Why Is Joss & Main Cheaper Than Wayfair?

Joss & Main and Wayfair are two of the most popular online furniture and home decor retailers. However, Joss & Main consistently offers lower prices on comparable items. There are several reasons why Joss & Main is able to undercut Wayfair on cost.

Reasons For Joss & Main Being Cheaper Than Wayfair

  • Simpler Business Model
Joss & Main

One of the main reasons Joss & Main has lower prices is its simpler business model.

Wayfair operates as a massive online marketplace with thousands of third party sellers listing products.

This complex infrastructure comes with higher overhead costs that get passed onto consumers.

Joss & Main takes a more curated approach, working directly with a smaller set of suppliers.

Without a complex marketplace facilitating transactions between buyers and third party sellers, Joss & Main saves on platform fees and technology costs. The savings are substantial enough to price items lower than Wayfair.

  • Focus on Affordable Furniture

Wayfair carries products across the pricing spectrum, from budget-friendly basics to luxury pieces. Joss & Main specifically targets the medium and low end of the market. Their merchandising strategy focuses on undiscovered brands and affordable furniture lines.

Rather than chasing high ticket sales, Joss & Main looks for value. This allows them to keep prices low while still providing quality furnishings.

  • Lean Order Fulfillment

Wayfair has made massive investments in storage facilities and last mile delivery services. While this enables faster shipping, it also adds overhead that raises costs. Joss & Main uses drop shipping and third party logistics services to keep fulfillment overhead low.

Items ship direct from suppliers, avoiding warehousing expenses. This lean order fulfillment model is significantly more affordable.

  • Minimal Brick and Mortar Presence

Wayfair operates over 20 physical retail locations nationwide. These brick and mortar stores add significant fixed costs like rent, staffing and inventory. Joss & Main is online-only, aside from a single experiential showroom.

Without expensive retail leases and in-store inventory overhead, Joss & Main avoids costs that would otherwise raise prices.

  • Focus on Private Label Brands

Roughly two-thirds of Joss & Main’s catalog consists of private label furniture and decor. Their in-house design team creates exclusive brands and products. This provides complete control over manufacturing costs and quality.

Wayfair relies more heavily on name brand inventory sourced through third party suppliers. The licensing and brand premiums lead to higher prices.

  • Lower Marketing Costs

As an early e-commerce pioneer, Wayfair invested heavily in building widespread brand recognition. The company still spends aggressively on advertising and customer acquisition.

Joss & Main focuses marketing efforts on repeat business and word-of-mouth growth. Lower customer acquisition costs mean savings that can be passed onto buyers.

  • Specialization in Furniture and Decor

Wayfair is a one-stop shop for all home goods, from furniture to kitchenware to outdoor living. Joss & Main specializes specifically in furniture, lighting, rugs and decor.

Narrowing product selection helps them secure better wholesale pricing from suppliers. Specialization also improves supply chain and inventory efficiencies relative to Wayfair’s vast catalog.

  • Direct-to-Consumer Model

Selling directly to consumers allows Joss & Main to cut out extra costs built into the traditional retail distribution model.

Wayfair sells to consumers but also operates a separate business-to-business (B2B) division serving hotels, offices, and other commercial clients.

The added complexity of a B2B segment contributes to Wayfair’s higher overhead and prices.

  • Lean Team Structure
couch from wayfair

Joss & Main was founded in 2009 and acquired by Wayfair in 2012. It continues operating as an independent subsidiary with a relatively small team. Wayfair employs over 17,000 people worldwide.

The larger organization structure comes with more layers of management, more technology overhead, and higher HR costs. Joss & Main’s lean operation enables lower prices.

  • Lower Shipping Costs

Joss & Main offers free shipping on all orders over $35. For smaller orders under $35, shipping starts at just $4.99. Wayfair charges a minimum of $10.99 for small parcel ground shipping.

For oversized items, Wayfair delivery fees can run upwards of $100+. Joss & Main keeps delivery costs low by sourcing inventory located closer to end customers, minimizing long-haul transportation expenses.

  • Focus on Value-Conscious Shoppers

Joss & Main specifically targets value-driven customers looking for the best deal. This is evident in their pricing, selection, and brand positioning. Catering to bargain hunters allows Joss & Main to focus less on prestige and branding.

The result is functional, affordable furniture without the premium markups. Wayfair serves a broader range of customers, many of whom are less price sensitive.

Joss & Main’s business model, supply chain, and merchandising allow the company to operate on a lower cost basis than Wayfair. These savings directly translate into lower prices for shoppers.

The focus stays on value furniture rather than costly frills. For budget-minded shoppers, Joss & Main delivers big with small prices.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the difference between Wayfair and Joss and Main?

The main differences between Wayfair and Joss & Main are:
Business model – Wayfair is a large online marketplace with millions of 3rd party seller listings; Joss & Main curates products from a smaller group of suppliers
Pricing – Joss & Main is consistently lower priced across comparable items
Selection – Wayfair offers a vast selection across all home categories; Joss & Main focuses specifically on furniture and decor
Brands – Wayfair features premium designer brands; Joss & Main offers undiscovered brands and private labels
Customer base – Wayfair serves all demographics; Joss & Main targets value-conscious bargain hunters

Is Joss and Main high quality?

Yes, Joss & Main carries high quality furniture and decor. They focus on finding undiscovered brands that offer great value. All items are vetted for durability, materials, and construction. While prices are low, Joss & Main does not compromise on quality. They provide an affordable alternative to premium-priced brands without sacrificing style or functionality.

Is Joss and Main part of Pottery Barn?

No, Joss & Main is not part of Pottery Barn. Joss & Main was founded independently in 2009. In 2012, Wayfair acquired Joss & Main. So while Joss & Main and Pottery Barn are sister companies under Wayfair, Joss & Main operates as a standalone brand. The key difference is Joss & Main’s value pricing, compared to Pottery Barn’s premium quality and higher prices.

Where does Wayfair get their furniture from?

As a marketplace, Wayfair features products from thousands of third party sellers worldwide. Their furniture selection comes from a mix of big name brands like Ashley Furniture, smaller boutique brands, vintage and antique dealers, contract manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, and independent artisans. Wayfair provides the platform to connect this range of sellers with buyers.

Does Joss and Main have sales?

Yes, Joss & Main runs sales and promotions frequently. They offer daily sales on select items along with sitewide sales around major holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Joss & Main also provides discounted clearance sections where overstock and discontinued items are marked down up to 75% off. Signing up for their email list will provide details on all current and upcoming sales.

Final Thoughts

Joss & Main is able to maintain lower prices than Wayfair due to their streamlined business model, focus on value-driven shoppers, and operating efficiencies across product development, supply chain, and fulfillment.

By offering undiscovered brands, private labels, and a tightly curated catalog of furniture and decor, Joss & Main keeps costs low.

Their pricing strategy specifically targets bargain-hunting customers who prioritize affordability over brand prestige. While Wayfair serves a broader customer demographic with an expansive marketplace model, Joss & Main specializes in accessible prices for quality home furnishings.

For budget-conscious shoppers wanting stylish furniture at the best value, Joss & Main delivers the small prices and satisfaction promised by their clever name.

Ralph Wade

Hey...Ralph is here! So, did you find this article useful? If so, please leave a comment and let me know. If not, please tell me how I can improve this article. Your feedback is always appreciated. Take love :)

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