Some of you might know that I am a huge fan of replica furniture when done right. The chance to get famous designs at an insanely good price, shopping online easily and without fuss, contributing to the democratization of the market and bringing down those overblown prices set by the license-holders – replica business check all the right boxes for me. In fact, I would argue that 90% of my apartment furniture at minimum is obtained from various replica businesses throughout the US. So, I like to think that I have some experience when it comes to the topic.
So, this week I thought about writing a brief review of a company I had ordered from some time ago, namely Rove Concepts. Some of you might be familiar with this one, as it seems to be a kind of a big player in the replica industry, especially here in the US and in Canada, where the company was originally based to my understanding. On the other hand, you might be familiar with Rove Concepts because of all the controversies that seem to follow this company.
Now personally, I didn’t have as bad experience as some people online seem to report, but I do love a good controversy every now and then to break the monotony a bit. So, I set down to do a bit of research of my own and compare it with my personal experiences and mix it all in the form of the text in front of you. So, how well does Rove Concepts do in the modern market, and what will be our final verdict on it?
Let’s check it out!
Website look and navigability
If there is something that everybody seems to agree upon, it’s the rather sleek website interface of the Rove Concepts website. It is fairly easy to browse it, you have simple access to dozens of furniture categories, most product pages allow you to get a live preview of color or upholstery variants of the same model, so overall the website is fairly decent. Now, from what I’ve found online, it seems that it is obscuring some rather important information, especially regarding return and replacement policies which has in turn contributed to several misunderstandings.
As far as the offer goes, Rove Concepts is pretty solid. I think you can easily find a couple of hundreds of designs on their online store, without counting in the variations in materials, upholstery and color. However, for a company specializing in midcentury furniture, they are missing some key designs, including the lighting solutions which I hoped to get at them. But still, it is a very solid offer. It is also worth mentioning that you can stumble across some fairly generic modern furniture which definitely isn’t midcentury to my knowledge, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, they do say they expanded their offer to encompass modern furniture inspired by midcentury – although the connection is far from clear in most of these examples.
This is where the market seems to be rather split. Some are outright bashing the company, claiming that Rove Concept quality is beyond dubious, while other are quick to issue five out of five stars on trustpilot on their first purchase – and this might be at the source of the issue. Personally, I ordered from Rove Concepts three times and first time, I had no complaints about the quality (CH25 Easy Chair by Wegner in original), while I did have some issues later. For starters, the color of my Womb chair totally didn’t match the swatch, but still, the quality was fairly good. I got disappointed in quality only after ordering the Tulip Table which was obviously overpriced Chinese copy. Still, I would definitely be dishonest if I didn’t say that my CH25 as well as Womb chair (sans the color problem) are fairly poor for the price, compared to the high quality I ordered from bybespoek.com.
With small complaints on the low response rates of customer service, I guess the shopping experience is overall quite good. While long delivery times are somewhat a common problem in the industry, Rove Concepts handles it fairly fine, and although I experienced delays on every single one of my orders, they were a matter of days from the agreed delivery timespan. So, not too bad in my opinion.
When compared to competition, Rove Concept is not overpriced, but it is slightly above the competition. This wouldn’t be a problem if the company could provide quality with consistency, but with such varied experiences, I am not completely convinced that they are really fair. Still, if you don’t want to cash out a huge amount of money for the original, plus the shipping from Europe, Rove Concepts will still offer you the possibility to get some cool midcentury designs at a more or less affordable price.
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Another thing that we have to mention (and which is conveniently not so visible on their website) is a rather odd and annoying return and replacement policy. First of all, you have only three days to request a refund (which is advertised as free). Now, this definitely isn’t enough time – first of all, the industry standard is a week, at minimum, with most companies out there giving you 14 days. You can easily imagine how you can miss the three days deadline due to busy schedule. What’s worse, the ‘free’ return isn’t all that free. You will be expected to cover the shipping costs (in case of a replacement, the shipping costs of both the return and the shipping of the replacement) and vaguely explained ‘restocking fee’ of 15% of the price, which is fairly odd. All in all, return and refund policies are the weakest points of Rove Concepts and are at the root of most complaints.
Overall, Rove Concepts is not the best option out there, but is not the worst either. Consistency seems to be its biggest issue – these guys are very capable of delivering really good quality furniture in expected transit times, but the problem is that they do so only sometimes which is behind their fairly mixed reviews on trustpilot and other relevant websites. They do have a formidable offer which can easily dwarf the competition, but translating pictures on the website to reality is something that Rove Concepts is only partially successful at.
This gamble is the biggest downside to me, not to mention the weird refund policy full of hidden costs that are never properly explained to you – although to be completely honest, I haven’t had experience with returns so far. So, if you are planning to buy from these guys, my recommendation would be to check other online sources and make your best decision – based on what I’ve read and what I’ve experienced so far, I cannot say that Rove Concepts will meet your requirements, while at the same time, I would be very unfair if I didn’t mention that it very well can – only sometimes and if you are lucky enough. It’s also worth to take a look on their Trustpilot reviews before ordering, as it seems others have had a similar choking experience, just like me 🙁