Modern InDesigns became of interest to me when I was seeking out the Eames Lounge Chair on the internet. I’ve not seen any legit Eames lounge chairs replicas in most furniture stores I frequent, except for some chairs that definitely look influenced by the Eames molded plastic woodleg side chair. They would have a similarly-shaped body. Anyway, as for the Eames lounge chair replica, some of my midcentury enthusiasts suggested I check out Modern InDesigns and here are my findings:
Good Price… Questionable Quality
What attracted me to this site the most is the pricing, which I consider one of the most important aspects of a purchase if not THE most. They offer all of their Eames Lounge chair replicas for only $895. A chair and ottoman for under $900 sounded like a great deal. For aniline leather you pay only $49 more. This seemed almost too good to be true. And it was! First I was thrown off by how little was on the product page. Simplicity is great and all, but there needs to be more facts about the chair’s specifications and materials. After all, $900 is reasonable for the Eames chair replica, but a high price and an investment nonetheless.
There’s no information about the shock mounts (are ANY even included?), no mentions of a tilt (this IS supposed to be a lounge chair), no info on the cushioning or foam, nothing on the swivel, assemblage pieces, buttons. It doesn’t even declare anywhere whether their replica is a Herman Miller or a Vitro. The lack of information about their particular model is very problematic. Yet in the intro about this chair, it uses typical marketing rhetoric like “timeless,” “iconic,” and “highest quality material.” But how is that so if the product page cannot support this with any facts besides that it uses Italian leather, plywood and steel? Most Eames lounge chair fans already know about those 3 materials; they are the core of these chairs. Basically, from the lack of details, you can make an educated guess that the quality is subpar and they probably don’t use Velcro, memory foam or any other quality materials as aforesaid.
Lack of Communication
If you are on the prowl for an Eames lounge chair, you probably need to speak with a representative from the sales department, either on phone or via chat. Most companies I’ve come across in this market offer these means of assisting current or prospective customers. But Modern InDesigns offers no chat, so if you need answers immediately, there’s no avail. I tried emailing them and it took 3 days for them to respond to my simple questions of where there materials are from, and what makes up their Eames lounge chair replica. They pretty much beat around the bush in their response, saying the chair was made in “Asia.” That’s marketing talk for China. Surprise, surprise. They don’t offer silicone shock mounts like I feared and the wooden veneer is only on the exterior. They pretty much beat around the bush and did not respond to my other questions. So I tried to call them.
The website says they’re in operation from 10-6 pm. I work full-time from 9-6 but managed to squeeze in this phone call. No one answered the phone. What kind of business are they running? After having scoured the internet, I found reviews of other people who have experienced similar poor customer service, ie, with no one answering phones. That’s quite unacceptable, but what really struck me as a red flag was the people complaining about the non-existent customer service on the phone. These complaints came from paying customers!! The fact that there’s no customer service via the phone is understandable, heck, the mighty Amazon.com doesn’t even offer this. But if this is the case, it should be advertised as such. Instead, the Modern InDesign site conveys their phone service very misleadingly.
Good Shipping and Delivery
As for the shipping and delivery, I was impressed. Their Eames lounge replica ships in only 3 days in the US with no taxes. There’s also no re-stocking fees for returns. They don’t offer free shipping though. Unfortunately, most companies don’t.
You Better Love Your Chair before You Get it: Difficulties With Cancellations
If you bought an Eames Lounge chair from this company and don’t absolutely love it, you’re in trouble, if you decided to cancel your order, that is. Here’s a Catch-22: the site states that all cancellations must be authorized in advance, and that this requires an assessment from a representative, which means you must contact Modern InDesigns to cancel the order. The assessment of the cancellation must be confirmed BEFORE the Eames lounge chair is processed and shipped, otherwise, the customer will incur the all inbound and outbound shipping fees. The quickest contact option to ensure this is done before the chair gets processed and shipped is by calling the company, but if no one answers the phone, or no one answers in a timely manner, who can this be done? It most likely cannot be done.
Any customer, whether they’re buying or cancelling should be treated fairly and not be placed in a Catch-22 situation. Cancelling an item, even an Eames lounge chair replica should not be this complicated.
The Chair Itself
If you’ve not read my analysis on quality, understand that the product page of the Eames lounge chair replica is very terse and lacking in details. Most companies accentuate the most minor of details if it posits their product in a good light. For the most marketed product under their midcentury collection/tab on the website, Modern InDesigns sure has a suspiciously reserved way of displaying it in that it does not mention crucial details and materials. The cushioning on this chair and ottoman is mediocre, in that it is made of a cheap material. The cushion of the seat and ottoman are different sizes and are not interchangeable. There’s no mention of a swivel and other important details (refer to the Good Price… Questionable Quality section.) With the lack of specifications, it’s safe to assume this chair does not swivel, nor does it share the same specifications of the original lounge chair.
There’s a lot that Modern InDesigns provides, service-wise and price-wise that I find attractive, like the quick shipping and no taxes, and the low price of $895. However, the website’s lackluster and information-lacking product page is a huge turn-off for me. The silence on some major materials speaks volumes to me, that this chair is not of decent value and construction. Also, I appreciate companies that are more open about themselves. With Modern InDesigns, I was unable to find anything about them, aside from their being a midcentury furniture replica company that ships across the USA. I have no idea when they began business, nor what makes them unique. They have no showroom, they’re strictly e-commerce, but what really boggles me is they offer NO SWATCHES!! I checked their site map and there was no “swatches” or “samples” keywords. Sorry, but how are customers to make educated decisions about the Modern InDesigns Eames lounge chair or any other furniture with no swatches, free or otherwise. They certainly won’t be able to from the poor product descriptions and photos. The verdict is: not worth it. As a paying customer, I shouldn’t have to bend over backwards to get basic info and a sample of the materials. The low price of their Eames Lounge chair replica speaks for itself.