Trade FAQs

Alexandra Palmerton

Trade Pricing

What is a trade price?

Trade pricing is a wholesale price that is available exclusively to bona fide design industry professionals and purchasing entities.

How do I qualify for trade pricing?

You must be a licensed interior designer, interior architect, architect, landscape architect or landscape designer or a purchasing company that purchases for architecture and design projects, and in order to establish a trade account with us we’ll need you to provide us with copies of your business letterhead and State Sales Tax Reseller Permit Number.

Do you charge sales tax?

Yes, unless you provide us with a copy of your current and valid Certificate of Resale (also called Reseller Permit Number) for the state to which you’ve asked us to deliver your order. If you are a trade buyer, then you will typically also have a valid reseller’s ID number as it is part of your business bona fides. When you provide us with your Reseller Permit Number (some states call this a Certificate of Resale), then we will not have to add sales tax to your order. By providing us your resale number, you are confirming your responsibility to collect relevant sales tax from your customer when you resell our products to them.

What does “Lead time” mean?

When we state an estimated lead time, we’re referring to the time it takes for us to manufacture the product and to ship the product to your designated receiving location, e.g. your warehouse.

Lead times vary by product. Also, our estimated lead times assume that we would ship from our factories using a “standard” ground shipping method such as ocean container to our warehouse and domestic truck carrier to your location. Keep in mind that lead times can often be reduced by “expediting” the shipping part – e.g. by shipping from our factories via airfreight instead of by ocean freight. Expedited shipping typically shaves off anywhere from 2-4 weeks from the lead time…but the downside is that it also typically costs considerably more than standard ground shipping. For some clients, the extra cost is worth it to them. If you need a shorter lead time, be sure to let us know because we can always get you an air-freight rate quote to compare and decide whether you want to opt for expedited shipping.

Custom Fabrics

What is COM?

COM is an acronym for Customer’s Own Material. This is when you elect to buy the fabric you want to use on our product, and you ship this fabric to us for application onto our product.

What is COL?

COL is an acronym for Customer’s Own Leather. This is when you elect to buy the leather hides you want to use on our product, and you supply these hides to us for application onto our product. Please keep in mind that sewing with and upholstering leather is more difficult than using fabrics. Leather sewing uses different sewing needles and generally takes longer to complete. For these reasons, we apply a minimum upcharge of 10% to the product price when you elect to use a COL.

What is a CFA?

CFA is an acronym for “cutting for approval.” If you are intending to use your own fabric and if it is perhaps a thick fabric or vinyl or has a backing on it, we sometimes need to receive a sample piece (“cutting”) for review and to give the “o.k.” to you before you purchase your desired material.
Similarly, a designer would request from their textiles supplier a CFA from the same dye-lot of the fabric they intend to use. Designers would keep this CFA in their project files to ensure that the final upholstered product received matches the sample textile piece that is in their project file.

Can I use COM fabrics?

Yes. We accept COM and COL for most of our products and for those products for which we do accept your material, the required yardages, based on “plain goods,” that is, a solid color fabric with no pattern on it, are listed in the product’s sales description. If yardage info is not listed in the product’s description, then it’s because we do not accept COM for that product.

If you intend to supply your own material to us, please always check with us before placing your order. Some fabrics, vinyls or leathers may not be suitable for use on the product you’re considering, so sometimes we require a CFA that we send to our factory to do a sew-test before we can accept your order. 98% of the time however, most fabrics, vinyls or leathers work just fine.

Most importantly, as mentioned above, our yardage calculations are based on using a plain, non-patterned fabric with a 54inch height to the fabric bolt. If you intend to use a fabric that has a pattern in it, it is very, very important that you take the size of this “pattern repeat” into account when calculating how much fabric you’ll need to order if you want a neat alignment of the pattern across seams. Similarly, if your fabric has a shorter bolt height, e.g. 48 inches, then you’ll need to increase the overall amount of fabric you send us. 

When ordering your COM fabric from your textile supplier, keep in mind that textiles suppliers allow themselves “variances” when cutting yardages for customers — often +/- 10% (the speed and accuracy of their cutting machinery is not 100% exact). Therefore, you should always round up to the nearest full yard and order one yard more than you think you need (e.g. 12 yards or 13 yards for our examples above).
Always specify to your textile supplier to ship “uncut rolled goods” to ensure that they don’t ship offcuts of different lengths to reach your total yardage order. It is far too risky for you because such random lengths of fabrics may not fit our pattern templates. We reserve the right to refuse to work with randomly short cut fabric sections. Remember, selecting COM fabric means that it is your responsibility to send us fabric that we can actually use. If ever you are unsure about what to request from your textile supply, give us a call us so that we can help!
Where shall I send my fabric? How should I tag my shipment?

