Are Garden Furniture “Lookalikes” A Money Saver?
With many supermarkets and retailers like Aldi, Lidl and B&M releasing cheaper “lookalikes” of popular garden furniture for a discounted price, we’ve looked at whether these items are really a bargain.
You’ve heard the saying, “buy cheap, buy twice” well with garden furniture we’re sorry to say that that is almost always definitely true. If you’re looking for a bargain then you won’t also get good quality, it’s one or the other we’re afraid! That’s not to say you can’t find good quality furniture that doesn’t cost a fortune, it just means that those deals that look too good to be true, often are.
This article on Ideal Home compares the furniture between Next and the lookalike furniture from B&M. The article claims, “other than the price, you’ll be hard pushed to find any other difference.” However, nearly always if there is a difference in price there is a difference in quality. The materials used will determine the quality of the furniture, the durability of the furniture and how long the furniture lasts. Unfortunately, with garden furniture, the cheaper the material, the less weatherproof the furniture is – something which is key for furniture left outdoors.
At Zebrano, we pride ourselves on the high-quality materials that we use and our ability to deliver the products at reasonable prices. We only use HDPE synthetic rattan and powder coated aluminium framework for our garden furniture to ensure that the furniture is weatherproof, rustproof and can be left outside all year round.
Many cheaper options use PU rattan which cracks and goes brittle in colder temperatures and steel frames which rust in damp conditions. This means that when you buy cheap your furniture is likely to only last one or two seasons before you have to replace it. Whereas, if you spend a little bit more the first time, your furniture is likely to last for well over 5 years.
Another difference when purchasing cheap garden furniture is that it will be flat-packed and self-assembly. This means that the furniture will be bolted together as opposed to welded together like with pre-assembled furniture and this can cause loose fittings that are not as durable. Additionally, you have to spend your own time assembling the furniture as opposed to receiving a set that is ready to use straight away.
Not only are the quality of materials used on cheaper furniture inferior but obviously, the warranties and guarantees are significantly reduced. Whilst a cheap set may only come with a 1 year guarantee or no guarantee at all, top quality garden furniture will be guaranteed for a minimum of 2 years for metal and aluminium furniture and 5 years for rattan and fabric furniture with some warranties even going as high as 7 or 10 years, showing you just how much difference there is in quality.
However, if you are looking for instant gratification, furniture you can take away immediately and only use for that summer, then cheaper buys will be effective and suit those needs. This does, however, have a huge impact on the environment with more PU plastic being thrown away and being taken to landfills.
Think of cheap garden furniture like a disposable barbecue, whilst you may get an enjoyable use out of it, it will ultimately have to be thrown away and you’ll have to buy a new one the next time the sun comes out! So, if you want to regularly barbecue you would buy a proper barbecue, the same should apply to garden furniture – if you want to use it regularly you should buy the real stuff and not a cheap “lookalike” version.
If you’re looking for top quality garden furniture, then we recommend a visit to one of our showrooms where you can test and feel the quality of the furniture for yourself.