Once when I was in business school, a professor told me, “you’re not really doing anything in business until you get your first lawsuit.” I thought to myself, “come on, why would I want that?”. Well, our little company is facing one of our biggest challenges in our 4 year existence.
This battle goes back to the age old battle of reproduction vs. originally licensed classic debate. I rather not get into the ethics or morality of Paradigm Gallery providing modern classic reproductions, but designs have entered the public domain, and our customers deserve options. You can purchase an original Barcelona Chair from Knoll at nearly $4k, or you can have the OPTION of buying from us for a quarter of that price. It’s about options. That’s why Paradigm Gallery exists and our purpose.
We never mislead customers…EVER! We make it very clear that we DO NOT provide originals through our product descriptions, and even more vehemently through our customer care team. We also do not bad mouth originals, talk about how overpriced they are, nor do we ever talk foul about any competitor in the market. In fact, we sometimes refer potential customers to our competitors if they provide a better price or availability. Again, we care about profits, but we feel that treating a customer properly is paramount and everything else will fall in place.
Our Barcelona Chair reproduction, called the Pavillion Chair, is under attack by Knoll. Knoll wants us to stop selling this reproduction, among a couple of other of Knoll’s original designs. This is a tough challenge for us. In fact, go to our Pavillion Chair page and you’ll see that we actually promote the original from Knoll through their dealer, Design Within Reach. Again, we provide options for you. That’s our goal.
We respect Knoll and in all our marketing of our reproduction vs. their original, we’ve always given them the proper respect.
Where do you stand on this issue? What do you think? Give us your opinions, support, criticism, anything.