Why Are You Still Throwing Money Away On Furniture?

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Dear Laurel,

I hope you can help me if you have a minute. I’m a young interior designer and have done some reading about how to make my business profitable.

That is— if anyone will hire me.

I know that I’m really good at what I do and I think that I’m warm and engaging.

Okay, one person wrote me that I’m too expensive!

Could that be the problem?

I get most of my furniture from a to the trade showroom that’s offering 40% off to the trade. They sell brands like Baker, Henredon, Councill, etc. It’s very nice furniture, but my clientele are largely young families and when they hear that the average sofa is at least 6k+, I can quietly hear them heaving.

The 6k is the price AFTER I’ve given them a discount of 30% off of the retail. I have to do that because I did some comparison shopping of local stores and that is their “mark-down.” Therefore, I’m not making that much.

There’s more. I do have this one client and after spending many hours searching for something, she came back to me with the same item for less somewhere.

How do you avoid getting “shopped?”

I really love interior design. I’m not trying to get rich, but of course, it seems like others are doing better than I am. What am I doing wrong?

Sincerely,

Alice Markupsky

 

I feel for Alice and can relate oh-so-well.

About ten years ago, I was throwing money away on furniture and didn’t even realize it.

Not across the board, but I was getting a lot of my products for clients from a place called DESIGN ONLINE. (now defunct). It was only available if you were in the trade for a $25/month fee (hmmm…) and then, you were privy to hundreds of vendors for product you normally had to get through a showroom. There were many vendors I had never even heard of before. And her discount was really good.

Or so I thought.

It started out alright, but then most of the vendors became sorely out-of-date and something just didn’t feel right.

Then, one day… about nine years ago… I had sourced this adorable little bookcase from one of the Design Online Sources. It wasn’t expensive and the client loved it! Hooray!

The room was all put together and I sent her a cost estimate. Didn’t hear back. Then about two weeks later, she emailed me that she had found the same bookcase for $15 LESS than my designer’s net cost.

HUH??? I was horribly confused, mortified and for once in my life speechless.

Understandably, the entire sale collapsed. I never heard from her again.

Surely, in her mind I was ripping her off.

Not a chance!

I was so upset because I knew I couldn’t compete with those morons!

BUT, how on earth could someone on the internet be selling for less than MY cost?

Panic began to set in and I feared that my career was over.

But it wasn’t.

Why?

I figured out the problem and fixed it. Pronto!

I got on the horn with the company that sold that little bookcase (to the trade) that I couldn’t sell.

The woman had this achingly sweet North Carolina drawl that always makes me smile.

“Why Laaaaurrrel, you don’t have to buy our stuff from that opportunistic cow… we can set you up with a WHOLESALE accoount.”

???

Like, all this time, I could’ve had a V-8? :]

 

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Since then, I’ve developed wholesale accounts with dozens of vendors that many designers don’t realize they have access to.

And if you’re in the trade, you can too.

This is one of the primary reasons why I created LAUREL’S ROLODEX.

But, Laurel’s Rolodex is so much more than just a trade resource. It’s also a fabulous retail resource that’s designed to save consumers a lot of money as well!

The entire industry has changed so much since the advent of the internet. Many formerly only to the trade sources are also available as retail, either online, in stores or both.

Here Are Some Of The Benefits You’ll Have With Laurel’s Rolodex

You Will…

  • Have access to a 300+ page guide that gives an insider’s view into the world of home furnishings.
  • Learn about nearly 500 Vendor/Manufacturers (V/Ms) in every price point from “dirt cheap” to, “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” in an alphabetical list
  • Have access to those V/Ms broken down into categories for easy reference
  • Have access to the list of 128 DESIGNER FRIENDLY  V/Ms where as a trade member, you’ll be able to buy at a deeply discounted price.
  • Learn about dozens of my very favorite vendors
  • Find out my list of the 36 sources I can’t live with out.
  • Learn which sources will give you the biggest bang for your buck be they retail or wholesale
  • Find out which sources I’ve had bad experiences with. (I mean, REALLY bad)
  • You’ll also get a fabulous BONUS chapter about how to find the source of a product when there’s no clue as to where it’s from. I will show you how to crack the code! It works for me 99% of the time!

