Factory direct furniture is any type of furniture that is sold directly to the consumer by the manufacturer. The idea is to bypass most of the usual retail channels and market the pieces directly to those who would ultimately buy the sodas, chairs, and other furnishings. In some cases, this approach makes it possible to order custom pieces that are delivered directly from the factory.
One of the chief benefits of factory direct furniture is that the consumer can obtain the same level of quality without going through a furniture retailer. Typically, this means that the cost for each piece is slightly less, since there is no intermediary who needs to make a profit from the sale. As with many other factory direct operations, furniture manufacturers may operate factory direct furniture outlet stores that feature both first- and second-quality furnishings at prices below those offered from furniture retailers.
The ability to buy factory direct furniture classified as second-quality can often help stretch a limited furniture budget. Typically, furniture of this type has some small defect that is difficult to detect. For example, the pattern on the upholstery may not line up perfectly on a sofa or chair. The carvings on a chair leg may be slightly off, or a visible seam along the covering on the back of a sofa may be present. These minor defects can lead to significant savings for consumers.
It is not unusual for factory direct furniture outlets to also offer discontinued furniture items at lower prices. In this scenario, the manufacturer chooses to sell off odd lots of pieces that are no longer in production. As with the pieces with small defects, the discontinued items are often available at very affordable prices. While this process will sometimes require a little more inspection, there is always the chance of finding an odd piece or two that are perfect for your home, saving a considerable amount of money over buying similar items elsewhere.
While factory direct furniture is often less expensive than working with a furniture retailer, there are some exceptions. National retailers sometimes negotiate volume purchasing prices with furniture manufacturers that allow them to sell the goods at prices that are very close to those offered in an outlet store. Before assuming that factory direct furniture is always the most cost-effective option, do some comparison shopping. You may find that a local retail chain can provide pricing that is comparable and may even offer a better selection.