As huge fans of Scandinavian mid-century style, we are always on the lookout for new retailers and companies specialising in reproducing these classic models. We explore our options, make test orders and annoy the customer service with arrays of questions in order to make detailed reviews for our readers. In other words, we test out the companies so you don’t have to and so you can make an informed decision about where will you get your brand new design. This week, we decided to take a look at a company that has been around for some time by now, Poly & Bark.
Company overview: Poly & Bark
Poly & Bark is a company that claims to be born out of necessities of an empty new apartment and over a box of pizza. This picturesque story perfectly matches the mix of various designs that you can find in their offer. With considerable experience in the market, Poly & Bark is not really a veteran in the industry, but is far from a new company. With that in mind, we expected these guys to show responsibility and reliability alongside all other qualities you would expect from a company that has already carved out a place for itself on the market.
Navigability of the website: 10/10
Poly & Bark really knows how to make a good website. It is very easy to use and you can find your way around it, browsing whatever type of furniture you are looking for in one to two clicks, without an issue. The front page welcomes you with a nice photo of a stylish apartment which is sure to get your imagination going and get you to channel your inner designer. You can easily browse different types of furniture using the top bar menu, while the more technical information regarding the company bio, various policies and FAQ sections can be easily accessed from the footer.
One of the biggest strengths of Poly & Bark is the exceptional affordability of their designs. Easily offering some of the lowest prices on the market, they can certainly get your attention with their too cheap to miss offers. However, they do somewhat decrease the positive impression by inflating their shipping costs a bit – which end up being on the higher end in the industry, so the prices you see on the website can be a bit misleading. However, even with that being considered, Poly & Bark still offers some of the most affordable designs out there.
Quality of the offer: 6/10
Now this is a tricky one. Poly & Bark really has some fairly nice designs, and some of our test orders ended up in the office exactly because how lovely they look. That being said, Poly & Bark doesn’t always deliver on the promise of high quality and ordering from them seems to be a bit of gamble. When it comes to our test orders, we were more pleased than not, but if you take time and check out some Poly & Bark reviews online, you can see that there is a significant number of customers complaining about the quality, the damaged goods or very significant mistakes when it comes to the very production process. So, rather than judging, here we would like more to point out to the possibility of improvement. Poly & Bark has to step up their game and ensure consistent quality of their deliveries if they want to stay a significant player in the industry.
Shopping experience: 7/10
Shopping experience with Poly & Bark is rather fine. As mentioned, the website is simple to use, and the same goes for the checkout page. However, there are two problems we mentioned – first, customer service guys aren’t available as one would expect them to be and rather than personalised answers, you will get rather generic copy’n’paste replies. And secondly, you will not get all the relevant information regarding return and refund policies, so that can lead to some confusion later on.
Ok, we complained about the lack of consistency when it comes to quality, but this is not the consistency we had in mind. Poly & Bark is notorious for its long delivery times and a whole range of problems with the shipping process, sometimes resulting goods being damaged. Again, it would be unfair if we would say that Poly & Bark never delivers on time – but just a quick look at the online reviews will quickly show you that only a small percentage of customers will receive their orders on time. This is another field where Poly & Bark definitely needs to step up and invest in logistics so they could ensure timely deliveries throughout the US.
Return and Refund policies: 7/10
Return and refund policies are pretty standard, so not much can be said about them. However, exactly because of that, we find it hard to realise why they are so vague with them until you actually request a refund. Paying for the shipping of the return is a bit annoying, but unfortunately standard practice throughout the US so we don’t see the reason to try and obscure that fact. The company is rather open about their rather inflated 30% repacking fee. However, that being said, you can still require a refund within as much as a whole month (albeit for reporting damage you have only 48 hours) which we think is rather fair. But with other problems in mind, Poly & Bark gets a 7 from us.
Customer service quality: 4/10
Ok, so this is arguably the weakest point of Poly & Bark, and we think so mostly because we see no rational excuse for this. Finding a really good CS team is not the easiest thing in the world, but finding an ok CS team is perfectly doable, so we really don’t know why they still keep people who are the opposite of forthcoming and who have no issues completely ignoring your calls and mails to the point that you are forced to try and reach the company through social media if you really need information. This is where we think Poly & Bark has to improve the most, and this is at the same time the most destructive influence on the shopping experience as such.
Overall grade: 7/10
So, all in all, Poly & Bark scored a medium 6.7 with us. With great affordability and potential to truly deliver exceptional design, Poly & Bark is not a bad company. But the potential it shows ends up being wasted. We would go as far as to suggest that we wouldn’t mind higher prices if the quality was consistent, deliveries within promised time spans and if customer service actually answered to inquiries. Overall, Poly & Bark can be a good option, a great option even, but it always feels a bit like gamble. We certainly hope to see them improve on these issues as we see amazing potential in this company and hope it will get realised.