In the simplest of terms, ‘FAST FURNITURE’ refers to furniture NOT built to last! That is CHEAP mass-produced fixtures that you won’t hand down to the next generation.
Apart from being an environmental hazard, fast furniture also presents some challenges in your day to day operations. So, we ask the question:
- Is it okay to buy cheap/fast furniture?
- Why is fast furniture so cheaply made?
- Is high-end furniture worth it?
All these questions plus plenty more will be answered in five minutes or less.
Is it okay to buy cheap/ fast furniture?
The term ‘convenience’ has opened up a lot of grey areas when it comes to buying furniture.
Unlike in the past where furniture was built to last multiple generations, today, it’s all about the bottom line. furthermore, to the manufacturers, fast furniture is great in that you keep buying, repairing, and replacing, thus making them more money.
But to you, buying a styling stool say every three months no matter how cheap, will become noticeable. This raises the question:
Is it okay to buy mass-produced or fast furniture?
Here is the thing, while fast furniture makers/distributors such as IKEA are incredibly convenient, the underlying problem is you will end up with the same styling chair, barber chair, or waiting Lounge as half of Australia. Consequently, for a salon or barbershop that’s looking to distinguish itself, that’s bad in that the customer can get the same experience you offer anywhere they look!
Nowadays, despite the coronavirus, competition in the beauty industry is fiercer than ever. Thus, anything that makes you appear ‘more fun’ or overall different should be welcomed with open arms. On the other hand, if you are on a tight budget, there is no harm in going for cheap furniture, except, of course, you’ll have to spend on repairs and or replacements sooner than you should.
To enumerate, we must ask the question:
Why is salon furniture so cheaply made yet too expensive?
As the world changes, the cost of materials, labour, transportation, and manufacturing overheads have all shot up, on top of that, manufacturers and distributors all want to make a profit.
Simple logic tells us, the easiest way to cut costs is at the beginning. I.e. materials used and the labour needed. Consequently, manufacturers nowadays use cheap metals and wood to mass-produce items built to fail. To avoid falling into the repeating cycle where you, buy, repair, buy again and repeat.
Here are some mistakes you should avoid when buying salon furniture.
You Don’t Prioritize Quality When Setting Up Your Salon
Wear and tear… are a real concern because of the nature of the type of business you are in.
Above all, your main concern should always be customer experience or satisfaction, and you can only guarantee that by getting quality salon furnishings.
The problem with fast furnishings in this scenario is, low-quality foam or stuffing wears out faster, meaning, sooner or later your customers will start noticing and some might start complaining. On top of that, fast furniture, just as the name suggests wear out faster, meaning, your place prematurely ages. I’m talking about holes in your seats, unbalanced butt support, and so on.
Therefore, when buying salon essentials listed below, only go for quality products that will last longer, improve branding, and enhance the customer experience.
- Hairstyling chairs and beauty beds: colour, style, and durability are the top determining factors. Go for styling chairs that suit your overall aesthetic. Remember, a quality second-hand barber chair or beauty bed is better than a cheap mass-produced one, because, it will last longer and give better service.
- Waiting desk, and lounge: these two represent the ‘face’ of your business, thus they are the first items visitors see. Get quality equipment to ease the burden of waiting.
- Shelving: apart from storage, shelves can be used to display beauty products or to hold art pieces and mirrors. Thus, invest in quality shelving and storage.
Why is salon furniture vital?
Without the right furniture, your salon or barbershop will feel incomplete, thus, furniture is the most crucial part of designing an interior space. Consequently, professional interior designers recommend that you style your salon or beauty space around your most valuable pieces of furniture.
For example, if you have a stylish brown barber chair that is the centrepiece of your business. Choose everything including workwear to somehow match that chair and create a unified aesthetic. Doing that is beneficial in that it tells the customer:
- I’m well equipped.
- I offer comfort at its best
- I put some thought in designing this experience
You Don’t Invest in Quality Displays
If you have beauty products for sale and your display or shelving doesn’t scream “buy me!” then you have failed at the very simple task of marketing. See, product placement is a necessary evil in all types of business, thus you have to draw customer attention from what you don’t want them to see to what you want them to see.