If you’re intending to use a COM or COL, before you ship anything to anywhere, you will need to obtain from us a “COM Application Form” (see link here). We will need to receive this form completed in full by you. This form also contains the COM Ship-To address and reference format you must use. We will have to charge a customer re-shipping/re-direction fees that we incur if you incorrectly ship your fabrics to our corporate office instead of our Textiles Processing Center listed on the COM Authorization form

Why do I have to fill out a COM Application form?

The COM Application form is your opportunity to show us how you want your fabric applied onto our product. Many fabrics have directional patterns and you have a choice in which direction you want that pattern to run, so we’ll need you to tell us what you want.

How do I calculate how much leather to use instead of fabric?

Leather hides are typically measured in square feet (s.f.) while fabric rolls are typically measured in lineal yards. 18 s.f. of leather is approximately equivalent to 1 yard of 54in wide fabric. So if one of our products requires, say, “9 yards of fabric @ 54in W”, that would be 162 s.f. of usable leather hide. Your leather merchant will be able to help you calculate the correct number of hides if you provide them with our COM fabric yardage requirements for the product you want to upholster.

Product Questions

Can you customize for us? What are the minimums?

We are able to make modifications to certain elements of many of our products, minimum quantities do apply and these minimums vary depending on the product and the scope of the modification you want, so please call us to discuss in more detail over the phone.

Can you do custom color-matching?

Yes, in most cases for most products. Minimum quantities apply, so please call us to discuss in more detail over the phone.

Do you have a showroom? Where can I see your furniture?

We do not operate any showrooms. Our products are in use in hundreds of locations around the country, so chances are that we can direct you to a local venue in your city where you can see our furniture in use. Alternatively, if you need to receive a product sample for client review/sit test approval, please contact us and we’ll most likely be able to make arrangements to deliver a sample in time for your meeting and retrieve it after your meeting is concluded. Please try to give us at least 2 weeks advance notice so that ground shipping arrangements can be made.

Can we get a finish sample?

Yes, please contact us to let us know which samples you’re interested in.

Shipping & Delivery

What are your terms of shipment?

Yes, even though our terms of sale are “FOB Warehouse,” we can and do make all the shipping arrangements for your order to ship from our warehouse to your designated receiving location. This is typically referred to as “Ship freight pre-paid.”

The term “FOB” is industry-standard terminology for “Freight on Board” which basically means that we’re responsible for getting your order loaded onto the truck that is sent to our warehouse to pick up and transport your goods.

Once your goods are on board that truck and the truck pulls away from our loading dock, then the legal title of the goods passes to you; you’re now the owner of those goods while these are in transit to you.

Where is your warehouse located?

Our terms of sale are “FOB Warehouse.” Our warehouse is located in Chicagoland.

What if I have pre-paid you for the freight charges and the goods are damaged in transit, what should I do?

First – don’t worry! Yes, it’s a headache when this happens … But the good news is that it happens only very rarely. And the other good news is that we take care of the damage claim handling for you! This is all part of the service we provide so that you can focus on your clients.

We will work with your receivers to have them document the damage – with photographs of the shipment as it looked when offloaded from the truck, and additionally with photos showing any signs of damage on the actual products when unpackaged (professional receiving warehouse know the rules and requirements for this process – it’s why you pay them to receive and inspect your shipments).

Your receiver must notate on the delivery paperwork (provided by the delivery driver) that the shipment as received shows signs of damage. For example, they might write the words “Cartons damaged. Subject to inspection.” Then we need to be notified immediately – within 48 hours of receiving the shipment – of this damage alert, so that we can immediately register a damage claim with the transportation company that delivered your shipment. Your receiver is also required to retain all of the packaging until the claims process has been completed. Trucking companies typically provide a very short window – 48hrs to 72hrs – for us to report any damage. Any later than this, and they can refuse because, quite frankly there is too great a possibility that damage might have accidentally occurred at your receiving warehouse, with all those forklifts whizzing around all day.

The damage claim once approved by the transportation company, will typically cover the costs to repair or replace the affected products.

To avoid all of these headaches and hassles, we work only with freight companies that are reputable, reliable and most important of all, have very few damage instances and are very timely in handling and honoring damage claims when these occur.

Do you accept returns?

Please choose your product and finish selections carefully as all sales are final.
However, any freight/delivery damage or manufacturing issues are of course promptly taken care of for you but these are handled in particular ways and are not considered “returns.”