 

PLUS— Over ninety beautiful images, anecdotes, inside info, and Dozens of HOT TIPS!

 

Here… I’m dying to show you part of it!

 

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Here’s the intro. Some has been covered, but there’s a little more info not covered, if you’re interested.

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Have to admit… I’m very proud of this and am thrilled to have it for myself! There are so many times that I’m wracking my tired brain trying to remember a source. Well… here it is!

And, it’s going to be updated regularly. As an owner of the guide, you’ll be privy to free updates for the first six months.

AND, you’ll be able to contribute! If you know of a fabulous source that’s not in there, please let me know and it will be added for the next update!

Do you want to see more?

Okay, I’m going to show you the first page in the first few alphabetical categories. This is a minute sampling and not every page in the actual guide has photos.

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I’d love to keep going, this is only six of nearly 500 vendors, but this is already quite long, so let’s move on…

The other day, I was curious and checked to see how much one two-credit course is at the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) is.

 

I was absolutely shocked.

One semester-long (15 weeks) interior design course that meets once a week for one hour at the NYSID costs— are you ready?

$1,830.00.

That’s right. 15 hours of class time.

This doesn’t include supplies and I spent thousands on supplies the three years I went to the NYSID.

Oh, how I wish there was a course that taught me even half of what is in this guide! Some of the courses I took were nothing more than arts and crafts projects; the kind of thing you would do at summer camp. Seriously!

Most of what I learned came from the 24 years I spent after interior design school. Altogether, it’s 27 years of experience in one 300+ page guide. (yes, over 300 pages!) crammed with inside info, hot tips, what to avoid and how to pay less whether you’re a designer or not.

Can’t wait to share it with you!

I had no idea how much to charge for all of this. I do want it to be something that most people can afford and $1,800 seemed a little steep to me. No?

Quite frankly, I don’t think I can put a price tag on it. The return on investment could be staggering, not to mention the time it’ll save.

Oh man… I almost forgot something very important.

After you’ve received your guide and if you’re not happy with it for ANY reason, I will refund your money back 100% and you can ask for it back any time within 30 days of purchase. No questions. No hassle. Done.

You have nothing to lose.

And please remember for people not in the trade that everything in this guide IS available for retail somewhere. There are very few sources here that are off-limits. And many of them are retail – ONLY!

SO HOW MUCH IS IT ALREADY, LAUREL?

Oh sorry.

It’s $149.00.

For less than the price of one hour of BS interior design college where I did projects like making a mobile out of waxed paper, string and tooth picks, (yes! I put it over my baby’s crib-lol) you can have a 300+ page insider’s guide which will teach you more than I learned in an entire year of interior design college! (A LOT more) An entire year that today costs well over $30,000 plus supplies!

After the first week, the price reverts back to $149.00. Still a bargain, but this week because subscribers get privileges, they can have it for only $119.00. If you are not a subscriber and don’t want to subscribe, you can also buy it for $149.00 right now.

And please remember, if you don’t totally love it and want your $ back, that is my guarantee to you for thirty days after purchasing. No questions asked. (although I might cry myself to sleep – lol)

If you want to learn how to stop throwing money away on furniture and put more money in your pocket while saving your clients money, then click the buy now button below. This will take you to a secure paypal gateway where you can either use paypal or your credit card. You will then have the opportunity to add your discount code

Get Your Copy of LAUREL’S ROLODEX!

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And if you can manage it, I’d love it if you’d help me spread the word!

