due to the factor that there is a higher demand for products and less supply to go around.
Supply and demand can be caused by the economy or limited availability. For example it is rare due to fewer being produced, an original, or fewer having survived as in an artifact dated say to the 9th century.
History can affect value, not just due to the passage of time, but also in an object’s origin. Who designed it, who owned it, who wore it, or who is selling or has sold it.
One of the first things you want to consider are the materials that make up a piece.
Is it solid wood, veneered, MDF, Chipboard, or other lesser quality material. This is not to say that solid wood is the only quality material but relative to furniture, in most cases, it is certainly considered the higher standard.
The materials that make up a piece can effect the quality and price of the end product.
In solid wood, for example, these factors can vary widely. Is the solid wood? Hard Wood or Soft Wood? Is it pine or walnut? Is it an exotic wood that is difficult to acquire? Are economy or supply related issues driving prices up?
Solid woods can differ greatly in price depending which species you choose. Maple & Ash, Oak & Cherry, and Walnut & Teak are considered the Lower, Mid, and High price range.
Solid wood furniture, if cared for properly, will last for centuries. Solid wood furniture can be refinished and repaired.
In the use of MDF and particleboard price and quality can vary. In what material is the MDF veneered? Is it veneered in wood or laminate?
Veneer is very thin sheets of wood that is applied over a substrate. This veneer is real wood but the sheets are very thin. They are adhered to the substrate with a strong glue. The veneer is near impossible to refinish and difficult to repair.
Laminates are made by pressing a blend of paper (decorative and plain) soaked in phenolic and melamine resins and hard pressed into stiff sheets. These sheets of faux wood images are then applied to a particle-Board/Plyboard/MDF.
Veneer is thin sheets of real wood.
Laminates are sheets of paper and plastic. Both veneer and laminate are applied over manufactured substrate. Veneer cost less than solid wood but more than laminate.
Construction of any furniture piece will impact the cost. When looking to determine the quality look for the way it is constructed.
Is it stapled and glued or nailed and glued? Are all joints blunt, as in many flat-pack items?
Are the joints mortise and tenon, splined miter, finger-joints, miter biscuit, dove-tail, or dowelled miter? Whether a piece is prebuilt or assembly required can give a lot of insight into the quality and durability to expect over time.
Is each chair’s back leg one single piece that runs the length of the chair’s back and joins at the top/crest rail?
Has the furniture piece been corner blocked?
How many individual pieces must be cut, shaped, sanded, assembled, and finished to make the item you are considering? To give you an idea, a dining table can be constructed with an average of 12 pieces while a chair can involve 30-35 or more components.
Details play a large role in the cost of furniture. It requires additional skill and labor to add all the extra detail to crafted furniture.
Is the detailed hand carved, machine carved, or stamped? Does the piece have curves in the frame or where joints meet? Curves generally cost more to produce.
If there are other details involved such as hardware, or upholstery then each will add to the cost of production.
If upholstered, what is the textile – natural or synthetic? Is there added piping, custom trims, or tufting?
Scale effects the overall price and is a factor to consider when comparing “Dupes.” This could be the scale of the piece as a whole or of individual components of the designed piece.
Let’s say you are looking at a substantial sized coffee table that is 42” diameter, with thick legs. You find a “Dupe” that is 33” in diameter with thinner or spindly legs – this is not really a comparable DUPE/Duplicate. Even if the basic shape are the same they will not work equally well in the same space.
The final finish on a furniture item can vary greatly. Is it genuine leather or pleather, which is plastic leather? Is the finish sprayed poly/varnish or hand rubbed stain or oil? Is it mirrored, painted one color, glazed, or chinoiserie?
Is the upholstery canvas, twill, linen, or silk? If your heart is set on a silk upholstered side chair and you find a “Dupe” in a poly blend – they are NOT the same. Is the mirror you long to hang in your home gilded but the “Dupe” is finished in gold paint? The gold will age and patina whereas the paint will wear and chip. These are very real differences and you would expect a difference in the price of the item.
Let’s consider a chair. sheep’s wool is all the trend or fad at the moment.
Depending on the factors we just talked about the prices could vary greatly.
You would consider each of the points in regards to each piece. Brand, Supply & Demand, Materials, construction, detail, scale, and finish.
To get the look we could consider Shearling, Faux Shearling / Sherpa, or Boucle.
“Shearling” refers to the sheep: A shearling is a yearling sheep who has been shorn just once, and a shearling garment is made from a sheep or lamb shorn shortly before slaughter. This process results in leather or suede on one side material with soft wool on the opposite side. Because the wool is still attached to the skin, shearling is a fur product.
