Happy New Year, Venture Friends!
As we say goodbye to 2016 and welcomed in 2017, it’s given me a chance to reflect on Venture’s history and where we are headed in the new year. Venture is a family owned company. We believe in treating those as we’d like to be treated. 2017 is a big year for the Venture family…it is the 5th anniversary for Chris and I and the 20th anniversary of Venture. I am proud to say that we have been a mainstay in the market for 20 years. We’ve weathered some of the most trying times…9/11 and the 2008 housing crash, to name a few, by telling the truth and manufacturing a high-quality product. However, I feel compelled to write this; a buyer’s guide to game tables, for those clients looking to make an informed, honest purchase. In the end, I would love for you to purchase a Venture game table; but if you don’t, I want you to receive the product you believe you are buying. There are many companies that have been diving into the game table business in in the last 5 years; they range from furniture companies and some guys in their garages with an enormous Instagram following.
At the end of the day, are they producing the product that they are advertising? That’s the question I now pose. Let’s talk about some of the key terms to look for when researching your new game table that should be considered red flags. Words that the “custom made table” you are purchasing may in fact come on a boat, in a container from another country.
Some of the first things I look for when researching any product is where it’s made. Not many online markets will disclose where the product they are selling are made. That’s to give the illusion of custom, American made products. An example is a VERY large furniture retailer that now has a line of game tables has a disclaimer about the ordering process:
“Custom orders begin production immediately upon order and are built to your specifications.” Here’s the problem…How do you figure out if it actually is custom made for you? If a product comes in a limited size selection (ie, a shuffleboard in a 12’ and 14’ size only) or only one finish (as shown in photo), this is not a “custom made for you” product. If you have to wait for the next “shipment”? There’s that boat again. Laurel Bern wrote a fantastic blog post about this.
I also have a problem with warranties that last 30-90 days. I sometimes don’t even get to really dig into a new toy in 30-90 days and on a huge purchase like a game table, that you are spending thousands of dollars on, warranty issues can be more subtle. Venture offers a lifetime warranty on all our shuffleboard playfields. Am I nuts? That’s obvious, but I want to make sure that the consumer understands that I stand squarely behind my products and will always be available to answer any questions about your purchase: today, tomorrow or in 10 years when you’re moving into your Florida house.
But, I digress…back to your online shopping. So, you are tootling around the internet and see a really cool, out of the box design and start looking further and see that the company making it has jumped from one product line to another (ie, skateboards to shuffleboard tables). You should ask yourself if they are in it for the long haul or looking to make a splash and dash in the market. If you call, ask them about the climatic adjusters on the table (those metal things under a shuffleboard table that make it play just right) if they have no clue what you are talking about or even tell you that their tables don’t need them, listen carefully…RUN. Don’t walk. If they don’t know enough to know that a shuffleboard is a big piece of wood that will move, even slightly, they are not the people to give your hard earned money to.
We at Venture have ridiculously high standards. We are woodworkers. Craftsman. Every table that comes out of our shop has been hand crafted FOR YOU. When you call our 800 line, you are calling me, in the factory. Not a customer service center. We have been building the highest quality game tables for 20 years and long after the furniture companies and garage guys are gone, we will still be here…crafting a beautiful product that will last for generations. A game table that will create memories, laughter and happiness. We are the best. We are Venture Game.