Wednesday, July 30, 2014Mostly Cloudy 16°C
Fashion & Style

Is Homesav the Groupon for home decor?

Posted by Dayna Winter / November 15, 2010

HomesavHomesav is the latest in a boom of new deal-a-day websites. But this time, their offerings are exclusively product-based, offering deep discounts (up to 70% off) on home décor, furniture and accessories. The Toronto-based company entered the market with some good bargains, modern designs and a few growing pains. Does it have staying power? I took it for a test drive and I have my doubts.

It seems like every time I log in to Facebook, the banners ads persuade me to sign up for yet another daily email coupon. I cave every time. Each morning I am greeted with messages from Living Social, Wagjag and Groupon - irresistible markdowns on teeth whitening appointments and zipline adventures and buffet dinners. On one hand, the savings - up to 90% off in some cases - are hard to turn down, but I remind myself that I wouldn't have spent the money in the first case, so I'm not actually saving. So far my credit card hasn't left my wallet. Now, for the purposes of this post (I swear) I am also a member of Homesav.

HomesavOn my initial attempt to join, I was met with an error message. Twice. Forgiven - the site just launched and glitches are expected. Third time's a charm. Navigating through the site, I find the process and information to be, for the most part, straightforward and user-friendly. The product selection is beautiful, as well. Many of the daily deals are available for 72 hours (rather than the usual 24), which is a good thing - a $1,000 sofa isn't exactly an impulse item.

HomesavThe site has its issues, however. I am skeptical about some of the suggested retail prices (the supposed pre-discount costs). One particular couch - a Konstead Living Austin Lounger is listed as $870 at regular price and $435 at the "Homesav price". As I type, I am sitting on this identical couch. I purchased it two years ago for $500 (not on sale) at an independent futon shop in the Annex.

Today's deal is a selection of Paddywax brand candles and diffusers. A set of two Eco Pomegranate & Currant soy candles is offered at a discounted price of $25. A Google search netted a few similar deals. On Amazon.com, I could score the very same candles at $12 apiece and with comparable shipping.

HomesavAnother Kongsted couch is available at a huge discount - it's down 50% from its original $1600 price tag. It's gorgeous, and this time it seems like a steal. However the item is not pictured in the correct fabric. The images show a white leather version, plus a tiny swatch of the grey wool (the upholstery that I would actually be purchasing). Would someone really buy a non-refundable couch on the internet without even seeing an accurate photo? I can't imagine.

HomesavHomesavWhile I love that shipping times and costs are transparent at the check-out step, several attempts to add and remove items from the cart resulted in wonky shipping calculations. Yesterday, a couch cost $11.95 to ship, and today the same couch carries a $27.80 ship cost (the third time, it was $62.20). A message on the cart page tells me shipping within Canada is a flat $11.95 for the first item, and $4.95 for additional (excluding furniture). I don't think the shipping is exorbitant, but it depends on the purchase. $12 to ship four cloth napkins, for example, is a tad steep. Whereas, $28 to ship a couch is amazing. Back to the drawing board on the shipping structure, please.

Can Homesav survive in an IKEA world? I don't know. If I can already buy moderately-priced housewares online without making split decisions (sometimes I need more than 72 hours of hemming and hawing), I don't know if I see the value of Homesav. And, I am not entirely convinced that the offers are remarkable enough to compete (are they any better than Homesense?). But, it's a new company and it's Canadian, so I am open to keeping my subscription active for just a little while. I think there may be great deals to be had. My advice for now? Do a bit of Google homework before you buy.

Discussion

26 Comments

Michael / November 15, 2010 at 09:27 am
user-pic
Hopefully, unlike Groupon, they'll make sure to have SSL enabled the whole time.

As someone who had their credit card compromised because I bought the GAP voucher during the few minute window when SSL was somehow disabled, I'm not thrilled with Groupon.
Eric Bernhard / November 15, 2010 at 09:55 am
user-pic
Disclosure: I make a daily deal platform that allows anyone with deals to create their own deal site (www.dailyred.com). I also have a niche Wedding deal site called Dealknot (www.dealknot.com)

This site is much more similar to Gilt Group than Groupon. Groupon is a Daily Deal site (although the term is becoming ever so flexible lately http://goo.gl/4wAyL).

The key here is for Homesav to offer wicked deals, if they limit it to 1 deal a day then they can offer better deals because the focus is solely on that 1 vendor. Don't become an online HomeSense.
Wes Bos / November 15, 2010 at 11:20 am
user-pic
Disclosure (really a plug): I run a daily deal aggregator that brings together all the Toronto group buying sites - http://DealPage.ca

Its really interesting to see these niche group buying site pop up. We have one for web designers (might buy), one for moms, and even one for the toronto path (path deals). I'm really interested in seeing how well they pan out - the path deals one doesn't seem to be doing too hot.

