I want to let you in on a little secret that the furniture and home decor industry may not want you to know about. And knowing this secret can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars when you’re shopping to furnish your home or rental property. And I’ll share a website where you can see the best deals on some furniture and decor for your project. This episode is a good one so make sure to listen or read on below.
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You might know that shopping around can save you money. But did you know you can save hundreds, or even thousands of dollars by shopping around for furniture or home décor for your home or rental property? That’s big money.
It’s a little known secret called white labeling.
What is White Labeling?
White labeling is a common practice in furniture and home décor and actually across many markets like clothing, software, electronics, and even food and supplements
White labeling is when a manufacturer (producer) of a product, sells that product to several retailers (stores that we buy from).
And then the stores sell that it to you. And depending on where you buy the item, the cost could vary by hundreds of dollars. Even more.
For example, let’s say a manufacturer makes chair and they call it the David chair. They sell the David chair to buyers from several different retail stores like Pottery Barn, Wayfair, and Crate and Barrel. Who then purchases the David chair, and put it on their website to sell to you. Often they give the chair their own name so it looks specific or exclusive to them. One store might sell it as the Davin chair, one might call it the Danton chair, or some other completely different name because a custom name makes it harder to shop around.
And depending on who you buy the chair from, the cost could vary by quite a bit…hundreds of dollars or more.
Many of these products are manufactured overseas in China, Indonesia, etc, since labor costs are lower, but some are also produced in the country.
When I go to design shows, High Point, Las Vegas, Dallas, Atlanta, NYC…I’ll see different wholesalers or vendors selling the exact same pieces of furniture.
And then stores/retailers buy these items and sell them for what their customers (that’s you) will pay. If you’re a Pottery Barn shopper you might be willing to spend more money compared to someone shopping at Walmart.
White Labeling vs Private Labeling
Some retailers have their own exclusive factories whether that’s in the country or overseas. Or they work with a manufacturer to create something exclusive to them. And in that case, you won’t find the same item or chair at different stores. That’s called Private labeling.
White label is sold to several or many retailers. Private label is sold to just one company.
When companies are larger with more capital (aka money) they can private label. They’re the only ones who can resell it to you so they can charge what they want. It’s more exclusive.
What Companies White Label?
How long do you have? Just kidding. The list is long for sure as it’s a common practice in the furniture industry. But to name a few:
- Pottery Barn
- Crate and Barrel
- Lulu and Georgia
- McGee and Co
- West Elm
- Serena and Lily
- Home Depot
- Restoration Hardware
How to Tell if Something is White Labeled?
There is a difference between a knockoff and something that’s white labeled. A knockoff is not the same thing.
When shopping online, look at some details about the product like: the country of origin, finish, dimensions, and photos. If they are the same, it’s likely the same product.
If it walks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it’s likely a duck.
Spoken.io is Uncovering White Labeling
Spoken.io is a website that is dedicated to uncovering white labeled furniture and showing you, the customer, where to find the best deals on certain items. The site is easy to navigate, had great photos, but doesn’t have everything out there. So, while I encourage you to check it, just know that they won’t have every item under the sun.
From what I’ve read, the founders of Spoken.io purchased a coffee table from Urban Outfitters that actually was made by the company Sauder and he found the same coffee table at Home Depot for half the price. After that experience the idea for Spoken.io was born.
When on the site, you’ll click on the item you’re interested in and they’ll list all the places they know of that sell that item as well as how much it costs so you can buy it for the least amount. I don’t think they do affiliate linking so I’m not sure how they’re making money at this time, but maybe that’ll change in the future.
Examples of White Labeling
I have a few real life examples to share of three different items that were white labeled. I found two of these on Spoken.io and one I know of as a designer since I know a lot about furniture vendors.
- Alden 3 Light Floor Lamp is sold at Pottery Barn for $319 and also at Home Depot for $123. That’s a difference of $196.
- Console table sold at Pottery Barn for $2199 and Houzz for $1729. That’s a difference of $371.
- Small Sinclair Ottoman is sold at McGee & Co for $500 and Burke Decor for $424. That’s a difference of $76.
Note: Online pricing and links change often so while this is accurate at the time of writing this post, things can often change.
Online Shopping Tip
Whenever shopping online you can do a quick Google Search of the name of the item to see if you can get it at a better price. Remember, sometimes companies don’t change the name of the item and are reselling it using the given name.
When I did a quick search for the Eloise Pendant from the manufacturer Regina Andrews, I saw different pricing online as shown below.
Note: If you see two drastically different prices, you might be comparing two different sizes of an item, like a small versus a large. Do a quick comparison and make sure the dimensions are the same before you get your hopes up that you scored a great deal.
Final thoughts on White Labeling
White labeling isn’t some shady scam. It’s a business model. Wholesalers sell to retailers, who sell the item to customers (you). I do recommend that you do your homework and a quick Google search to see if the same item can be bought elsewhere at a lower price.
If it makes you feel better shopping at higher end stores, just know that’s your ego getting involved. For real estate investors, you really want to get the best deal on items so do your homework and shop around.
In the end, shop where you feel trust and are comfortable, but know that someone else might sell the exact same item for less.
How to work with me or learn from me
I do limited work with 1:1 clients and projects have to meet certain requirement for me to add them to my calendar. But, you can work with me through my courses and trainings.
Room Design Essentials teaches you the A-Z of designing a space quickly so you can design and decorate with confidence. It works for both homeowners and real estate investors. And I’m in the process of revamping this and making it more effective than ever so it gives you faster and even better results.
Kitchen Refresh 101 teaches you how to update and refresh your kitchen yourself. You’ll walk away with the processes, order of operations, ideas and inspiration to make your kitchen stand out.
And I’ll be launching something new called Accelerated this year to work and train with me 1:1.
To get on the waitlist and learn more go to: https: nestorations.com/waitlist