“Faux Shearling” or sherpa is generally a fabric made from polyester, acrylic, or cotton. It shares some of the characteristics of Shearling. Sherpa has a soft hand, bumpy texture, and is less expensive than Shearling.
Boucle from the French word meaning “curled” or “ringed,” Bouclé refers to a three-stand yarn, one of which forms the loops. This series of looped fibers are used to create the Boucle fabric. Boucle can be made of cotton, linen, and silk but Wool is the most common fiber used in this technique.
INSERT SLIDES FOR EACH EXAMPLE
THE PERRY CHAIR – MAIDEN HOME
THE DOLLY CHAIR – OVERSTOCK/
AUSTIN FAUX SHEARLING CHAIR – OVERSTOCK/TOV FURNITURE
ARLO ACCENT CHAIR – OVERSTOCK/LINON
LET’S LOOK AT ONE MORE EXAMPLE – SEE VIDEO
Round Reclaimed Douglas Fir Coffee Table. 17” H x 48”W x 48”D Same table different sources.
What to Consider
You would look at any type of furnishing in the same way. If you are looking at an upholstered piece consider the construction and materials. Is the fabric cotton, wool, silk, or synthetic? Is the filling foam, synthetic, cotton, feather, or down? What were the details? Tight-back or lose cushions? Is it piped, fringed, tufted, or gathered?
In general look at what makes up product X and the cost of the finished good.. Then based on your market research and your personal opinion….are you willing to pay the asking price to own product X ?
Based on all the variances we have touched on, I think you can see how items, that appear similar at first glance, can vary greatly in both qualities and ultimately in the price.
As a designer, I specify a variety of furnishings for clients. I try to choose the best options for where they are in their life and budget. I can only say, be more mindful and do the best you can given all your options.
Decide if the piece you are considering is filling a temporary need or if it is a piece you really want to own for years to come. Choose the best option that fulfills your need in the most responsible way available to you.
Often I hear people say, I want X but can’t afford it right now, so, I will buy Y until I can buy X. Sometimes Y costs a hefty percentage of the cost of X.
Can you wait or find a low or no-cost temporary solution to meet your need for that furniture x? If so, then you can save your money and buy X sooner.
A few suggestions:
If we must buy “temporary items” borrow or buy used and don’t add to the already excessive supply of sub-quality pieces that overfill secondhand shops and ultimately landfills.
When you do buy, choose carefully to acquire the best quality pieces possible with the intent of holding on to them longer. I think we have become so accustomed to, in part due to excessive marketing, chasing trends, and replacing home goods that it feels like we have no other options. If possible, design more thoughtfully with the long-term in mind. Acquire quality pieces over time that can become the heirlooms of the future.
When the furniture we fill our homes with lasts longer it saves money and helps the environment. When we manufacture, consume, and replace poor-quality products regularly we contribute to the economic and environmental issues with which we are all familiar.
We must remember quality is not always apparent and requires due diligence on behalf of the purchaser. This way you know you are getting and what you are paying for rather than what you think you are paying for.
This video barely scratched the surface of this subject and I always encourage you to do your own research. The intention of this video is NOT to criticize DUPE videos or their creators in any way. I watch these types of videos and I think they are great fun. My intention is simply to make each of us more knowledgeable about some of the ways of assessing an item prior to purchase. If we simply assume that a DUPE means an item equal to its compared counterpart then there is a huge possibility that somewhere along the way our expectations will be disappointed.
Make informed purchase decisions so you don’t get duped when buying dupes. Go forth and SHOP ON!
If you are looking to design your own space, schedule your complimentary call with me, I would love to work with you to create your next design project. I offer design services locally and via virtual to other locations.
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Check back often. It is my passion to Empower You To Design Your Life.
Thank You for spending your time with me. I appreciate you from the bottom of my heart.
VIDEO # 6 DUPES ARE NOT REAL
CLICK LINKS BELOW TO SHOP
PRODUCT SLIDE #1 WOOD MATERIALS
PRODUCT SLIDE # 5 CURVED LINES
PRODUCT SLIDE # 6 TABLE COMPARISON
PRODUCT SLIDE # 7 FINISHES
PRODUCT SLIDE # 8 THE PERRY CHAIR
PRODUCT SLIDE # 9 THE DOLLY CHAIR
PRODUCT SLIDE # 10 THE AUSTIN CHAIR
PRODUCT SLIDE # 11 THE ARLO CHAIR
PRODUCT SLIDE # 12 RECLAIMED DOUGLAS FIR TABLE