Our recent article about imported church chairs resulted in some additional questions flowing our direction. One church asked, “We understand that Comfortek Seating is a church chair manufacturer and that Hercules Chairs are produced by a third party offshore factory and then imported and marketed by various U.S. dealers and distributors. But we have come across many other church chair suppliers who offer their own chair – ChurchMart, Church Plaza, Summit Seating,Chairs4Worship, Classroom Essentials, Chairtex – just to name a few! Is there a way to determine who is an actual manufacturer and who is simply an importer?“
Our questioner has accurately described a difficulty churches face when shopping for church chairs, “Who is really making this chair being considered? Who will stand behind the quality of this chair ultimately? Will we be able to obtain this same chair in a few years or even parts for them? How can we know?”
Well, one suggestion for any church is always to ask the questions direct: “Are you the manufacturer?” “Where are the chairs actually produced?” “Do you own all the tooling, and the molds, and the jigs?” “Do you regularly visit where these chairs are manufactured?” These and other similar questions can help you ascertain which scenario is really in play if they are actually answered honestly. And if you sense your questions are being evaded or skirted, you probably have your answer.
Another suggestion is to understand phrases like, “Built to our specifications” and “Assembled in the USA” and “We provide (notice not ‘manufacture’) the best church chairs” and “Since we own the brand name” are all likely indicators that you are NOT dealing with an actual manufacturer but rather a third-party produced and imported church chair. Words chosen for marketing are chosen for a reason so take a close look at the choice of phrases.
At Church Furniture Partner, we literally can provide your church any level of church chair from the dozen or more church chair manufacturers and church chair importers we work with. Our intent is always to save your church dollars, apples to apples, on your church chairs. However, we will also let you know which chairs we would purchase for our own churches as a part of the process. We’d love to connect with you so here is our contact information.