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Is this price as ridiculous as I think it is, or am I out

15 years ago

of touch with what things cost in the "real world".

I got a quote for 2 feather blend kidney pillows with fringe trim all the way around. I told my DH they might be really expensive. I gave him a ballpark of $300 for the 2. Well they just emailed him the quote and they would be $981 but give us a sale price of $650.

I have to say I'm shocked and won't be getting them. That would pay for the 4 new dining chairs I've picked out for goodness sake.

Comments (26)

  • estreya
    15 years ago

    Budge1, i TOTALLY understand what you're saying. I'm regularly aghast at how much things cost, particularly things of "quality." This is why, after over three years of living in my "new" home, much of it remains unfurnished, most of it unaccessorized. The things i really respond to are almost always cost prohibitive, so i wait! And i save ... and i purchase maybe one or two pieces a year (often used) ...


    It's ok. I'm in no rush, and i figure it's always good to have something to aspire to ...

  • mclarke
    15 years ago

    $981 for.... pillows?????

    On sale (hahahahah) for $650?

    Send me the money, I will make you a whole bunch of really nice pillows. Fringe and all.


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  • donnar57
    15 years ago

    Funny, mclarke, I was thinking exactly the same thing. I know I haven't priced feathers in a long time, but they can't cost $900....can they??????!!!!!!

    When I see the costs of some things, I'm REALLY glad I learned how to sew. My husband fell in love with a tree skirt for Christmas....$100!!!!! I bought similar fabric....$15...time to make it, about 2 hours.

    Pillows are fairly easy to make. I wouldn't relish working with all those feathers, but to save myself that much, I would.


  • littledog
    15 years ago

    Pillows? I thought she was getting two kidney shaped *pools*, maybe matching koi ponds or something. Then again, I couldn't figure out how or why one would fringe a pool...LOL

  • kgwlisa
    15 years ago

    Are those feathers from the goose that lays the golden egg or something?

  • cattknap
    15 years ago

    LOLOL Littledog!

    That is such a ridiculous price - please find another of my friends had made 19 inch boxed pillows (the upholstery fabric was about $20 a yard on sale)with contrasting piping (filled with high density fiberfill) made last year by a fancy store near me - they were $270 (still too high if you ask me) - but almost $1,000 for two kidney shaped pillows? Unbelievable.

  • koidom
    15 years ago

    That would buy a car for some people, I only paid $400 for my truck and I use it every day of the world for hauling hay or things for my horses, to even think about spending $300 for two pillows? lol I got two $15 dallor pillows and every time company comes over my husband tells them not to sit on the nice pillows Rolls eyes, honey thats what they are for!!

    but if it makes you happy and you got the money go for it. :) but in the "real world" pillows don't cost $900 and go on sale for $650.

  • oceanna
    15 years ago

    Last time I looked you could get a three-yard string of feathers at JoAnn Fabrics for about $7.00.

    That is the most absurd price I've ever heard of for pillows!!! I'll second the offer to sew you some cheaper... much cheaper. Or go find ones you like sans feathers, stop in at JoAnn's and sew your own feathers on while you watch TV. Heck, just sew the whole pillow cover yourself. It's easy, not rocket science at all. I'll bet if you don't sew you have a friend who would be happy to do it for you, or your church knows someone who really would love to make (far less) bucks to do it for you.

    People who sell two pillows for $900 and put them on sale for $650 deserve not to sell any IMO.

  • IdaClaire
    15 years ago

    I was gonna say "Holy cow!", but I think "Holy crap!" is a much more appropriate sentiment.

    ::shaking my head in absolute amazement at how ridiculously high-priced some things can be::

  • sue36
    15 years ago

    I paid $400 for two pillows and regretted it almost immediately. I was SO glad when they were made incorrectly so I could reject them. I ended paying about $200 for two and feel much better about it.

    I know what you mean about sticker shock. I was quoted $600 for a fringed table round. I didn't order it (I'm not insane). I really need to learn to sew, or make friends with someone who does.

  • daisyadair
    15 years ago

    Shop around.

    The luxury market has many, many levels, and it's possible to spend not just a lot but very exorbitantly. Particularly in fashion and design and art and antiques, an order of magnitude is just a starting point for standard mark-up.

  • jenny_from_the_block
    15 years ago

    Let me start by saying that yes, I also feel that is waaaay too much to pay for pillows! However, in order to know if they were truly "price gouging" youÂd have to tell us the cost breakdown of a few things. First and foremost  what is the price per yard of fabric you picked and was there a specific pattern from the fabric you wanted centered on the pillow? If so, this can increase the yardage required to center a floral pattern on both the front and back of the pillow.

