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Real vs Fake Fermob

July 11, 2016

Blog Update:   Not all Fermob Furniture is made in France and it is safe to say that 85% of all Fermob Outdoor Furniture is made in China.  Several of the most popular outdoor furniture lines like the Luxembourg Collection is made in China.  

The Garden Gates no longer sells Fermob Bistro Furniture but has extensive knowledge of the brand, how it is manufactured, how long it last outdoors, and the warranty of each piece.  Today, The Garden Gates sells a brand designed in Denmark and manufactured in Asia.  

Read before you buy

Now that Spring has come and we’re all enjoying spending time outdoors on the evenings and weekends, many businesses are advertising their version of “French bistro” chairs and tables. As you probably realize, it’s incredibly easy to knock-off a product in China these days, and many of these chairs and tables are exact or close replicas of Fermob outdoor lounge. However, they are cheaply made. You just can’t find the kind of quality from Fermob anywhere else, especially from reproduction or knock-off. Even though they look like the same thing, don’t expect much from knock-offs.

Some simple research has shown me some remarkable differences not just about the products themselves but also the amount of information on them:

Real Fermob Outdoor Lounge Furniture:

  • Fermob is a green company and the 1st furniture company to sign the VARAPE agreement for special waste recycling
  • Designed exclusively in France
  • Produced exclusively in France
  • Uses 2 stage rust proofing process followed by 2 paint stages
  • Painted in a 1 million dollar electrostatic painting booth using a cataphoresis process and High or Very High Protection Index Treatments (for anti-UV, humidity and saline)
  • Paint is ecological - it protects both the environment and your health
  • Made of top-grade steel and aluminum, which is lighter and easier to move around
  • All packaging and display materials are made from recycled cardboard and paper

Knock-Off “French Bistro” Furniture:

Design origin unknown

  • Produced in China (I only found 1 site that actually listed the country of origin)
  • “Powder coated painting” but not specific
  • Made of iron, which is heavier and more difficult to move around and needs regular maintenance because of rusting

A note on overseas knock-offs: While some of their products are ethically and safely produced, there have been many products in the news in the last few years because they were so cheaply and dangerously produced that they have made Americans sick. From dog treats to drywall, purchasing knock-off products means taking a risk, even if you’re saving a few dollars.

A simple cost analysis:

  • Ballard Designs pair of bistro chairs: $159 + shipping
  • Pottery Barn single bistro chair: $149 + tax + shipping
  • Bed, Bath & Beyond 3-piece set (white only): $149 + tax + shipping
  • Sears single bistro chair (red only): $44.99 + tax + shipping
  • Fermob pair of bistro chairs $198 + no tax outside of LA + free shipping

The bottom line: Go for the fakes if you’re looking for a cheap, quick fix. Don’t expect these bistro chairs and tables to last more than one season, though. For not much more, you can get the real stuff that lasts for years. Seems like a no-brainer to me...



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