Just click the middle of the image below and it’ll take you to your pinterest page if you have one) Tweet and Share on Facebook! (those links are below)

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Please let me know how it goes!

xo,

Laurel

 

5th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2018 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Laura - October 24, 2015 - 11:16 PM

    Hi Laurel,
    I second the request for a printed book! Have you looked into https://www.lulu.com as a self publishing outlet? They can walk you through the whole process, I understand it takes very little start up investment. You set your price and can also sell on an Amazon platform if you wish. I’m thinking about it myself.
    I will look forward to the Rolodex!
    Best regards,
    LauraReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 24, 2015 - 11:58 PM

      Thanks for all of that Laura. I have thought about it and looked into that, but the problem is… I want to be able to do the free updates. And there are places that will turn the PDF into a book if some would like that. I could also offer that, but it makes things more complicated on my end and then they would have to pay for a new book every time it was updated. Plus I’m not sure if I can offer it both ways. Ultimately, I felt that doing it this way was a better deal for the majority.

      ReplyCancel

  • Ronald - September 30, 2015 - 12:31 PM

    Great resource-thanks! My wife and I are looking into custom drapery…Do you specific recommendations for those? We couldn’t find any. thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 30, 2015 - 3:02 PM

      Hi Ronald, Thanks for that. I very much recommend that you work with a professional for custom draperies. And one whose work that you like.

      There is one source in here for custom draperies but I think they’re expensive and they’re not measuring or installing or doing the extras that a pro will do. But you can take a look. They are Drape Style on page 59. I don’t know anything about them but I have seen them online for a few years.ReplyCancel

  • Tommie Hutcheson - September 30, 2015 - 10:05 AM

    I’m looking forward to receiving my copy of Laurels Rolodex!ReplyCancel

  • Freya - September 28, 2015 - 5:04 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    I would really love your rolodex -I’m just starting out and researching suppliers is sooo time-consuming, however I’m based in the UK. I apologise if this has already been addressed, but would it be a worthwhile investment for me? I feel that the added shipping costs would eradicate the savings for my clients! Many thanks for your time.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 28, 2015 - 3:28 PM

      Hi Freya,

      There are a few companies on the rolodex that are in both the states and in the UK but the majority are anot. So, if it’s a hassle getting products shipped over, then you’ll still have that problem. I can relate. I had a big armoire shipped over from France last year. Nightmare.ReplyCancel

  • Sandy - September 27, 2015 - 8:12 PM

    Laurel, what a fabulous resource! Not just in breadth — 500 vendors!–but in depth as well.
    Only YOU could turn a list of companies into such an entertaining (but also highly informative) digital page-turner.
    And I love your “Hot Tips” and Bonus Chapter –I thought I was pretty tech-savvy but that bookmarklet tool was news to me! (Now I can’t stop playing with it…)
    Lots of valuable stuff in here for both design pros and retail shoppers – congratulations!!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 27, 2015 - 10:59 PM

      Hi Sandy, It’s fun, isn’t it? Thanks so much for such kind words! ReplyCancel

  • Veronica - September 27, 2015 - 5:13 PM

    I bought your Rolodex last night and have been going through it today. I was really happy to see details on some of my favorite resources and was happy to learn about some new ones that I was not at all familiar with. I plan to print this list out and keep at my finger tips. I especially love the bonus chapter! Great job. You have literally just made my life much easier! Here’s an example of how you already saved me about 3 hours of research time: I have been searching for a long dresser (74″)now for a few weeks for a client I am presenting to this week and couldn’t find the classic style I was looking for – just really contemporary styles. I went to one of the new resources (new to me :-)) that you listed, and BAM found one in about one minute!! I registered for an account, so I hope it doesn’t cost a fortune, but you have them listed as $3 which is in my range. Thanks for making my life wayyyy easier! So well worth the investment!ReplyCancel

  • Celeste - September 27, 2015 - 4:43 PM

    This was a wonderful article and I enjoyed it as I have enjoyed and learned from your others. I reeeeeeeaally hope my husband gets a giant raise next year so I can hire you but if not, after we move I will buy this. I am sure it is incredible.

