Reader Mail: Furniture Vendor Sprinkled Fairy Dust

A reader who we’ll keep anonymous for his own sake sent us this email. When we got to the middle, we pretty much lost any ability we’ll ever have to buy furniture online without laughing again.

I was reading your post about ecofurniture.com, thought I’d shoot you an email. My last job was in the online furniture business, and yes, it is common practice to rename pieces. We ran a handfull of sites, and would rename for the upscale sites and give the manufacture’s name
for the cheapie one.

We even called out people who renamed; on totalbedroom.com there’s price comparison section with humbleabode.com which renamed and marked way up.

(there’s a funny lawsuit there, with humble abode claiming they were different b/c they sprinkled – i shit you not – fairy dust, on the beds. even though they were all drop shipped)

But we did the same thing on directlyhome.com – marked up and renamed.

That being said, it is false advertising for ecofurniture to claim it’s custom made. [For the record, we could not find anything that said ‘custom-made’ on Eco-Furniture.com; That was the claim lobbied by a reader in the original post. -Ed.] That’s different than just renaming and hoping no one notices.

and the edo bed is made by http://sitcomfurniture.com/

Update: Actually, the Internet Archive shows that as of a year ago, Eco-Furniture.com did advertise the Sensay as “custom” and “built to order.”

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  1. airship says:

    Rebranding is as old as the hills, and it’s a common way for a retailer to charge way too much for not-very-special goods. If you rebrand a ‘generic bed’ as a ‘Super-Duper Extremely Wondful Sleeping Experience(TM) Bed’, according to the law and all of the established practices of merchandising, you have done no wrong. The way they can come after you is if you promise something specific, like ‘Solid Gold Bed’, and don’t deliver.
    P.T. Barnum had a word for customers who fall for schemes like this: he called them ‘Suckers’.