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LETTERS

True costs of long-distance furniture buys

June 20, 2004

Your article "The Ottoman Empire" [June 13] provided some unique and detailed information yet failed to provide certain basic facts.

The 40% discount listed is off the manufacturer's suggested list price, not what an item might typically sell for in a retail showroom. Many retailers here in Southern California offer this same savings.

Be sure to check the freight costs for items. At approximately 12% to 14% of the price of the item, they add up fast.

Purchasing furniture is just part of the process: Properly setting it up and assuring a correct fit is the other. It is amazing how much furniture doesn't fit through the door or into the room as you thought it would.

Proper local consultation will save you money. Because woods vary, dye lots don't always match and leather comes with imperfections, it is much easier and more reliable to work with a local professional with whom you can discuss issues face to face.

Do some basic research on a long-distance retailer: You would be surprised what information is listed on the Internet by other consumers.

Finally, add up the total costs, including air transportation, car, hotel and other accommodations. As with any type of purchase, buyer beware. If the deal seems too good to be true, then maybe it is.

Mark Fedde

Fedde Furniture

Pasadena

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