Two Things: Fuck Me And Fuck That

I’m in the market for an office chair.  Actually, I’m in the market for two of them, but one I need now and one can come later.  In my life I’ve been through many office chairs.  In most cases, it’s been a Staples "leather" office chair where the "leather" flakes off after a period of time.  Being so sick of it, my last purchase was a mesh chair, which hasn’t flaked apart, although it is beginning to pull apart at one seam.

So here’s the thing.  Leather office chairs aren’t cheap.  I mean real leather office chairs are not cheap.  For god knows what reason, you can get a leather living room chair or even sofa for less than an office chair.  When I made the choice to get a high-quality office chair in real leather that would not flake apart, I budgeted what I thought was a reasonable amount, $300.  After all, that’s 3x what I would normally pay for a bonded leather chair.  Not even close.  Double that, at least.  So, fuck me.

Which brings me to the second thing.  As retail everything continues closing down and shopping increasingly moves to online, furniture is a very difficult thing to shop for online.  Obviously there is the comfort aspect of the purchase, but what I’m more angry about is the absolute flood of shit from China and its misrepresentation and impossibility to ascertain quality.

Here is a very specific example.  Shopping for what is termed a "task chair", I’m looking for something that seems comfortable and has a bit of style.  That’s actually not as easy as it sounds, but I settled on a design I like:


How much is this chair?  Found at Overstock, it’s somewhere around $450.  It is advertised as "top grain leather", which is the primary criteria in my search.  Now I’m not going to just buy the first instance that I see, because, well, this is the internet, and you can easily find the exact same thing sold elsewhere.  And that, right there, is where the fury came in.

The chair (or a product using the exact image of that chair) is sold at: Overstock, Wayfair, Joss And Main, Etsy (huh?), 1-stop Bedrooms, Hayneedle, Walmart, Home Depot, Amazon, and on and on.  It’s sold under the brand names of ACME, AndrewHomeStudio, Major-Q, Industrial Lodge, Pettus Hamilton, Williston Forge, Bowery Hill, and on and on.  Angry yet?  It’s being sold for: $464, $969, $859, $655, $582, $407, $659, $719, $1120 (the last 4 are all at Amazon).

But, but.  That’s the internet.  Comparison shopping and all.  You take out the outliers and focus on the middle.  So, it’s probably a $600 chair.  probably imported from China for $300 and everyone tries out a different markup.  Every seller puts a different name on it so they have an excuse to say it can’t be price matched because it’s a different product.  Buyer beware, right?

Beware, indeed.  It was first at Home Depot that I saw the massive string of 1-star reviews saying the chair had a design flaw allowing the post to come loose and wobble and sometimes causing the seat plate to break.  Was this the same product as everywhere else?  I didn’t see those reviews on other retailers.  That’s when I really started to find how far and wide this product was and under so many different names.  The bad reviews may have played a part in the constant renaming.  The same complaints for the same product using the same picture over and over.

So anyway, fuck that.  Fuck the idea of buying furniture blindly online made by a mass-importer who will private label to multiple customers instead of being exclusive. And fuck paying over $500 for garbage.

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