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Cheap HT seating from the US...

Discussion in 'AV Stands, Cabinets, Seating & Furniture' started by benwillcox, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. benwillcox

    benwillcox
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    Hey all,

    Ok I havn't even started my home cinema yet, but of course I've been planning how it might be.... I've been looking at the seating options, but the only 'real' home cinema seating available in the UK seems to be the La-Z-boy matinee. However, the price for these seems a bit ridiculous to me - well over £1100 just for a single seat! ANd I want at least 4, maybe 5 or 6 :eek:

    I saw this website in the US, which looks like they have a really good selection of different styles etc, some of them as cheap as $399 per seat. They quoted me $150 per seat to ship to the UK, and if you add VAT it comes to £360 per seat delivered (and if you order more than one the chair price comes down, e.g. row of 6 = £290 per seat inc VAT delivered).

    So is there anything else that needs to be considered if I was to order these from the US, and has anybody else done this before considering you can get at least a row of 5 of the US seats for the same price as one La-Z-boy in the UK? And if not, why not!?

    Cheers,
    Ben
     
  2. pringtef

    pringtef
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    Bear in mind that you'll most likely get hit with import duty as well, which will work out at £396 per chair delivered.

    There's no doubt you pay a premium for the LazyBoy stuff, but you know you're going to get something special.

    Personally, I'd be hesitant about buying any furniture without having actually tested it or read significant feedback about it, especially from overseas.

    Also need to be aware what the return process is like for the company that you're planning on buying it from. If the goods are broken or not up to scratch four months down the line, what do you do, and more importantly, who pays for it?
     
  3. benwillcox

    benwillcox
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    Ah import duty, yes I knew there was something else...!

    I agree, finding a reputable company and good reviews on the seating would be very important. I'm sure the la-z-boy seating is very nice but I can't justify spending 3 times the amount if I can find stuff cheaper elsewhere! :D

    I checked on avsforum.com and it seems that 4seating are a bit of a dodgey outfit so I will avoid them. I'll probably ask around on there when I get a bit nearer that stage and see if there's any recommendations as to suppliers and seating etc.

    Cheers,
    Ben
     
  4. Muzza

    Muzza
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    For the price saving, you could always get a cheap flight to the US and actually visit a shop and sit on one ! £199 to New York with BA :)
     
  5. benwillcox

    benwillcox
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    Hey Muzza I like your thinking...! :)
     
  6. doink

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    homebase have some lovely leather recliners for £200, as comfortable as a lazyboy any day
     
  7. ballavarkish

    ballavarkish
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    Hi Ben,

    We went through this process too, but just before finding that the Matinee was available in the UK. We got very envious looking at all the different HT seating being talked about on the US forums and finding nothing in the UK,and decided that the only way we would get anything like what we wanted was to import them.

    As you say the dealer needs to be reputable, and you need to know the type of chair you want, so check out avsforum.com. It helps a lot if the dealer has exported to the UK before (many of them haven't), so that they know which shippers to use, how to specify UK voltage (if you get auto-recliners), how to fill out the export forms, etc. One thing we found very difficult was choosing a colour, as you can't see a complete chair in the material/colour you want and choosing from photos or small samples of leather is a bit of a lottery. Avsforum does have some pretty good photos of members cinemas though, which can help.

    We decided on Berkline 088's in the end, checked on avsforum to find recommended dealers, and then got quotes. We settled on Paul Evans at Leather-Direct, and I can't praise him enough. He had never shipped to the UK before, but we ended up getting exactly what we wanted for what we thought was a very good price; seven Berkline 088's in leather with auto-recline for less than £700 a chair all in, including door to door shipping to the Isle of Man. They look really good, and are very comfortable to sit in.

    Incidentally, there is no import duty on chairs, so all you're liable for are the chairs, shipping and VAT.

    Good luck,
    Gerry
     
  8. benwillcox

    benwillcox
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    Thanks Gerry thats exactly the kind of reply I was hoping for! :thumbsup:
    Can you tell me more about the model of chair you ordered? What colour did you choose and do you have any pics? Was it straightforward to specify a 220V option for the auto-recline?
    Good to hear about no import duty, thats a bonus!

    Cheers,
    Ben.
     
  9. ballavarkish

    ballavarkish
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    Berkline do a large range of chairs. In the US the model 090 seems to be the most popular but is pretty big. The 088 was introduced as a more compact model and is ideal for smaller rooms and/or smaller people! The 090 also has a higher back which gives more support if you're tall, but I suspect would block out sound from the rear if you're under six foot.

    They are sold as single units that you put together, so you can build just about any configuration you want. We went for a straight set of three chairs for our back row, and a curved row of four chairs in the front, with a two seat 'loveseat' in the middle.

    They also do a variety of finishes but we went for the highest grade leather in 'Lipstick Red'. It is very red!

    Getting the 220v option was no problem at all, but your dealer needs to put the order through Berkline's export department.

    As our cinema is not yet finished we haven't taken any photos of the chairs yet, but I'll have a try tomorrow.

    Gerry
     
  10. benwillcox

    benwillcox
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    Thanks Gerry. I will definately contact Leather Direct for some quotes etc when I'm nearer that stage. If you do manage to get some pics that would be great :thumbsup:

    Cheers,
    Ben.
     
  11. Adrenochrome

    Adrenochrome
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  12. Oakleyspatz

    Oakleyspatz
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