Are you looking to update your home decor as cheaply as possible?
Have you ever been in a store or on a website and thought ‘Wow! I can definitely buy that much cheaper elsewhere.’?
Yeah me too.
We've all done it.
Money is money after all and if we can get a cheaper deal elsewhere that's got to be a good thing, right?
Next time, before you exit the store and look elsewhere purely due to price, ask yourself these questions.
- As a consumer what do you insist on?
- What are you prepared to compromise on?
- What are your priorities when shopping for home decor?
Not sure? To help you decide, read on.
What home decor items should I buy?
At this time of year we retailers are in buying mode.
With the Christmas rush over and our customer's disposable income scarce, sales on non-essentials take a natural dip. Time then to reflect, take stock (both figuratively and literally!) and do the buying for the year ahead.
Enter the world of the trade show. The chance to browse hundreds and hundreds of potential new product lines and vet the suppliers bringing them to market. It’s the perfect way to see items in the flesh, talk to the businesses selling them and decide if it’s going to be the start of a wonderful new relationship!
Now the retailer is the customer. It’s an interesting perspective.
Of course we retailers are consumers too. We all have to shop for ourselves, be it for groceries or a new mobile phone. We go through the whole customer experience cycle with all the companies we buy from and it shapes us. It makes an impact on us as retailers and helps us to determine what our priorities are and define the experience we want our customers to have with us.
We inevitably take those values with us when we then make buying decisions about the products we’ll stock and those we won’t. We work out what we’ll insist on and what we’re prepared to compromise on when sourcing and bringing products to our customer.
So before you reject something purely on price, here are some things to consider.
1. Is it truly like for like?
For example, they may be available in identical colours and size but you can’t compare a luxury mohair throw at £85 with a mock mohair 100% acrylic throw at £29. You may decide that you’re not prepared to pay the required price for the genuine article and settle for the faux version but at least you’ve made that decision consciously.
2. How important is quality?
Would you be prepared to spend a bit more on a locally produced, handmade candle, whose scent is as carefully blended as those of Channel or Christian Dior? This heavenly scent is then held in the perfect mix of quality soy and vegetable wax, with a top grade cotton wick ensuring the candle burns completely evenly. Or do you want to pay less but get a factory poured, artificially scented candle imported from overseas? It might not burn very evenly and last as long but on the plus side it was half the price to start with.
3. Should you consider sustainable manufacturing?
What do you know about how the item was made? Would you be prepared to pay a bit more for some felt Easter decorations which were made to fair trade standards? Production of these products would help support small rural communities in Nepal. Would that be a key factor for you? Or would you prefer to pay less for a similar product and accept you know nothing about the working conditions under which the decoration was made.
4. Should you support small businesses?
Would you be prepared to pay a higher price for wall art which was uniquely crafted by gifted artisans? Individuals who are passionate about creating something to be loved by it’s owner for years and years to come or do you want to pay a much lower price for something which you accept is mass produced and sold by a faceless big box store.
5. Is organic important?
Would you pay more for soft furnishings made from organic fibres and fabrics? Less impact on the environment but more impact on your wallet.
I believe there are no right or wrong answers to the above considerations. We’re all different in what we value and what we’re prepared to pay for. Like most things in life it’s probably all down to balance. A balance between your personal values and your bank balance.
What I do believe though is that in this age of increased awareness and so called ‘conscious consumerism’, we should at least examine all of our options and know our own values. We need to be aware of the consequences of our buying decisions and be making an informed, conscious choice. It’s rarely as simple as being able to ‘buy it much cheaper elsewhere’ without compromising on something, the question is what?
What are your non negotiables when buying for your home?
Where are you prepared to spend more and where are you not?
I’d love to know what’s important to you! Please leave a comment below.