Big Retailers vs. Speciality Shops for Down Comforter
I know I very recently opened another thread related to down comforters but I would appreciate some views on the specific topic of making this type of purchase from BIG RETAILERS vs. SPECIALTY SHOPS.
I will call the first BR and the second SS.
The BR category would include any retailers such as overstock, amazon, sears, Macy's, TJ max, or even LL bean and others like that. They may be online, department stores,discount stores - but in general, everyone has heard about them and they sell a variety of goods, not just sleep-related.
The SS category would include small, niche stores without large advertising budgets, that specialize in down products, particularly comforters, or maybe sleep products, more generally.
Examples would include Cuddledown, Daniadown, the downstore.com,Three Dog Down, Plumeria Bay, etc. In general, they tend NOT to have their main products on sale.
Going beyond recs of specific products, I would like to know whether there is any significant and tangible difference in overall quality between down comforters sold by BR vs. those sold by SS.
Based on my research, you pay about double for what APPEARS to be the same type of product (say, a medium warmth down comforter, same filling power) if you buy from SS as opposed to BR.
However, I also get the sense that the SS product is tangibly superior in make, feel, comfort, durability and overall quality.
Most people probably go the BR route simply because they appear to be a better deal and they are "handy"; but I have read too many reviews now on BR comforters that say the down flies out of the comforter everywhere, the fabric feels noisy, down bunches up and leaves empty spots, etc.
Plus I have seen a few myself and I can confirm the above.
Trouble is I have a hard time getting to any of those finer Specialty Shops to touch their version to be able to tell the difference and decide whether they are truly worth the extra price or they are just places for those who don't like to shop where the "plebeians" shop.
I am one of those who believe in the "I am too poor to get cheap stuff" approach.
For important things, I try to buy as high quality as I can afford and keeping whatever I am getting forever. I also prefer very high quality used to crappy brand-shiny-new.
I can't stand constantly buying new things just to replace some sub-par product that doesn't last as long as it should and it just lines up the pockets of large corporations.
At the same time, if I making the effort to shell out the money for something sold as "superior", I expect it to be tangibly so and not just arriving wrapped in a silky red package.
Having been advised to "just pay the money when it comes to down", I would be frustrated to know I could have gotten pretty much the same quality from Overstock or Costco at a much nicer price.
If anyone owns a down comforter from an SS type store, would you mind sharing your experience? Why do you think it's so much better than those you could have bought from a BR for less ?