What not to do when shopping with your interior designer
Have you ever gone to the interior design market with your designer? It can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it's important to know what to do when you're there. This blog post will give you some tips on how to make the most of your time at the market.
Imagine a place where you can go to purchase only the best, most exclusive items for your home. A trade center is just that - and it's also an incredible resource! If your designer brings yiou to this trade center then you must be an invited guest. The items on sale here are sold with unique pricing structures, some wholesale and others at retail with requirements specific for designers like ourselves- it's privileged access! Bringing our clients to market has many risks. A feat many choose not to accept. By not following some key rules, you could risk your designer's professional access and never experiencing its glorious benefits ever again! Here are some rules of thumb when going with your designer to market.
Stick With Your Designer
When clients visit the Design Center, they are guests of designers and must remain with their designer at all times. The center has a strict policy that no one can enter or leave without being accompanied by an authorized personnel member from inside the building due to its high-security measures in place for security purposes. The output tone is polite but there's also some humor here about how difficult it would be if you weren't formally welcomed into this space as someone who was invited by another party involved.
When entering a building, you must show identification and be issued an ID badge that visibly identifies if the wearer is a guest or designer. If they discover you went rogue and start visiting showrooms without your design, then access will no longer be granted to enter any of their showsrooms which could result in immediate escorting off the premises and the designer losing access with the market center. No Bueno! Stick with your designer at all times.
Don't Waste Time Snooping for Prices
It's poor form to snoop around for pricing in a showroom, as each one is different. You may find products listed wholesale but never retail and vice versa; some designers will only list their goods at an unknown rate while others openly advertise with what you'll pay per unit - either way, if you're looking for the best deals on designer goods it's best to let your designer discuss pricing.
Interior designers know that their business is built on trust and loyalty. As such, they are able to negotiate pricing with vendors in order for all parties involved to be satisfied. This is because the designer has committed themselves to providing fair pricing for both parties involved in negotiations - meaning you can leave price hunting up to them while trusting they'll get it right!
Don't Ask for the Designer's Discount
The "discount" most homeowners refer to actually has a name - trade pricing, and it's only available through agreements with manufacturers and designers with a resale license. Through these agreements, designers are often not allowed to advertise our trade pricing as it could hurt competitiveness for vendors and designers. Plus, the difference allows the designer wiggle room to cover furniture costs not charged to the client, such as damage repairs and unforeseen freight charges.
Designers are like Walmart, you don't see their prices and they're not required to share them. As a reseller of design services though we become your trusted friend who can help find the perfect piece at an affordable rate - one that will help keep their business open and thriving long term too by negotiating on your behalf when necessary. A lot goes into making sure every project runs smoothly from start-to-finish including finding beautiful pieces while keeping costs low for our clients.
Expect a Different Shopping Experience
If you walk into a grocery store right now, you would look around for things you like, place it in your shopping cart, cash out at the register, and take it home. This is very different when shopping in showrooms at market. The first thing to know about buying at a showroom is that many items are only for display and can't actually be purchased. This could mean the price will change depending on if you want it customized (which also affects turnaround time). Some showrooms have sections where they sell "samples"-- off the floor as cash and carry.
Most items are display only, often times because it can be customized, and therefore must be ordered, which could affect the price (another reason why snooping for pricing isn't a good idea); or because it's simply a visual context for scale, testing it out before purchasing, and seeing is true color. Some showrooms sell samples off the floor as cash and carry. But don't whip out your credit card just yet! While it is true that the designer will accept orders placed on behalf of clients with an order minimum or resale license, these requirements are not always rectified with simple card swipe. You might be frustrated when you can’t take home that vase right away- but know this: every detail matters in design, which is why you should lean on the expertise of your designer and let them do the heavy lifting to ensure a smooth process. Instead, sit back and enjoy the experience!
Don't Lose Focus
These design centers are huge! We're talking upwards of twelve levels with maybe 20+ showrooms on each. It's easy to get overwhelmed and is nearly impossible to browse every showroom. Even if you could, you'll find yourself mentally drained, discouraged that you haven't found the perfect piece, and have aching feet! Yay 6000 daily steps! Your designer has done the research and knows exactly what showrooms work for your design aesthetic and price point. It's why we build vendor relationships. If you start roaming and picking things purely for the look, you might find you're back to square one, picking items twice your budget, out of stock, and not in the right size. That's why you hired us! If shopping were easy, everyone would do it! Trust that if your designer hasn't taken you to a particular showroom, it's only to aid in making the most of your time and the time spent on the project (which saves you money) and to avoid disappointment in the long run.
While it may be tempting to try and tackle the furniture shopping process on your own, it’s often best to leave it to the professionals. By working with a designer you trust, they can help guide you through all the options available, making sure you find pieces that are perfect for your space. And, when it comes time to make your purchase, they can take care of all the logistics so you don’t have to worry about a thing. So if you’re looking for an easier way to shop for furniture, let your designer take the reins. Do you have any questions about how designers can help simplify the furniture-buying process? Comment below or Book a Discovery Call with us for a quick chat.
Disclaimer: The DVS editorial team may highlight a curated selection of product recommendations for your consideration; clicking a link to the retailer that sells the product may earn us a small commission.