American Furniture in Chile

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Chicagoan
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American Furniture in Chile

Post by Chicagoan » Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:45 pm

Hi everyone,

I hope everyone living in Chile is enjoying their time in beautiful Chile. I work for an American furniture company and we're trying to bring our quality goods to Chile. I am, therefore, interested in finding out the company names of furniture distributors in Chile. I hope this type of message is okay in this forum, I am definitely not going to spam the forum with any advertising or anything like that, I'm just trying to gather information.

Thank you and regards.

Stephanie

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admin
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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by admin » Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:42 pm

Well, a couple of thoughts, and please don't take this the wrong way as I am hoping to save you from a investment train wreck.

Assuming you are producing this stuff in the States, the basic problem is it's too expensive. I don't even know what your prices are, but I can already tell you ( unless you are giving the furniture away ) with a high probability you will have trouble either competing with the really really cheap imports from Asia that are sold at most malls and department stores or with the really cheap (generally low quality) furniture produced in Chile. Don't forget to throw in all the cheap furniture produced in neighboring Latin American countries, and the competition here for furniture would just crush you unless you are basically reselling their furniture already.

Now you might argue that your product is high quality, but the reality is that the market here does not care about quality because the culture really does not care about quality ( speaking of the majority of the market anyway ). They want cheap first, looks second, and quality is the absolutely last thing on anyone's mind. Essentially there is a very very small market for anything that cost over say about a $1000-2000 US (most Chileans likly do not spend over $2000 over 10 years or more on furniture), and people in general do not buy furniture like Americans. They don't for example replace their entire house full of furniture just because they don't match the drapes or they are a couple years old. The portion of the market with money, taste, and desiring to buy high quality furniture is fairly microscopic and also fairly saturated.

We are talking about a country of 15 million people, only 1-2 million would likly be your market (long story about credit, money, affluence, geography), and everyone else is already chasing those 1-2 million customer base that likly spend only about 10-20% of what Americans do on furniture anyway given a similar population and demographics.

Basically, if you are not already selling to big chains such as Wall Mart in the States and can provide big volume at super super low prices, you are going to have a hard time even getting your foot in the door in Chile. Which by the way means also need to get in to Wall Mart (A.K.A Lider) in Chile or one of the other big department store chains that buy by the boat load from Asia.

In general, my take would be that trying to sell furniture in Chile would be likly the worst possible buisness venture someone could undertake.
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

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El pescado
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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by El pescado » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:32 pm

I could not agree with you more....The furniture industry here in Chile is horrendous! Most of my furniture that I have bought here in the BioBio market downtown is poorly made with used pallet lumber and is beautified with shoe polish and wax to hide mars, scrapes, & blemishes. I bought this stuff to take up space in the house and because it was "cheap". 100USD will get you a few pieces of what you would expect to see at Goodwill or Salvation Army for $6.99. I´m so sick of the particle board plastic crap that Easy or Sodimac sells.....whatever happened to craftsmenship? it went out when the big ones came in like Walmart and Target and Kmart. Walmart is the downfall of America.

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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by admin » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:40 pm

No, the real wood furniture I have seen in Chile is pure garbage and incredibly expensive for the low quality. Still does not mean someone would have a chance from hell of coming in to the market to compete with the glorified pressed paper stuff being sold.
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

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El pescado
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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by El pescado » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:54 pm

Thats why I have been buying the low-end stuff because of the price. I think if you really want to find good furniture in Chile, it has to be of the imported, antique type. which you are going to spend plenty of pesos on that as well.

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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by JvG » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:59 pm

Would it make sense to have furniture custom made at a price that would be comparable to what an Amercian would expect to pay for store-bought furniture in the USA? That way we could have furniture the way we like it, as long as we are willing to pay for it? I have read that this is common practice among expats in Ecuador.

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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by mlightheart » Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:35 pm

el puelche wrote:...

Puelche's Chile Economic lesson 101...

Juan the gasfitter can buy a German made monkey wrench for 60 luca or a chinese one for 28 luca...the german model will never break nor will the the "teeth' mush out. The chinese model will break and the the teeth will mush out in a short time but juan has a brother in law that is a welder and can, over the next year, weld up and otherwise repair, the wrench for a total sum of 30 luca <a total sum of 58 luca> and Juan will surmise that he has saved a total of 2 luca and easily 45 hours of travel, wait and down time>>>>>no problem, because time means nothing. In additon, the wrench will be used for a soemething else like the hand brake on a cartonero cart or axle blocks on a bicicleta de flete, a gate latch, a cool masher for the senora for puree de papas...

When you can a wrench to market in Chile that is 98% of the german one for 30 luca (note the 2 luca difference) then you will sell...imagine the work...the godless, heathen, whorish work it would take to do that...a game of cut-throat with the suppliers...every worker in the world, in every religion, would light a candle/burn incense/offer fruit and meat so that you would die...in addition to beat your effigy in a pinata and poke your doll image with voodoo needles....

BUT, when you can improve a service in Chile that already exists...like the admin alwys says...then you can make bank...ohhhhh, thats a hint and i almost ready to give it up but then why?...

...

p
How does it affect things if the monkey wrench was made in Taiwan and not on Mainland China? Also If it was a US branded monkey wrench but made in China (take your pick), would this affect things too? What if the warranty was twice as along?

Professor P, is this going to be on the final exam?

