Heirloom Furniture VS. Cheap Furniture

One may observe a price tag on a piece of heirloom furniture and the price on a cheap piece of  furniture and think to yourself— WOW! Big difference! This revelation is usually restricted to retail venues. Prices on heirloom-quality, dove-tailed pieces can be astronomically higher than cheap furniture.  But if you are shopping at estate sales Memphis, you will see that the pricing for heirloom furniture is often times much less than what you would pay for cheap furniture in a retail store.

Quality is the Difference

Pricing is not the only major difference between these two types of furniture. The biggest difference is Quality. Furniture that falls in to the heirloom category is made with better materials, better craftsmanship and better care. Heirloom furniture is made to last for generations. Cheap furniture is made to last for the short term.

The furniture industry has developed many substitutions that look and feel like real solid wood. Do not be fooled by these imposters. Nothing compares to the real thing.

Cheap Construction Equals Cheap Furniture

There are multiple reasons why cheap furniture is priced cheap.  Third world countries have far less costs when it comes to labor.  Assembly line pieces are manufactured from composite materials that have the appearance of wood.  These pieces are often fitted together with nuts and bolts in an assembly line fashion.  They are then shipped in 1,000’s of containers and exported to the U.S.  There are also many political reasons why these processes should be more scrutinized.  Americans are being fleeced because of their lack of educating themselves on what is quality and what is not.  Also, the power of advertising has taken control of many.  A chair imported from Taiwan today has only one main comparison to how a chair was manufactured 30 years ago….they both look like a chair!

Manufactured materials, poor assembly and construction, and short cuts in quality are all detrimental factors that determines the short life of a cheap piece of furniture. Do the math! Would you rather spend $200 on a clean, dove-tailed dresser and mirror at a Memphis estate sale with the peace of mind that it will last for decades or would you rather throw your money away because you were an ignorant victim of advertising?


Recently, I have been on several estate sale appointments where I have learned that family members’ parents spent $8,000 to $10,000 on a heirloom-quality, dove-tailed bedroom set within the past 10-20 years.  These purchases were made in a retail venue.  Most good people in the public are not aware that retailers are doubling, sometimes tripling the actual cost of the manuafacturer.  I am not bashing the purchasing of new, quality furniture.  But I will tell you (as I gently inform my estate sale clients) that with this economy, the manufacturer’s price is about where we have to start our pricing.  And the reason for this….is because our prices have to be significantly attractive as compared to retail-heirloom AND retail-cheap.  This is why Memphis estate sales is worthy of your attention.