    I will say I was actually hoping for an article on how to find and buy furniture that is not a pos. My husband and I have wasted so much money on furniture and we are afraid to buy more. We just got an antique hendredon set that I hoped would last forever but it looks in the light of day and after a year of use that it was…repaired and repaired and is just shaking apart under us. 🙁ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 27, 2015 - 5:40 PM

      Hi Celeste,

      Welcome to my world. In all fairness, what people sometimes don’t realize is that ALL furniture, no matter what is subject to falling apart. That is… if it’s made from wood. It expands and shrinks, cracks, chips– on and on. However, a lot of the cheap stuff has an additional layer of issues like wood that’s too green and not cured long enough. That sort of thing. Not all the time, but I got a desk from PB about 14 years ago for a little girl’s room that became a full-time job for about 3 months. The knots started bleeding through like crazy almost instantly. The second desk was delivered damaged. And this was all for a dude with three kids who could only have a Saturday delivery which is like booking an around the world cruise.(but at least PB has that option) I had to do that three times. And no, he was not charged extra. And yes, he was oblivious. lolReplyCancel

      • Celeste - September 27, 2015 - 8:57 PM

        I have three children too, they are not wantonly destructive but they are so hard on furniture I have threatened to make everyone sit on rocks. I am thinking of trying Amish built next I mean they have a zillion children, maybe it’s sturdier.

        RIP Hendredon hahaa. sigh. Oddly the PBKIDS furniture we’ve bought is the only stuff that has survived. I am absolutely using Sunbrella on the next living room. Or diamond plate. hahaha.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - September 27, 2015 - 12:17 PM

    This is a follow-up comment to my previous comment. About 10 years ago I fell in love with an x-base table by Christian Liagre at a Holly Hunt showroom. Holly Hunt is insanely expensive and I can only dream about buying HH furnishings. Then about 2 years ago, I found the almost identical table from Noir (a Laurel fave) priced at about 10% – 20% of the Holly Hunt table! That’s right about $2,000 from Noir instead of $10,000 – $20,000. How did I not know about Noir for so long? My designer purchased it for me so it was even less. This makes me happy 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 27, 2015 - 5:31 PM

      Hi Again,

      Yes, Noir is terrific. I probably should’ve warned people on the East Coast get ready for a Titanic shipping bill! But the price point is excellent. Thanks again!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - September 27, 2015 - 11:49 AM

    I found only a fraction of these resources the hard way over the years after spending more money than necessary. I am not a designer but enjoy nice home furnishings without spending more than necessary. This Rolodex is the best thing since sliced bread and I gladly paid for it – would have paid more. Now for those of you not so savvy with technology. It does not get any easier than downloading a PDF file and printing it for a printed version on which to make notes.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 27, 2015 - 5:30 PM

      Lordy Lauren! People are going to think I paid you to say that! hahaha! How kind you are! May I quote you? I’ll only use a first name. BTW, I’m so surprised but many people have opted not to use the discount code even though everyone who subscribes this week gets it.ReplyCancel

  • Joanne - September 27, 2015 - 10:29 AM

    It would be so helpful if this guide could be in print (not just ebook) so we can make notes on the pages and be able to highlight some pages with post it notes. Otherwise it’s a lot of scrolling to get through 323 pages to find a certain company. In its current form, If I make notes about a particular company, I have to keep them on a separate page to cross-reference with the ebook. Printing out these 323 pages is a little overwhelming. Any advice? That being said, I’m super excited about the list– what a great idea!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 27, 2015 - 5:27 PM

      Hi Joanne,

      Yes, tangible bookform would be nice, but print publishing is another thing entirely. However, you are more than welcome to print it out for yourself. Perhaps all you would need are the product pages. The alphabetical list is to give particulars but most of that isn’t needed for day to day usage. You can tell your printer which pages to print. As for scrolling. Tell me about it! My fingers are positively RAW! lol However, one thing that helps and I don’t know if you noticed it or not, but there’s a little tabby thing on the left and if you click on it, you’ll see the entire table of contents. Everything is broken down alphabetically which you probably realize and also by general category. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