    Whether or not we feel itÂs reasonable, some fabric houses charge insane amounts per yard for their fabric  and if you happened to pick that fabric, then that will drive the price way up for the person making your pillows. I would guess that the person selling you the fabric gets the same percentage cut off the fabric sale, whether it costs $15 per yard or $150 per yard.

    As an example, I fell in love with some fabric on the Ralph Lauren website (no price shown) and figured that even if it were pricey, IÂd only need a small amount to do two 20" throw pillows, and maybe IÂd splurge. So I found the fabric at Calico Corners, and first of all, I was shocked to find out that it was around $160 per yard! Then I found out on top of that that the pattern had a "drop repeat" which means that they key floral image I wanted centered on the pillow only repeated itself on the fabric every other time, with a different floral image in between. So I probably would have needed 3 to 4 yards of fabric (I forget exactly) to do the pillows I had envisioned. So $160 times 3 or 4 adds up! Needless to say I didnÂt buy that fabric, and found another very similar Ralph Lauren fabric for about $40 per yard (that didn't have a drop repeat), further discounted by a Calico Corners sale.

    A 20" square 100% down filled throw pillow from Cuddledown is $59 retail.

    If you knew the price per yard of the fabric (and trim), then you could find a pillow form price online, and from there you could guesstimate how much she was charging you per hour for her labor, and see if you felt that was reasonable.

    My guess though, it just sounds like they are price-gouging. :-/

  • squirrelheaven
    15 years ago

    Like Jenny just said, fabric and fringe can be insanely expensive and that's surely part of the exhorbitant pricing. They may be beautiful, but do you reallly want pillows with that much attitude? I'd be afraid to touch them, myself! Will they be used? You have two young kids, right? Pets?

    Curious where you're getting these and what the fabric is like.

    I feel like I've woken up from a 100 yr nap today!

  • budge1
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Well, it's reassuring to know that I'm not the only one shocked by pillows that cost almost a grand. I know people do pay this and I know some fabric is way expensive, but the decorator I'm dealing with knows our situation. We stretched our budget to be able to afford the chairs from her store because they are good quality, we stuck with the cheaper fabric line for those chairs, she knows we have two little kids and that the chairs and pillows will be going in a room that is used - not for show. So why even show me fabric and pillows that will be so exorbitant.

    In her defense, I have a feeling she didn't know they would price out so high. She has been really great about guiding me so far, but not in a million years did I think the quote would be anywhere near that pricey. I also don't think they are gouging. I'm sure the fabric (stripe) and trim and pillow form are all expensive, I just don't live in a world where pillows cost more than a sofa (or used truck).

    Littledog, you had DH and I ROTFL.

    And yes I do sew, so I will cut down some nice feather pillows, buy the fringe for $9.98 at the local fabric shop, hop online for some lovely material and use this story to get a lot of laughs at the next party.

  • maggiersn
    15 years ago

    budge, well, I hope you feel better knowing your reaction is pretty much unanimous :-).

    As for yours truly...even if my young Golden didn't have a proclivity for gnawing on every single sofa pillow we own as though it were kibble...

    Never in my wildest, freakin' dreams.

    I'm saving every penny for that swampland in Florida.


    And, speaking of small canines, LOL, littledog.

    P.S. budge, did I ever tell you about my girlfriend who asked me if I thought she was being extravagant to pay $40,000 for a loveseat? (Well, no, of course I didn't, since I don't know you, and I'm re-new here again, anyway. But she did. Maybe these pillow charlatans would like to hook up with her.)


  • johnatemp
    15 years ago

    Budge - outrageous!!!

    My guy that does upholstery charges $25 for any pillow!! I buy the fabric, trim, down inserts and he will do any combo for the same price.

    Aren't you getting your sofa slip covered? Talk to that person. Did you pick out a fabric for your chairs?


  • kim2007
    15 years ago the real world I inhabit, I'd make them myself or buy ready made that replicated the look as much as possible! I adore fabrics and I drool over the very expensive ones just like anyone else. Nevertheless, even if a fabric is expensive, making a pillow is not rocket science. But there are some people who *want* to be able to say they paid $900. for their pillows, and would reject any that didn't allow them to make that sort of claim!

  • cattknap
    15 years ago

    One thing I have done is to buy my own material and trims and taken everything to my upholsterer - he does not charge me extra for using my own material and trims. He makes amazing pillows for about $60-70 each - he will do cording, trims, insets of different materials, boxing, shirring, always a nice hidden zipper and whatever is called for including different shapes and sizes that aren't available in stores - he will use high density fiberfill inserts or down alternative or down, depending on what I want...near me is a fabulous discount upholstery fabric store with the greatest fabric and trim for cheap - so the fabrics and trims for a large custom decorative pillow will cost me $20 (and often less) and will end up looking like one of those $350 pillows you see in the designer stores.

