Buy furniture from Vietnam: potential and pitfalls when importing furniture from Asia
Furniture business opportunities in Vietnam are enormous and can lead to a definitive competitive edge and increased margins for those that manage to benefit from the huge potential of the furniture industry.
Many different kinds of businesses in Europe and around the world are seeking to buy furniture from Vietnam and other Asian countries (mostly China but also Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, etc.). These businesses can be very varied and include architects, hotel and restaurant owners, furniture wholesalers, small and medium furniture retailers, interior decorators and many more. Vietnam has emerged as a major furniture producer in Asia and exports of Vietnamese produced furniture increase every year. Purchasing furniture in Vietnam can be easy and the key to a successful business in your home country. The ever increasing flow of furniture exported from Vietnam and exported to countries around the world reflects the huge potential of the Vietnamese furniture industry.
Potential of importing furniture from Vietnam for all kinds of businesses
We focus on the luxury and high-end furniture segment. Many would think that purchasing this kind of furniture is near to impossible as the main thoughts that come to mind when referring to importing furniture from Asia is low-quality products and components, cheap-priced, often copied designs with total disregard to intellectual property and mass production without attention to details.
If you have time and resources to endure a very steep learning curve (see the pitfalls we describe below), there is a huge potential for improving your sourcing and margins by importing from Asia. You will find that the most famous luxury brands, from clothing and accessories (leather bags, suitcases) to electronic devices, all produce in Asia, mainly in China but also in neighboring countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. Most consumers don’t even realize this which is already a testament to the success luxury brands have had with this cost-effective strategy. Most of these international brands don’t have their own production facilities but rather sub-contract the production to a panel of local suppliers that can deliver the quality standards that are required from them.
In the footwear or textile industry, it is not unusual to observe one subcontractor or factory with different production lines, each allocated for a specific international brand. As part of our own learning curve and while we seek the best quality, we have learned, in the furniture industry, that it is much better to work directly with a furniture producer that is already recognized internationally for the quality of the furniture produced. These often have their own brand which is sold at high-street retailers around the world. Knowing that you are purchasing a luxury sofa from a producer that is selling the same sofas to luxury furniture retailers in Europe is a guarantee that you will receive the same quality that is being acclaimed by western consumers.
Most of these exclusive producers do not have time or the will to deal with small buyers so this is where we can provide a very useful service since we have partnerships in place with Danish, Italian and English furniture producers who are located in Vietnam (many were producing before in Europe but have relocated to Asia). Being able to access high-end furniture factories, purchase at wholesale prices and mix different items made by different producers into one container opens a whole world of possibilities whatever your project may be (hotel, restaurants, interior decoration, retailing, etc.).
Pitfalls to avoid when importing furniture from Vietnam and across Asia
However there are many pitfalls and every day, many buyers are disappointed by what promised to be a great transaction and that turned out to be a nightmare with dire financial consequences. It is essential to have a network of trusted and dependable furniture producers whose factories and capabilities you have tried and proved through a solid and durable relationship. Trying to make a quick transaction by purchasing furniture from a furniture factory that you hardly know because you are tempted by the incredibly low prices is the first step to having an unsuccessful transaction.
Quality issues when purchasing furniture from Vietnam
Quality issues are a recurrent and daunting problem for most inexperienced furniture buyers in Vietnam. Being unable to have somebody you can trust to inspect your order before shipment will frequently lead to receiving a container at your home port or warehouse that will despair you when you see what furniture you have just imported from Vietnam.
To successfully import furniture from Vietnam (o elsewhere in Asia), it is mandatory to be able to perform quality controls, not only before shipment of the goods but during the production of these goods so you can detect defects and other production issues as they appear.
Many buyers have had a bad surprise, not on the first container received by a supplier but later on in the relationship, after having received several containers, suddenly one arrives and the quality is no longer there. Many reasons can take an Asian furniture producer to do this, almost all of them beyond your control, the only way to protect and ensure success for your operations is to monitor extensively each and every shipment, during production and before packaging.
Quality issues can be apparent and easily detected if you have the means to carry out an inspection (QC or quality control) before the packing of the furniture. Some other issues only appear later on, after the furniture has been delivered to your clients, sometimes a long time after. To avoid this, a thorough knowledge and control of the components and the processes used to produce the furniture you are importing are essential. Other quality issues need to be detected and prevented during the production of certain types of furniture (for example a faulty powder coating process) because they will not be apparent if you only carry out one QC, just before packaging.