    • veronica - September 27, 2015 - 5:21 PM

      Hi Joanne, I am sure Laurel will give her own response to your question, and I am not speaking for her, but what I plan to do is send the document to my local printer (Alphagraphics) and have them print and bind it for me. It will probably cost me under $10 to do that.ReplyCancel

      • Laurel Bern - September 27, 2015 - 5:42 PM

        oh wow Veronica! Thank you for this and the other comment too! Can I quote you? In addition, can you come and work for me? haha! That is an amazing tip. I did not know about that one at all! Much better than my response!
        ReplyCancel

  • Christine Pajonas - September 27, 2015 - 9:57 AM

    I’m trying to purchase this on line…not through PayPal, but it doesn’t give me the option to send to my shipping address rather than my billing address, unless it comes up after I hit the pay button. Please advise….ReplyCancel

  • Carol - September 26, 2015 - 4:06 PM

    Hi Laurel,
    I’m an avid fan of your work and writing style. Can the downloaded PDF be printed? (plz excuse my lack of tech knowledge)
    Thanks a million!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 27, 2015 - 5:18 PM

      Hi Carol,

      Thank you so much. Yes, you can print out the PDF.ReplyCancel

  • Vita Sims - September 26, 2015 - 2:53 PM

    Hi Laurel:

    Love your new book and plan to subscribe/buy it. Re the updates that are free the first 6 months….how much will you be charging for the updates after 6 months? I am a licensed interior designer and wondering if it will be helpful for me. I like your style and feel that we share a similar design aesthetic and collaborative approach with clients. Best regards, Vita

    PS: I admire your sophisticated use of social media and blogging and love your website!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 27, 2015 - 5:18 PM

      Hi Vita,

      You will definitely find it helpful. Even, in the business for 27 years and studying all of this, I came across dozens of new sources. What I’m saying is that I’ve learned a lot too just putting it together! For a designer with a similar aesthetic, just getting the list of the vendors I can’t live without is going to be exceedingly worthwhile!

      Again, there’s a money back guarantee. So far, no one’s asked for it back! :]

      Actually, for this first go around, only, you guys will be privy to lifetime updates! How does that sound? At some point, I will be making a different offer and people will have to pay a little more if they want the lifetime updates.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren Drake - September 26, 2015 - 7:34 AM

    hi Laurel:
    Am very excited to get your guide…just happened to notice a teeny typo — on the e design trade listing…it says “widley” instead of “widely”…in case it’s not too late to change. 🙂 Best of luck with the launch…ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 26, 2015 - 10:32 AM

      oh, thank you, Lauren. Making a list and will correct for the next update.ReplyCancel

  • barbara - September 26, 2015 - 6:46 AM

    Electronic or hard copy?ReplyCancel

  • barbara - September 26, 2015 - 6:45 AM

    Is this rolodex guide an electronic e book?ReplyCancel

  • Lisa H - September 26, 2015 - 2:05 AM

    Hi Laurel,

    I would love to buy your guide but have read your email twice and cannot find the discount code…what am I doing wrong?

    Thank you!,
    LisaReplyCancel

  • Kelley - September 26, 2015 - 1:08 AM

    I am a mere mortal, not an interior designer. Will this list be helpful for me? Thanks. I really enjoy your blog.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 26, 2015 - 1:26 AM

      Thanks Kelley,

      If you’re planning on buying furniture or even if you’re only interested in learning about a ton of new sources, then absolutely! And you’ll get all the updates. Those will be free for at least the next six months and there will be a lot.

      I didn’t count but there’s a lot of retail on here and even if it’s a trade source, unless it’s verrry high end, it’s always sold somewhere. You can always get on the company’s website to see where it’s sold or even call them up! If you get it and don’t feel it’s worthwhile, I’ll give you a refund as well. ReplyCancel