Snarky / November 15, 2010 at 12:01 pm
user-pic
Disclosure: I'm a snarky bastard when shitty sites/products are reviewed on blogTO with the only thing tying it to Toronto is that it was made in TO.

This site seems to be a good idea, however it was way too buggy for my liking. Come on at least slap on a "Beta" under the logo or something, if you're not willing to run full QA in the thing. And what's with the splash page/roadblock type of homepage with absolutely no deals on it? Why would I sign up if you don't even offer a deal on the main page? Again good idea, but the site need ALOT of work!
Anna / November 15, 2010 at 12:01 pm
user-pic
While I like the idea, the fact that you have to register to see the deals isn't ideal(no pun intended.)

If they were smart the current deals would be splashed on the home page inviting users to sign up for more information.

Amy / November 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm
user-pic
@Wes Bos - love your page, thanks for that!
Karen / November 15, 2010 at 04:04 pm
user-pic
I don't think any of you are familiar with Giltgroup.com. The whole idea is that it is a member's only site. It's NOT a group buying concept at all... I love this site and am happy it can ship to Toronto!!
Wes Bos replying to a comment from Amy / November 15, 2010 at 04:56 pm
user-pic
Thanks a lot, Amy! Glad you like DealPage.ca - be sure to tell your friends :)
Chelo / November 15, 2010 at 05:00 pm
user-pic
Homesav has been a find for me. Unlike its US based competitors the stuff I have ordered have been shipped to me without any extra duties or nasty surprises when delivered to me.
Yvonne / November 15, 2010 at 05:01 pm
user-pic
I just found out about this site and when I told people they were very skeptical. Are sites like this legit? How are you supposed to tell which are and which aren't. It seems like there are still a lot of skeptics out there regarding online shopping. Will there ever be a time where we feel safe to do it?
Homesav Founders / November 15, 2010 at 06:29 pm
user-pic
Hi Dayna,
This is Alex, Aliza and Allan, the founding members of Homesav, and we wanted to take a minute to address your write up.
First off, sorry for any technical issues you may have come across. We would have been happy to help you, had you contacted us. We have a team of technical professionals available for just these types of questions and feedback. As the site is brand new, we rely on our members to communicate with us. It is very important to us.
Re: shipping- you’ll notice the following note sitting to the left of your purchase subtotals:
“Buy more items and save on shipping: $11.95 shipping fee for first item and $4.95 for each additional item, all across Canada (furniture and tapestry do not apply)”.
As with all other retailers, shipping is subject to weight. Although we have been unable to replicate the shipping rates you’ve written in your article, we are certain that our calculations are consistent throughout from this point forward.
(continued below…)
Homesav Founders / November 15, 2010 at 06:29 pm
user-pic
Re: Paddywax candles- despite amazon.com having comparable prices to those on Homesav, the candles found on Amazon are strictly available to U.S residence only.

Re: Kongsted Living- we maintain that our prices are honestly quoted and true. The Austin Lounger is in fact $870 (in stores), regardless of its $500 price tag two years ago. We are still proud to offer this piece at $435.

Before we sign off, we have one last point we'd like to address: Homesav has been compared to Living Social, Wag Jag and Groupon in your article. As Eric Bernhard (owner of dailyread.com and www.dealknot.com) appropriately comments, Homesav is fundamentally different from these sites. Homesav’s products are neither hindered nor benefited by the number of purchases made, and we do not have purchase minimums that must be met. Our prices are exactly as they are seen on the website, whether 50 people or 500 people end up buying.

Thank you for bringing these issues to our attention, and for letting people know about our site.
-The Homesav team
Rachel / November 15, 2010 at 07:10 pm
user-pic
Hello,
I just saw your review so i joined homesav.com... And am in love.

This sites is super easy
... I just actually bought a paddywax set and i can't wait for it to arrive
Neil / November 15, 2010 at 08:43 pm
user-pic
Hey there,

In response to the founders of Homesav regarding shipping, do you have a general idea of how much something like a couch would cost to ship? Do you have an average pricer per unit of weight? I saw the couches today I was extremely interested but wasn't sure how much the shipping would end up being.

Thanks

Neil
Homesav Founders / November 15, 2010 at 09:58 pm
user-pic
Hi Neil,

To answer your question: it really depends on 1) your location and 2) the weight of the item.

Assuming you are located in Toronto, the average cost for shipping will work out to around $0.60 per pound. The couches on our most on our most recent sale ranged from $55 - $70 for shipping to GTA addresses.

To get a precise quote you can head over to Homesav, and put a couch into your cart-- the purchase tally (taxes and shipping) will show up there.

