There are few activities more satisfying than taking that first sit down on a real and authentic leather sofa.
The touch, the feel, the smell and the look just feels right.
But as a consumer, how are you supposed to know what defines genuine leather lounges?
When there are manufacturers and retailers hoping to profit off faux items sold for an authentic price, you don’t want to be one of those shoppers who falls for an inferior product.
Fortunately there are some clever strategies that you can use to your advantage to identify the real from the fake.
Here we will run through some of those strategies in detail, giving you a head start when walking through the store doors.
How The Lounge Feels
There is one universal principle to feeling leather lounges in order to test their authenticity – the closer the item feels to being plastic, the greater the likelihood it is a faux product. There are all manner of different profiles from these couches, including full and top grains to split editions that makes the feel inconsistent across the board. There should be a coarse feel to the item with a soft interior that makes it very comfortable to sit on. The best tactic here is to examine real products from various outlets to get a sense of what the feel truly is like across the board.
Smell and Aroma
How do we describe how leather lounges smell like? Any product that has an authenticity to it will have a rich aroma that will be devoid of that synthetic, plastic odor that the fake products emit. Rather than attempting to smell genuine leather, it is easier to sniff out a faux knock-off because you will be able to glean the sanitized chemical stench that comes from these manufactured items.
It is too obvious for faux leather lounges to write “genuine leather” on the label and leave it at that, but more times than not the manufacturer will not want to sell a lie in writing. Rather than going down that path, they will just list where the product was manufactured and redact any mention of authenticity.
The idea of being “rough around the edges” is a description that might not be endearing for people, but it is for authentic leather lounges. The faux edition will usually be smooth and consistent to illustrate the quality of the plastic, but this is material that should have bumps and creases away from the actual seating towards the edges and to the back.
Asking the Question
The final strategy that shoppers in the market can use to sort the real from the fake leather lounges is to quiz the retailer at the store or, failing that, via correspondence. It is recommended that you obtain a warranty to cover for the item in the event that you make an unwanted discovery down the road. An advantage of having online correspondence via email is that you will have a transcript in writing from the retailer about its authenticity. Yet the goal here is to ask if the leather is in fact evident across the entire item and what the profile of the material actually is. This could span split products, bonded, synthetic, bicast or something else entirely. Put them on the spot because this is your investment you need to protect.
If you happen to be a consumer that has been sold down the garden path for one of the leather lounges that is a faux item masquerading as the real thing, there are steps you can take to rectify the issue. Have your warranty on hand, take photographic evidence, source a second and third professional opinion and see when a refund or replacement can be issued. Falling short of that mark, you are entitled to send the issue to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) or the office of Fair Trading to take the matter further.