A Church Chair that is Made in China? 3 Reasons to Say “Yes!”

Posted: July 23, 2014 in Church Chair Rant
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One of the most common questions those selling church chairs across the United States are asked is, “Where are these church chairs made?” And whenever that question is asked, the person that is going to answer the question immediately recognizes that this potential purchaser of church chairs has some concerns, whether valid or not, about church chairs produced somewhere other than North America. Some of these concerns will stem from ASSUMPTIONS that are believed but have not been tested. Let’s work our way through three of the most commonly held assumptions about church chairs! Perhaps we’ll see that some great reasons to consider an offshore produced church chair!

• Assumption #1: North American Made Chairs MUST be Superior!

This assumption is quite flawed. Just because a church chair is produced in North American does not make it superior to all church chairs manufactured offshore. What we have found is that a quality North American manufactured church chair will cost about twice what a quality offshore manufactured church chair will cost. Because of this significant cost difference, North American manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to narrow that gap. Most often this results in less materials being used in the construction of the chair. In fact, what we have found is that for a North American produced church chair to be priced in a similar range as a quality offshored manufactured church chair, the North American produced church chair will inevitably be the inferior chair. So a great reason to consider a foreign produced church chair is that dollar for dollar, you will likely receive more by purchasing the offshore produced church chair.

• Assumption #2: Imported Chairs MUST be Inferior!

This is another flawed assumption. We have in our showroom a couple of dozen church chairs produced by various manufacturers, both domestic and offshore. One of our favorite practices is to set up several of these chairs for a church without any names, prices, information, etc., on the chairs. We then ask various representatives of the church to evaluate the church chairs before them totally based on what is before them absent any other information. In many ways this is a “chair taste test!” Here’s what invariably results. One North American produced church chair that costs about $100.00 each will almost always make the top three chairs. But the other two or three chairs chosen by the church will almost always be foreign produced church chairs. The church chairs that are claimed to be produced in North America consistently bring up the rear in these tests. So a second great reason to consider a foreign produced church chair is that despite claims by North American manufacturers otherwise, imported church chairs are not by default inferior chairs.

• Assumption #3: Made in the USA MEANS Made in the USA!

This is one of the most misunderstood assumptions regarding church chairs. The reality is that a product that incurs 51% of its total production cost in the USA, can then be advertised and characterized as having been “Made in the USA”! Just because a church chair salesperson is stating repeatedly that the church chair they are trying to convince your church to purchase is made in the USA, does NOT in any way mean it is made TOTALLY in the USA. In fact, here’s a very common practice utilized today. An American manufacturer has some church chair frames produced in China. They then have plywood seats and backs attached to the frames in China. They then have foam placed on the plywood seats and backs in China. And they then have cheesecloth wrapped around the chair and thousands of these chairs are sent to the manufacturer in the USA. Once here the chairs are upholstered with a fabric produced in the USA. And the cost of the fabric and the labor and the transportation and the warehousing and other miscellaneous costs incurred by this manufacturer in the USA happens to be just over 51% of the total production cost of the church chair. The manufacturer then can legally emphasize, “Made in the USA” though much of the chair was produced in China. So a third great reason to consider a church chair made in China is chances are at least some of it was produced there regardless of what is being shared with your church.

We hope these three solid reasons for your church considering a quality church chair produced in an offshore arrangement will assist your church in making the best possible choice as you purchase church chairs.  And, remember, we recommend using Church Chair Finder to buy church chairs.  Why?  Because we helped create it!

  1. vergechurch says:

    Would you recommend the Bertolini Essentials Pew Stacker? We have the chance to buy 100 that are brand new, still in the plastic for $42/ea…

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