After discovering a Poly & Bark leather sofa on Amazon recently, and including it in our list of the Top Ten Leather Sofas on Amazon for Under $2000, I decided to do a little more digging on Poly & Bark. I had never heard of the company before, and while the sofas looked quite stylish, I had reservations based on the price-point.
So, are Poly & Bark's leather sofas any good?
Based on our research, we discovered that Poly & Bark offers good quality at an affordable price point. While the leather materials used are not of the highest grade, we found that customers have had an overall good experience with Poly & Bark and that the furniture has been rather durable.
Let's dig in and provide more details on the quality of Poly & Bark's leather furniture.
What's The Background Of Poly & Bark?
Honestly the company's website is very vague about their background. No details on when they started, leaders of the company or any of that jazz. Mostly a lot of boiler plate info about design, quality and sustainability. For a real furniture manufacturer, I'd expect to see a bit more substance. Interestingly enough, I stumbled upon a Reddit post that made me think of this company a bit differently.
The reddit user made a guess that Poly & Bark might indeed just be a dropshipper of other manufacturer's product. They pointed to this one comparison of a sofa on Wayfair and their Napa sofa. Looks like identical photos, and certainly looks like the same couch being sold under different brand names.
Now if you look closer at the FAQ page of Poly & Bark, you get some more information that certainly indicates they may just be a glorified drop shipper.
First, there is this--- 'Our products are manufactured in India, Malaysia, China and Taiwan'
And then this: 'We ship from multiple distribution centers across the U.S. We always route your order from the closest fulfilment center with available inventory to your address to ensure you receive your order as soon as possible.'
Although one Redditor claimed that some online retailers will re-name some of the products to avoid price shopping.
I'm not sure either way, but I can tell you one thing. All of these cheaper Direct to Consumer furniture retailers are all sourcing from the same locations in China. Thus I wouldn't be surprised if there is some element of drop shipping here.
This is a great comment from redditor intheheartoftheheart which confirms the whole drop shopping thing.
"They're just resellers. My wife used to design furniture at corporate for West Elm. She knows the exact factories in China these are made at because they created similar pieces for them (with higher quality leather and slightly different legs but the same thing otherwise). Just about every piece of furniture you see from WestElm, CB2, C+B, any of these silly D2C brands, comes from just two cities and about 7 factories in China. Unless you are serious about investing in heirloom pieces, I just advise clients to buy cheaply and replace every 3 years as the trends recycle."
What Sort Of Leather Does Poly & Bark Use?
Using that same Napa leather sofa as an example, Poly & Bark says this:
Full-grain pure-aniline (cognac tan) or semi-aniline (all other colors) dyed Italian tanned leather upholstery
No mention of splits on the back or anything about other materials used.
Now, Poly & Bark lets you order a free swatch (still waiting on mine) so that could help answer some questions at least in regards to the leather used.
What Do Customers Say About Poly & Bark?
If you take a look at the reviews of the Poly & Bark Napa leather sofa on their website, the consensus appears to be that consumers love the product. With hundreds of reviews and a 4.8 star rating, I always get a bit skeptical when a company has control over the reviews. There are a few one star ratings but that is mostly about delivery and shipping and no complaints I can see about overall quality.
Thus I stepped outside of their website to see what people say when reviews are not completely under control.
One Yelp reviewer says that "the napa sofa is beautiful, comfortable and affordable" and overall have given Poly & Bark a 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Facebook reviewers also are very fond of the company with 5 out of 5 stars on 87 reviews. Again not a massive amount of reviews, but overall the reviews do seem genuine. This is one example but seems to be the consensus on happiness regarding quality.
However, it does appear that shipping is the biggest complaint among their customers. Here is one example:
Ultimately, i think the consensus is while not the highest quality leather (we would still like more clarification into the overall materials used) the products are quite stylish and affordable. Poly & Bark is one of many newer online furniture retailers that sources (and potentially dropships) from China, thus we can guarantee that their leather sofas might have some durability issues over time.
Have experience with Poly & Bark? Please comment below to let us know what you think or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.