Many years ago, after building a new multi-purpose room/gymnasium, the church I pastored purchased 800 lightweight, compact, efficiently stored, inexpensive folding chairs. These chairs were not going to be used more than a time or two a month, and we hoped that they would get us by until we could upgrade in the future when our budget allowed.
Well, it wasn’t long before some in the congregation began “non-affectionately” referring to these chairs as the “nasty chairs” due to their flimsiness. And over time, we would find that each use of these chairs tended to result in one or more of them breaking in some manner. As a result, these chairs also acquired an additional nickname of “throw-away chairs”, in that if one broke, the only recourse was just to throw it away! And we unfortunately threw a lot of them away!
It was not until several years later that I discovered the C600 Folding Chair from PS (Palmer-Snyder) Furniture.
The C600 looked very much like the 800 chairs we had purchased years before. But a similar appearance was the only thing the chair models had in common. I learned that PS Furniture had for decades been supplying the chair and table rental industry in the USA. In that industry, with chairs and tables continuously being loaded, taken to venues, unloaded and set-up, and then that process reversed several times a month, durability was of paramount importance. So, while the chairs appeared similar, they were not even close when it came to quality.
Knocking off quality chairs with cheap import look-alikes is big business these days. Websites are designed to deceptively convince customers a cheap chair in terms of price is somehow equivalent in quality to a well-built chair with decades of witnessed performance. PS Furniture decided to pay for testing that demonstrates the difference in the quality/strength of their C600 EventXpress Folding Chair over the import knockoffs. I encourage you to watch this short video that so well communicates this reality.
Now, besides the obvious benefit of not continuously throwing aways chairs as they break, and then having to repurchase chairs, there is an additional major consideration. When an organization provides chairs for its constituency to sit on, there is an expectation that those sitting on those chairs will be safe. If a chair collapses and the person sitting is injured, there is liability exposure for the organization. Many third-party, cheap imported chairs have no manufacturer liability insurance. So, if your organization does not have such coverage, the savings on those cheap knock-off chairs could result in a financial loss exponentially greater! So please beware!