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Thread: The fine furniture truck outside our office

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Webster Groves, MO
    Blog Entries

    The fine furniture truck outside our office

    This morning, a High Point Furniture Company 18 wheeler showed up outside our office with a whole truck of "fine furniture" destined for Denver, CO. The "order", however was cancelled en-route so they need to unload all this "fine furniture" cheap.

    I had to bite and take a look. As I walked over, there was a couple looking at a bargin $575 Bombay chest and had their checkbooks in hand. I expressed interest also, took a look and immediately pointed out all sorts of issues:
    • The thru dovetails on the back of the drawers had 1/16" gaps betwen the pins and tails and were held together by brad nails and what appeared to be glue from a hot glue gun.
    • The drawer bottoms were made from a cheap 1/8" thick grade of plywood.
    • The drawer sides were attached to the front using a butt joint and more brad nails and hot glue gun glue.
    • The entire chest looked to be made of 1/2" material.
    It did have a nice finish and stone top, but outside of that, it was junk. Needless to say, after my comments, the people looking to spend $575 on this bargain, put their checkbooks away and said they would think about it and walked away.

    Someone else called the police on them and they are currently being issued a citation for not having a permit.

    What is my point of this debacle:
    1. It's ashamed that people take advantage of other peoples emotions by offering them a "bargain" and getting them to bite on a piece of junk.
    2. The general public doesn't know the difference between a finely crafted piece of furniture and a mass produced, low quality piece.
    3. Don't buy anything "bargain" from the back of a truck.
    4. The finish makes or breaks a piece - fine finish on a poorly made piece makes it look "high quality", while a poor finish on a finely constucted piece can make it look cheap.
    I found this instance both sad and amusing. It was fun playing with the guys that finally admitted to me they just drive the truck and don't know a thing about furniture; eventhough, they sounded like "experts" when trying to unload this stuff.

    On a final note, if this is a "once in a lifetime opportunity" to take advantage of their loss, why do they have permits in the next city over to sell out the back of a truck since this was just our dumb luck that they need to unload this stuff from their "cancelled" order.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Houston, TX
    We get something similar every fall, a semi drives through our subdivision and parks in the middle of the block. 2 guys jump out, 1 guy for each side of the street, they knock on each door and give the same story about a canceled order. Last fall I was working in my shop doing the final glue up on a chest of drawers when the guy ran up with his offer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Mount Vernon Washington
    We have had the same thing here a few times. These guys will be cruising the mall parking lot trying to unload high-end audio speakers. They were supposed to have installed them in a new home but the buyer backed out on them so now they are unloaded at an extreme disscount! Sad thing is that a guy that I work with here, his son fell for that and by the time he got them home and hooked up and then realized that all he had was a good looking cabinet and some $5.00 speakers, the guys were gone. Kind of amussing but at the same time makes you mad that people take advantage of follks that way.


  4. #4
    Part of it is the consumer's fault though. The manufacturers have been trained that the customer will take less quality to save 2-3% on price.

    After 50 iterations of cost reduction, what started off as a nice piece ends up as junk.

    I remember this back when all the tool makers were starting to go overseas. I saw a lot of posts that overseas machine XYZ was $40 less than the American made one. The poster would say "it's not quite as good as the American one, but it's good enough, so I'm buying it".. Enough people thought that way that everything was pushed overseas. Not saying it's good or bad, just stating a fact..

    That's why a lot of furniture is made from particleboard now, and thin stuff at that. For most people, price trumps everything.

  5. #5


    Tim's 3rd point is all that needs to be said. "Don't buy ANYTHING from the back of a truck, ever." This is no different than any other scam or the guy selling watches out of his trunk. If you're naive enough to beleive the cancelled order story, come and see me, I've got some real bargains for you!

  6. #6
    I manage a large automotive service department and we get that sort of thing with equipment sales. They had an "order" cancel and want to deal on jacks, cherry pickers, presses, etc. It's very lightweight, poorly constructed, and the rams and such are non-serviceable off-shore stuff. It must work though, cause they keep making the rounds.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Gambrills, MD - Near Annapolis
    We had the same thing last year, only it was meat. Refrigerated or not, I'm not buying meat from someone unknown who drives up to my door.

    At least the steaks weren't held together with hot glue and brads


  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Brown
    We had the same thing last year, only it was meat. Refrigerated or not, I'm not buying meat from someone unknown who drives up to my door.

    At least the steaks weren't held together with hot glue and brads

    I was at a gas station putting gas in my car when somebody gassing up one of those meat trucks nearby tried to sell me meat off the back of his truck. At a gas pump! Sorry, but I won't buy meat off a truck period, not at my house and for hell sure not at the gas pump!

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