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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by Gloria » Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:13 pm

We couldn't find decent kitchen furniture other than pressed wood in Sodimac or Easy and mostly white or wood tones..(yuck!) so we MADE OUR OWN AMERICAN COUNTRY ONE OF A KIND from the signature " WHIMSICAL WORN JEAN COLLECTION" made by Duane G.and designed/painted by Gloria D. not found in any store near you other than their own home.....viewed only by appointment :lol:
Kitchen furniture.jpg
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otravers
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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by otravers » Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:14 pm

I was reading some upscale American website the other day saying "if all you want to spend on your kitchen is $45,000 and not a penny more." Wow, only $45K on a kitchen, how restrained. There's no market for $6K fridges outside of the US that I'm aware of. We Euro types are happy with clean-looking laminate (the Ikea look I guess) so adapting to Chile might be easier for us (and IMO laminate wood that I can pay cash in hand beats fancy expensive furniture funded by credit). That said, in Santiago and even in Viña, there's life outside of Sodimac and Easy for home improvement projects. It tends to be more expensive though.

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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by audeo13 » Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:35 pm

Gloria wrote:We couldn't find decent kitchen furniture other than pressed wood in Sodimac or Easy and mostly white or wood tones..(yuck!) so we MADE OUR OWN AMERICAN COUNTRY ONE OF A KIND from the signature " WHIMSICAL WORN JEAN COLLECTION" made by Duane G.and designed/painted by Gloria D. not found in any store near you other than their own home.....viewed only by appointment :lol:
Kitchen furniture.jpg
Oh Lord look at all that workspace. Oh the pies and breads I could make. I have kitchen envy. Lovely, lovely bones and layout.
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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by admin » Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:41 pm

Gloria most Chilean kitchens are about the size of that island you built.

Even if a Chilean wanted to spend $45,000, you could not pack it in to the space. An American refrigerator would likely kill the power grid, and take up 3/4 of the space in most kitchens in Chile. Chileans are not alone in this. Most of the countries I have been to the kitchen is really not a major part of the house. They are simple and functional. Perhaps Mexico has some nice big kitchens like Americans, but they are rarely extravagant.

Our house is brand new (at least when we moved in to it), and it is one of the only kitchens that I have seen in Chile that is a comparable U.S. size. Still, there is likely not more than a few million pesos that went in to it. Kick in the building materials, and I doubt it cost say much more than 5 million pesos total with walls, ceilings, pipes, everything. The plain white tiles are likely the most expensive thing in it.

I use to think the thing Americans did with their kitchens where really silly, even when I was getting paid to do them. Custom hand painted tiles for example that cost $20,000 US alone. They looked like crap and they functioned even worse; yet, those same people would call us back in about 3-5 years to rip everything out again (before they finished paying off the last remodel) because they got tired of how they looked to put in some other tacky thing. I am really pretty happy with the simplicity of our kitchen now.

In Chile, a kitchen is traditionally viewed as a place for the servants and it is not a place to entertain guest. Out of site out mind space. Thus, why you will almost never see a kitchen in Chile open to the rest of the house.
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

Chicagoan
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Re: American Furniture in Chile

Post by Chicagoan » Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:01 pm

admin wrote:Well, a couple of thoughts, and please don't take this the wrong way as I am hoping to save you from a investment train wreck.

Assuming you are producing this stuff in the States, the basic problem is it's too expensive. I don't even know what your prices are, but I can already tell you ( unless you are giving the furniture away ) with a high probability you will have trouble either competing with the really really cheap imports from Asia that are sold at most malls and department stores or with the really cheap (generally low quality) furniture produced in Chile. Don't forget to throw in all the cheap furniture produced in neighboring Latin American countries, and the competition here for furniture would just crush you unless you are basically reselling their furniture already.

Now you might argue that your product is high quality, but the reality is that the market here does not care about quality because the culture really does not care about quality ( speaking of the majority of the market anyway ). They want cheap first, looks second, and quality is the absolutely last thing on anyone's mind. Essentially there is a very very small market for anything that cost over say about a $1000-2000 US (most Chileans likly do not spend over $2000 over 10 years or more on furniture), and people in general do not buy furniture like Americans. They don't for example replace their entire house full of furniture just because they don't match the drapes or they are a couple years old. The portion of the market with money, taste, and desiring to buy high quality furniture is fairly microscopic and also fairly saturated.

We are talking about a country of 15 million people, only 1-2 million would likly be your market (long story about credit, money, affluence, geography), and everyone else is already chasing those 1-2 million customer base that likly spend only about 10-20% of what Americans do on furniture anyway given a similar population and demographics.

Basically, if you are not already selling to big chains such as Wall Mart in the States and can provide big volume at super super low prices, you are going to have a hard time even getting your foot in the door in Chile. Which by the way means also need to get in to Wall Mart (A.K.A Lider) in Chile or one of the other big department store chains that buy by the boat load from Asia.

In general, my take would be that trying to sell furniture in Chile would be likly the worst possible buisness venture someone could undertake.
Thank you for the information, I appreciate it. I was looking at Ripley department stores website and saw Ashley (U.S.) and Natuzzi (Italian) leather sofa's in the $900 - $2700 USD range, so I thought there could be a market for another foreign brand within that range. I found that Natuzzi is also in Falabella, Sur Diseno, Nordik, and Paris. Would you say there is just a very small percentage of people buying those sofa's? Would that be the 1 - 2 million customer base you mentioned?

Thanks again for the responses.

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