    So that may be another option for you.

  • windypoint
    15 years ago

    It is a crazy price. There would be people who would pay it though, so maybe the place you went to caters to them. Most places that deal with people who aren't fabulously wealthy would offer other options almost automatically if their standard pricing procedures spat out such a huge price for two cushions... for example they would suggest similar but less expensive fabrics and trims or a design that required less of the feature fabric or has less construction work in it.

  • johnmari
    15 years ago

    IMO your decorator is baked. :-) She shouldn't be showing you things you have to "stretch" for at all if she "knows your situation" - she should be helping you maximize what you can get for your budget and still get good quality items. It is so aggravating to hear about decorators who just don't seem to understand the word "budget"!

    Even $300 for two pillows stuns me, so I guess I'm even more out of touch! I had 20" pillows made about 5 years ago for less than $50 apiece counting fabric, fillers, lovely brush trim, and labor. I'm a little sad to be putting them away since they don't play nicely with the new living room drapes. Have you looked at for fabrics? I'm just shocked by their great prices, and the list of fabrics I want is just about a mile long! LOL Have you Googled "feather pillow forms" for one of the wholesale pillow dealers? Crate and Barrel also has feather/down blend pillow forms for absurdly low prices right now, and I found free shipping coupons with a quick Googling.

  • patricianat
    15 years ago

    I had cushions done for my leather sofa when one of the pillows ruptured after it was a couple months out of warranty. I did them in identical chenille color to the leather. I purchased the chenille on sale for $20/yard and the upholsterer did the labor, furnished the cording, thread, etc., and delivered for $75 each.

  • budge1
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Thanks jm, I'm actually kind of glad they are sooooo overpriced. If they were $300 I might have (ridiculously) talked myself into them. But now I will make them for less than $100 and probably be happier with them anyways. I will look at the online feather pillow forms. I saw a really nice feather pillow for a bed that looks like it would be just the right size to split in 2 and make 2 kidney pillows ($20), and I have several fabrics bookmarked at fabricguru's. Even if I have to order a couple of samples I'm still going to be way ahead in terms of price.

    Cattnap and johnatemp, thanks for the suggestion to get an upholsterer to do the job. I may resort to that even though I know I can do them myself. I'm doing the slipcover for the sofa myself and I'm thinking when I'm done that, i'm going to be so sick of sewing...

    And $40,000 for a loveseat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!!! What are these people thinking? Mind you, I have a girlfriend who is also looking for chairs for her living room and she thinks anything over $400 for a chair is widely extravagent. If she knew I was spending over $1000 on a chair, she would probably have the same reaction as you did to your friend :-)

  • johnmari
    15 years ago

    LOL... with my budget, $400 for a chair IS wildly extravagant! The joys of secondhand shopping. :-)

    And $40,000 for a freakin' loveseat? None of my friends (nor most of my family) gross that much in a whole year! That thing better be either gold plated or an extremely rare antique that no one will ever sit on. Who're you hanging out with, Melania Trump? :-) Having to ASK if she's being extravagant with that sort of a purchase? Wow. The mind boggles.

  • threedgrad
    15 years ago

    Shoot, at Dillards you can find some duck and goose feather decor pillows at 50-75% off. Even if the fabric sticks you can use the body of the pillow to create the base of your new pillows. You can easily find great fabrics online or at a good uphostery store. You can make 2 AWESOME pillows for under $75-$100, even if you use more expensive fabrics (on sale though). I bought fabric that was $100 a yard once. Great fabric but there is no need to spend that kind of money for a nice fabric.

    When I worked at Ethan Allen I designed 3 pillows for a customer. If she had bought them and had them made by EA the three pillows would have cost her nearly $600. Ridiculous! These places are marking the labor and fabric up BIG time. Find a good local seamstress. You may not find a designer in that seamstress but you shoulkd be able to design the pillow yourself. Robert Allen has great fabrics (Candice Olson uses that selection also.)

    Good luck! The price of pillows and lack of choices was what inspired me to buy a sewing machine.

    I made these as gifts a few years ago for friends and family out of Christmas napkins on sale.

  • kim2007
    15 years ago

    Ikea also has feather throw pillow forms and they were inexpensive when I last bought some.

  • ladynimue
    15 years ago

    That's one reason I don't do pillows. Why pay so much for something my boys will drool on, wipe dirty hands on, throw on the floor and drag about, use for fort building and 'dog pile' contests, or even doodle on (the 3yo). I don't even bother with $5 pillows anymore. Maybe when they've all moved out... but then the grandkids will come along and start the terrorism all over again ;)