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The Van Hage garden centres, especially the ones in Ware an Peterborough, are well known for selling high quality garden and conservatory furniture. When we visited them in Ware, the settings for the garden furniture was impressive. And so were the prices, in some cases several thousands of pounds. We decided to investigate pricing of garden furniture in just a little bit more detail to see how Van Hage garden furniture prices compared to the opposition. The results were astonishing. Read below for our findings.

PRICES IN GENERAL

When we tried to compare prices of garden furniture between retailers it quickly became clear that this was a very difficult task. Descriptions differed significantly between retailers for what seemed the same product. It almost seemed as if they didn't want a buyer to be able to compare prices easily, this was especially the case in up market garden furniture. So we decided to narrow down the search to three randomly selected items.

The items we chose were:

Alexander Rose Teak 2 seater bench
Alexander Rose Teak 3 seater bench
Avant Teak Table 1.3m + 6x (Avant Teak Folding Armchair)

HOW TO COMPARE PRICES
This depends on how expensive the items are for your proposed purchase. If you are looking for a garden seat which might cost around 35 then your best bet is to go down to your local garden centre and buy one without comparing. After all, a trip round three garden centres might save you 3 or 4 but your time and the motoring costs would make such an exercise commercially useless.

However, to take the other extreme, if your intended purchases were likely to cost two or three thousand pounds then a day spent touring a few garden centres might well prove a commercial proposition.

What we suggest for larger purchases of garden furniture is that you take a few hours visiting two or three garden centres and write down the exact name and description of the items that take your fancy. Also note the price and other attributes of the furniture and preferably take a photo of them.

When you return home, do an internet search and see what prices you can find. The results will surprise you. Note that this process applies not only to the subject of this review (Van Hage in Ware) but also to your local garden centre.

OUR FINDINGS
We compare the prices between Van Hage and the cheapest alternative we could find for our three test items. But be sure to read the couple of paragraphs below the comparison, because it may be that not all is as it appears.

Item Description Van Hage, Ware Gardeners Heaven
Alexander Rose Teak 2 seater bench 480 510
Alexander Rose Teak 3 seater bench 595 515
Avant Teak Table 1.3m + 6x (Avant Teak Folding Armchair) 2,194 2,500
Total cost 3,269 3,425

PRICES IN DETAIL
The table above shows that if you shopped online at Van Hage you would save 156. But here's the catch, if you had split your purchases so that you always purchased the cheapest item rather than just shopping at one shop you would have saved a further 150.

Here's another benefit of splitting your purchases, the Alexander Rose Teak 3 seater bench costs only 449 at another retailer, Hayes Garden World. If you had purchased all three items at the cheapest of Van Hage, Gardeners World and Hayes Garden World, the total cost would be 3,053, a saving of 216.

To confuse matters further we looked in detail at the specification of the Avant Teak Table 1.3m + 6x (Avant Teak Folding Armchair), the very item which saves the day for Van Hage. If their low price on that item was due to a difference in specification on this table and chairs set then they would be massively more expensive compared to buying the cheapest items separately.

The relevant website pages we used were:

http://www.gardenersheaven.co.uk/avant-teak-table-1-3m-6x-avant-teak-folding-armchair.html

http://www.vanhage.co.uk/catalogue/2010-garden-furniture-collection-preview/shop-by-type/garden-furniture-sets/alexander-rose-avant-1-3-teak-folding-armchair-set-6

Descriptor Van Hage Spec Gardeners' Paradise Spec
Armchair height 840 860
Armchair width 550 570
Armchair weight 7kg 14kg
Table weight 35kg 24.5kg

The surprising difference between the two sets of descriptions is the weight; the Gardeners' Paradise chair is far heavier than the Van Hage set but with the table it's the opposite.

CONCLUSION
Visit the garden centres and select the furniture you want. Make a note of the name specification and price. The check on the internet and you could save hundreds of pounds. Even when you think two items look the same check the specification carefully. That low price could be the result of a low specification.

As far as Van Hage prices are concerned, our very limited investigations are that overall they generally represent good value online.

Description

Cafe

Contact

Opening Hours

Christmas

Furniture

 
 

 

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