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Finding the Right Furniture Manufacturer for Your Online Furniture Business

9 min read

Starting an online furniture business is a great idea — if you check all the right boxes. Furniture is an evergreen product. People will always need it, whether they’re moving to a new home or upgrading old furniture items. On top of that, it’s easier to sell furniture online than you might think.

But, if you’re giving thought to selling furniture online, you probably have questions about manufacturing. After all, selling furniture requires making furniture. Furniture manufacturing requires a lot of parts, materials, and technical skills. But, fortunately, you don’t need to make furniture to sell furniture.

You can start an online furniture company while relying on furniture manufacturers to supply your inventory for you. But how do you find furniture manufacturers in the first place? What do you need to know about choosing furniture suppliers? And who are the best furniture manufacturers? Keep reading to find the answers to all of these questions, and more.

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Important Factors For Choosing Furniture Suppliers

Location

When working with a furniture manufacturer, you buy inventory from them and they ship it to you or your customers. Therefore, location is crucial when searching for furniture manufacturers. The closer your supplier is to you or your consumers, the easier it will be to ship furniture to its destination.

This is an especially big concern for a product like furniture because some items can be bulky and heavy. International furniture suppliers might appear to have cheaper upfront costs. But if you’re not careful, you could end up spending exponentially more on shipping. And that is to say nothing of the increased costs of international shipping. U.S.-based businesses typically want to work with American furniture manufacturers for these reasons.

Shipping and handling

When it comes to furniture, shipping costs and speed are not the only concerns. Most furniture items require delicate handling during shipping in order to preserve product quality. A broken item is worthless. And even a dent or a scratch on hardwood materials can severely reduce a product’s value. When making your selection, be sure to look into how furniture suppliers prioritize shipping to protect their products. Dealing with poor-quality shipping can be a major headache when running an online furniture business.

Assembly

Assembly is only a concern in select cases with certain items. But this is something that online furniture businesses should consider. Some furniture suppliers require assembly after shipping. This can make it easier to transport furniture items, but the idea of self-assembly is unattractive to some customers. There are pros and cons of requiring assembly after purchase, so there is no clear answer to this question. However, it’s an important factor to have in mind when selecting furniture suppliers.

Sustainability

Furniture manufacturers may use different materials when crafting their furniture. Sustainability is often a major concern for companies and consumers alike. If this is a concern for you and your business, look for manufacturers that prioritize sustainable materials for their products. Many furniture suppliers will highlight their sustainable products, but this is not always the case. Regardless, it is always worthwhile to carefully research the materials and manufacturing processes used by your furniture suppliers.

Product quality

Sustainability isn’t the only reason to carefully research the materials used. You also want to be sure that furniture manufacturers are using quality materials that align with your company’s goals. If you want to sell high-quality, durable furniture, you should look for suppliers that use the best hardwoods, for example. One of the most harmful things your business can encounter is poor or inconsistent manufacturing quality. Negative customer reviews from low-quality furniture can scare off future customers and tank your sales.

Storage options

One of the trickiest things about selling furniture online, in theory, is storage. Most furniture items tend to be quite large. Unless you have an industrial warehouse at your disposal, storing your entire inventory of furniture is not feasible. There are ways around this, of course. Some wholesale furniture suppliers provide storage options for the products you buy from them.

Dropshipping is also an option, in which your business is responsible for facilitating customer transactions while your furniture supplier handles the rest. If you sell furniture on Amazon, you can also take advantage of Fulfillment by Amazon. As you can see, online furniture stores have plenty of options when it comes to handling their storage needs.

How to Find Furniture Manufacturers and Suppliers

Knowing what to look for in a furniture supplier is only half the battle. You also need to know how to find the best furniture suppliers, and how to buy furniture directly from the manufacturer. Many of the best furniture manufacturers will make it easy for furniture stores to buy from them. But purchasing inventory for your business is not often as straightforward as one-click shopping on Amazon.

The best furniture suppliers for your business will also vary based on the type of furniture you sell. Some companies might specialize as office furniture manufacturers, while others specialize in bedroom or kitchen furniture. To help you navigate how to buy and who to buy from, here are some tips on choosing the best furniture manufacturers for your business.

Searching for furniture suppliers by niche

Selling a wide range of furniture items is certainly an option for your online store. But some businesses prefer to focus on niche items. Selling niche products gives you a larger share of the market for those particular items. It can also help focus your company’s goals, as you will have fewer products to worry about.

Whatever your goals, it pays to search for furniture suppliers by subcategories. A few examples include office furniture manufacturers, outdoor furniture manufacturers, and hospitality furniture manufacturers.

Some of the top furniture manufacturers will specialize in multiple types of furniture. But others will put a heavy emphasis on a certain type of item. Vaughn-Basset, for instance, is a U.S.-based furniture manufacturer that specializes in solid wood bedroom furniture. Others, like Vermont Woods Studio, offer a wider range of product types, from outdoor furniture to living room and office furniture. Rather than focusing on a niche product type, this top manufacturer’s focus is on hand-crafted, sustainable furniture for all purposes.

Whatever your company goals are, the best tip for finding the right furniture suppliers is to start with a web search. The list of top furniture manufacturers in the USA is constantly changing. As such, it is often more useful to know what to look for, rather than who to look for.

How to buy furniture direct from manufacturer

As for actually purchasing the inventory for your business, this will vary from one supplier to the next. Some websites, like All American Wholesalers, make it easy by catering directly to wholesale shoppers. Other furniture suppliers might not have a direct interface for buying wholesale. In these cases, you may need to contact the manufacturer’s sales team to discuss buying products wholesale for your business. Most manufacturers display public contact information on their websites. Don’t be afraid to send an email or make a phone call to get started.

Want to learn more about the intricacies of starting an online furniture store? Read Ecwid’s Complete Guide on Selling Furniture Online to help you get started on your new e-commerce business.

 

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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