Additionally, display items should be orderly and neat without compromising space or being too ‘in your face’. The point is, invest in quality workstations, shelving, storage and not to forget lighting.
You Don’t Create a Customer Journey
In a previous article, we talked about the importance of optimizing your salon for flow. Following that logic, use your furniture to create a journey through your environment. You want the customer to feel welcome.
Can fast furniture enhance customer-experience?
It depends on what you buy and from whom!
For the most part, enhancing customer experience at your salon or beauty shop starts with investing in quality salon furniture, why?
Quality makes your business stand out from the crowd, on top of that, customer experience as mentioned above will either make or break your business. Consequently, prioritizing quality, investing in quality displays, and creating the right customer journey will work together to make your services worthwhile.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that its bad to buy fast furniture or cheap ones, what I’m saying is, quality should always be your driving factor no matter your budget.
How to Avoid Fast Furniture Scams
The term “fast fashion” has been floating around in the fashion industry for decades. Nowadays, the term is synonymous with environmental destruction, material waste, underpaid workers, and fashion items that break down within a year or less.
Following the same sneaky money-saving principle, furniture makers now produce fast furniture en masse to meet consumer needs.
If you are buying furniture online, there is no easy way of telling what’s quality and what will break down easily. However, there are several things you can do to avoid getting scammed.
First, you should only buy furniture from a trusted dealer in your area or country. Second, before any money is exchanged, check the description and look for:
What Is The Item Made Of and How Often Will You Use It?
Factory-made ‘sandwich wood’ is just as durable as natural solid wood, here, quality depends on the number of layers in the former and the quality of wood in the later. However, cheap industrial wood will break down faster.
Consequently, ill-used salon items such as display spaces or storage cabinets need not be of high quality. Instead, put the bulk of your money in essentials such as styling chairs or workstations. Make sense?
The rule of the thumb is, the more often it is used or abused. The higher quality it should be.
Steer Away From Mass Production Items When Purchasing Essentials
Mass-produced items have the disadvantage that they all look the same, yes, there might be some variation in color, but the differences are negligible.
To ensure that salon essentials last longer go for:
- Durable, high density cushioned chairs such as Glammar’s EL Chapo Royale.
- Solid wood, layered timber or sandwich wood items such as Glammar’s Taylor station
Fast Furniture Problems
By now, we have established that a healthy mix of quality furniture and fast furniture will save you money both in the short and long run. But what if you decide to only buy fast furniture?
Eco friendly, versus wallet-friendly, is a debate many salon owners seldom ponder on. Most of the time, the biggest concern is the bottom line, thus, wallet-friendly is more palatable. The problem with furnishing your salon, home, or business premises with fast furniture is, most of the items are made with the cheapest adhesives available, finishes, and metals.
We know about the consequences of buying cheap metal and wood. But what about adhesives?
Cheap adhesives have been proven to produce toxic emissions that can trigger allergies or make you sick. That’s bad in that investing in cheap or fast furniture only may end up filling your space with toxic chemicals.
The point is… if you have noticed customers, staff, or yourself complaining about issues such as throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, or nausea within your premises. The problem could be stemming from your furniture. So, to be safe, avoid buying salon furniture, especially the essentials, from just anybody. Instead, find a safe and reliable furniture dealer in your area.
Fast Furniture Alternatives: How To Find Quality, Affordable Salon Furniture
- Look for clearance sales: quality distributors such as Glammar, offer deals, and clearance sales regularly. To avoid missing a deal, check the site, or similar sites regularly for updates, an easier way is to join social media.
- Buy multi-function furniture: the right barber chair, for example, one with a removable headrest easily substitutes a styling chair.
- Go for contemporary pieces: find furniture items that complement each other, buying multiple items can earn you discounts.
Cheap, old, expensive, or new, what truly matters when purchasing salon furniture is the quality of furnishings you purchase and your budget. To be safe or to ensure that you get value for money, find a quality retailer and build a relationship, whereby, if you need an item. You can always contact that retailer and get the best quality item within your budget.
Another thing is, fast furniture is not all bad, mixing it with quality items is a good way to save money. Just make sure that the adhesives used and the finishing is not detrimental to the health of your customers and employees. Always consider secondhand furniture too!
Would you like to know more about fast furniture? Tell us in the comments!