Thanks,
Alex
Tom Falinski / November 16, 2010 at 11:36 am
user-pic
Check out Dealpage.ca.

Aggregator of sites like groupon, wag jag, etc. You can choose your city and view offers without the pesky e-mails.
Dayna replying to a comment from Homesav Founders / November 16, 2010 at 05:13 pm
user-pic
Thanks Alex, Aliza and Allan for addressing the concerns outlined in my post and in the comments. This still does not explain why the identical couch was assigned three different shipping costs during three separate tries. I completely understand your shipping structure (as noted in the post) - I'm just not sure it's working properly.
Dayna replying to a comment from Homesav Founders / November 16, 2010 at 05:15 pm
user-pic
Also Chapters/Indigo consistently carries Paddywax at very similar prices, and often at a discount.
Homesav Team / November 17, 2010 at 07:11 pm
user-pic
Hi Dayna,

As mentioned above, we took a good look into our shipping calculator, tugged on some wires, and despite us not being able to find any problems that would have caused the arbitrary values in your cart, there should be no such problem going forward. I can’t emphasize more that if you do come across this kind of problem again, you should contact us. The trial and error of a start-up website is unavoidable and we could not be more grateful to any patron who has taken the few minutes to alert us of any website issues as they occur.

As far as Paddywax is concerned: Indeed Indigo/Chapters sells a selection (limited albeit) of Paddywax products. But comparing the prices is like comparing apples and oranges as the products Homesav had available are very different than the products that Indigo is selling on their website. Indigo/Chapters’ offerings range from 3 ounces to 5.5 ounces and they have only one 9 ounce candle, whereas the fragrance sets on Homesav included both a 9 ounce candles and diffuser bottle or two 14 ounce candles. In all cases Homesav offered 2 products and Indigo/Chapters offers one much smaller product.

We are grateful for your comments and suggestions, but we’re sorry it didn’t meet your expectations. Hopefully our selection will impress upon you more favorably in the future, and you will be as happy with our service as our other subscribers have been. Thank you again for your post and comments!
-Alex
Amy / December 21, 2010 at 02:52 am
user-pic
I noticed there are some other Canadian flash sale website that have identical sales (For example Kaloo and the Rockabyes)...and pricing on that particular website was way better while Homesav has it for $20-$30 more. Your pricing manager should be aware of that. Smart shoppers know where to find better deals. :)
Irene / April 8, 2012 at 10:53 am
user-pic
While this business appears to try, the owners need to resolve issues with suppliers. My aunt ordered from them several times and at least half the time, the merchandise was not delivered within the predicted window. She had to ask for a refund for items she purchased for my children because they never arrived for Christmas. She is experiencing problems again and not getting a response from Homesav, or getting false information (told the merchandise was shipped when it wasn't). Meanwhile, they are hanging on to her money (well over $300).

In addition, we did some price comparisons and recently found that items on Homesav are way overpriced compared to other online shopping sites, such as Beyond the rack. For example, my aunt purchased carpets on Homesav for $44 and the same size and quality carpet later appeared on Beyond the rack for $23-$25.

In short, we are not impressed. In light of the poor service and missing items, we recommend staying away from this site. Our impression is that it will go out of business soon and take your money with it.
Craig / August 19, 2012 at 06:24 am
user-pic
The assertion the Kongstad Living lounger retails in the $800 + range is complete BS, I've previously retailed this item, we sold for around the same price as Homesav's sale price.. My sense is this whole scheme is an utter shame.. When shopping for furniture, start your search with bricks and mortar
jane / November 18, 2012 at 10:57 pm
user-pic
This site is a total scam. They make things look better than they actually are, with lighting, etc. I bought a few items but they were nothing like the pictures showed - drab colours, poor quality, cheaply made. They also refused to take items back, even though it was obvious thay were misrepresented. Would definitely stay away from this site.
http://tinyurl.com/aretsale19562 / January 17, 2013 at 01:56 am
user-pic
You actually put together a number of wonderful stuff with ur blog post, “Is
Homesav the Groupon for home decor?”. I may end up coming
back to ur web-site eventually. With thanks ,Desiree
Jacquie replying to a comment from Homesav Founders / January 29, 2013 at 03:02 pm
user-pic
HOMESAV IS A RIP OFF!!! YOU DON'T DEAL WITH CUSTOMER SERVICE AND YOU DON'T PAY YOUR SUPPLIERS!!!

YOU PEOPLE ARE RIDICULOUS!!!!!!
Richard / July 15, 2013 at 09:18 pm
user-pic
I find that the pricing structure of HomeSAV is not really a great deal, even at a discounted "70% off" or whatever discounts you see online. I work in this industry and I can tell you that HomeSAV pricing is "exorbitant" for an average online shopper.

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal