Verity Johnson: Why is garden furniture so expensive?

Greg Stevens

Verity Johnson is an Auckland-based mostly writer and company owner.

Impression: I dislike chain household furniture outlets.

Mainly for the reason that I feel home furnishings is a metaphor for the lustful joy of day by day residing. And inevitably just about every chain retail outlet requires that colourful chaos and chops it up into blocks and blocks of equivalent, brick-like sofas the color of the beige sack you drown wild cats and childhood innocence in.

But extra importantly, have you witnessed how expensive the average outside lounge set is!?

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They’re all about $4000! On sale! For a rattan sofa that seems to be like two dung-colored Tetris blocks smashed with each other from straw and PVC glue in a junior school artwork course!?

My god. No wonder they’re all named after exotic locations. It’s a reminder that you could have a 7 days in paradise for the same value as a lounger that’s as cozy as a carrot grater.

I’m guaranteed you have been imagining this recently also. After all, this is the time of the yr when we all obtain out of doors furniture. We have obtained the optimism of January in our blood. New yr, new you, new sun-kissed loungers for glamorous functions with your buddies … and this is the week when you go on-line, seem at the price ranges and cry.

Almost everything new is in the 1000’s. Even on TradeMe almost everything decent is nonetheless more than a grand, and even the garbage things is likely for hundreds of dollars.

“After all, this is the time in the year when we all buy outdoor furniture. We’ve got the optimism of January in our blood,” writes Verity Johnson.


“After all, this is the time in the yr when we all invest in outside home furniture. We’ve obtained the optimism of January in our blood,” writes Verity Johnson.

I viewed 7 individual bidders struggle like rabid jackals about the corpse of one particular, rotting, $1 reserve, wood out of doors bench. It went for $250. I stared at the victorious winner and wished a lot of extended, gangrenous splinters upon them.

“You,” I whispered, “are the challenge.”

And to some extent, they are. If we’re all eager to pay extortionate amounts for outdoor household furniture then it retains the sector value superior. Somebody out there – I don’t know who? Drug dealers with aspirations of center class acceptance and serving tiramisu on the deck? But somebody out there is paying thousands for out of doors home furniture sets. Which is why vendors can sell them for the same rate as a nose work or a second hand Mazda.

But to a better extent, the individuals are not the problem. It is the furnishings-vendor-cartels.

See, there’s a purpose why we’re inclined to devote so substantially on sun loungers the colour of gentle disappointment. It is simply because the soul of our state life on the deck.

Verity Johnson: “I watched seven separate bidders fight like rabid jackals over the corpse of one, rotting, $1 reserve, wooden outdoor bench. It went for $250.”


Verity Johnson: “I watched 7 separate bidders combat like rabid jackals in excess of the corpse of 1, rotting, $1 reserve, picket outside bench. It went for $250.”

We never have numerous national rituals. But appear summertime, we all collectively wake up and come to a decision to weed the backyard, stain the deck, and invite the neighbours above. Then we’ll all get drunk and complain about a little something though we burn sausages. And it is the only time in the 12 months when Kiwis are in a position to really chat about things.

Here, in the boozy, bitchy bonhomie of the barbecue, we at last truly feel safe and sound adequate to get over our psychological constipation and connect with every single other. And where does that happen? Outdoors, on a couch, if possible staring into the middle length to stay away from direct eye make contact with.

So out of doors furnishings outlets know they’ve got us by the heartstrings. They know that when we get rattan seats, we’re truly purchasing the possibilities for friendship and family members time. And they know that we’ll pay out by the nose for that. So they know they can be gangsters and demand extortionate prices. Cos what ya gonna do about it, guv?

Very little, genuinely. You can spend top rated greenback, you can drag your sofa exterior every afternoon, or you can do what I do and depend down the days till IKEA opens and breaks the price tag stranglehold.

But until then, the Malibu Daylight Robbery Set in Beachy Teak will continue to be our weak place. And we will keep shelling out a significant tax on our souls.

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