Knowing your products and your supplier over a span of several years also enables you to find permanent solutions to problems that arise only after a furniture item has been used for several months or years (i.e., structural defects, etc.).
Here are just a few examples of different kinds of problems you may encounter when purchasing and importing furniture from Vietnam and Asia:
Packaging quality and packing furniture for import from Vietnam
Packaging and packing furniture for export is another essential dimension for the success of your purchase of furniture in Vietnam or in Asia. Depending on your logistics flow, packaging will have to be adapted to ensure that there is no damage to your furniture, either inside the container during sea transportation or later on, upon arrival at the port of destination or during the distribution process by truck to your warehouse or to your customer’s location.
Most furniture factories include in the furniture’s price what is called “export quality packaging”, do not take any risks with that because this packaging is insufficient and flimsy, if you want to guarantee that your furniture arrives in pristine condition, you will need specific and technical packaging (honeycomb cardboard and hard rulers for the edges). Loading the furniture into the container is another source of damages since consolidation platforms involve workers who do not belong to the furniture factories, their main target being to squeeze all the boxes into a container as quickly as possible, no need for them to worry about anything breaking… When importing luxury furniture from Vietnam, each item that might be damaged might represent several thousand dollars of loss. Here are some more photos illustrating different situations you might encounter and that are caused either by inadequate packaging or careless container loading (stuffing).
Robust and technical packaging can be a significant addition to your import cost breakdown (can reach 7-12% of the value of a product) however, it can provide protection against having to discard the damages to the furniture are discovered when it is unpacked at your warehouse or even worse (because of higher removal and disposal costs), at your clients’ homes.
How to purchase high-end furniture and import it from Vietnam
Without having the capability of traveling to Vietnam to buy furniture, not only once to meet the furniture producers and visit their factories but on a frequent basis depending on your purchasing schedule, the furniture exported from Vietnam by some suppliers will disappoint you, even though you did your due diligence and made the trip to Asia to prepare your panel of furniture sellers and furniture producers.
At Luxury Furniture Vietnam we have a long and proven track record purchasing furniture from the best factories in Asia that have international recognition due to the quality of their products. We open our panel of furniture suppliers to overseas buyers who are looking to gain access to the source of production and to avoid having to pay high commissions to all the middle-men involved in a typical transaction when buying furniture in Europe or elsewhere, far from the production sites.
Our skill and experience in carrying out quality control at each furniture factory in Vietnam that we work with as well as our overall capability of proposing furnishings and decoration items from a varied range of producers makes us a unique and attractive proposition for owners of hotels, restaurants, interior decoration agencies, architect studies, etc.
If you are looking to buy luxury furniture in Vietnam, we have a panel of European furniture producers that are located in Vietnam and that produce high-end and luxury furniture for clients all over the world. Are you looking to buy contemporary furniture in Vietnam? Our Danish partners produce the most stunning and modern designer furniture you will ever see. Contemporary lines and award-winning designs? We have them!
You might also be looking to buy classical furniture in Vietnam. French styles (Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI, but also Art-Deco, Chippendale and many other classical furniture styles) are made by our Italian partner under the direct supervision of an Italian master craftsman and according to the most demanding rules to ensure absolute luxury in every item.
We also have designer furniture produced by Vietnam’s most famous furniture designer, Quasar Khanh. Made with molten aluminum, our organic design range is stunning and will thrill you.
Natural fiber (rattan, water hyacinth, sea-grass, etc.) furniture is readily available from our Vietnamese partners who are truly skilled and produce beautiful furniture and decoration items.If you are looking to buy garden and outdoor furniture in Vietnam, try our mosaic table collection, there are many stunning items from mosaic tables to chairs and stools in wrought iron.
We also can offer furniture from European furniture producers like our designer barbecues made in Spain, our designer glass furniture made with Italian Murano glass and our award-winning furniture made in Austria and designed by Martin Ballendat.
Enter the world of luxury furniture with a few mouse clicks and discover that you have instant and direct access to purchasing and acquiring the most beautiful furniture that Vietnam and even Asia has to offer.We ship to any location in the world, such as Europe, the USA, Middle East and Persian Gulf, Russia, Africa, etc.Import furniture from Vietnam and begin building your path to success whatever your project (retail, wholesale, interior decoration, architecture, etc.).
Here is a fine example of our products being imported and retailed in Europe through this high-end furniture retailer, click here to visit “Imagine Outlet: meubles haut de gamme” website.