Shopping Strategies

How to Avoid Regret When Buying Your Couch Online

The Exclusive Simpli Home Interview: CEO Yoram Weinrich shows you how to ensure the quality of your couch, how Simpli Home beats their competitors and much more

I had the great pleasure of having a true expert walk me through one of the most difficult challenges consumers face in online furniture shopping: how to determine if something is a piece of crap.

Yoram Weinrich, the co-founder and CEO of Simpli Home Furniture, a manufacturer and direct-to-consumer retailer known for their quality and commitment to sustainable production and distribution practices, has been in the industry for a VERY long time.

What makes him an expert in online furniture shopping is that he was part of the very first wave of e-commerce furniture retail and has worked with virtually every major marketplace in the US, if not the world, including Amazon, Overstock, Wayfair, Home Depot and Walmart, among others. This man has seen it all and he is keenly aware of his company's need to differentiate themselves from a very crowded landscape- one that has become saturated with lower-cost providers, mostly from China, skimping on quality and undercutting their competitors, like Simpli Home.

In our conversation, it's quite clear that Yoram is deeply committed to doing things the right way (Simpli Home reviews prove it), the way that will make customers the most satisfied, instead of cutting corners to save dollars on manufacturing, packaging and shipping costs. Yoram is a true furniture expert and below is a synopsis of the interview we had recently.

The Exclusive Simpli Home Interview: CEO Yoram Weinrich shows you how to ensure the quality of your couch, how Simpli Home beats their competitors, and much more

Industry Challenges

Yoram sheds light on the challenges within the furniture industry, particularly concerning online marketplaces like Amazon. He highlights the prevalence of Chinese companies producing inexpensive, low-quality furniture, dominating search results with minimal profit margins.

Yoram's Experience and Simpli Home's Mission

Yoram emphasizes the importance of legacy and integrity in producing furniture, expressing disdain for compromising on quality for profit. He is deeply committed, as is his entire company, to a pursuit of offering great quality furniture at a great value and doing it in a way that is sustainable for the environment.

Tips for Consumers in a Noisy Market

Alex and Yoram discuss the difficulties consumers face in distinguishing between quality and subpar products online. Yuram stresses the need for research and brand awareness, urging consumers to delve into product specifications to identify genuine quality.

Exploring Furniture Quality and Material Choices

Yoram delves into the intricacies of furniture quality, emphasizing factors like leather type, fabric durability, and environmental considerations. He educates viewers on discerning quality through specifications like rub tests and material origins.

Navigating the Online Furniture Landscape

Alex and Yoram discuss the challenges of navigating the online furniture market, where genuine quality can be obscured by marketing tactics. Yuram emphasizes the importance of platforms like in educating consumers and promoting reputable brands.’s Exclusive Interview with Simpli Home's Founder, Yoram Weinrich

Yoram Weinrich: If you go on Amazon, the challenge on Amazon or on the marketplaces today is you go on, and there's a lot of Chinese companies out there producing very Walmart-level or cheaper stuff. They are at the top of search. That's where they are. They're working on 5-cent profit, and they're low. They look to cut corners, and they look to cheapen the product. They look to find pennies because that's what they're working on.

Alex Back: You look okay.

Yoram Weinrich: Feel okay.

Alex Back: Okay. How do you feel though?

Alex Back: All right, let's do it. Hey everyone, it's Alex with, and I'm here with Yoram Weinrich, the co-founder and CEO of Simpli Home, one of my favorite furniture brands. How are you today, Yoram?

Yoram Weinrich: Everything is good.

Alex Back: I really got to say, I think you may have the best glasses in the furniture industry. Where did you get those spectacles?

Yoram Weinrich: These are my designer glasses. This is a new look that my optometrist foisted upon me.

Alex Back: Foisted?

Yoram Weinrich: Yes, I've been foisted. You saw the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode?

Alex Back: Yes, foisted. See, these are my regular-looking glasses.

Yoram Weinrich: Oh my goodness. My screen glasses that are... She foisted them on me.

Alex Back: Okay. They also look really nice too.

Yoram Weinrich: Very stylish.

Alex Back: They were very stylish. All right, let's move on. We are not here to talk about glasses, we are here to talk about furniture. You have been in the business for quite some time. You have an amazing supply chain network and an amazing quality product. I know because I have my own Simpli Home couch right here, and I've spoken with a number of people from your company, and I hold it in very high regard.

Yoram Weinrich: We want to produce products that we like, that we're proud of. We don't want to cut corners and cheapen things to save five bucks. As an owner of a company, as an entrepreneur, there's a little bit of an element of legacy, and there's a little element of you want to do stuff.

Alex Back: You want to do the right thing, and yeah, that's the right thing to do.

Yoram Weinrich: Like I don't want to produce crap. Right? Some people do.

Alex Back: Of course.

Yoram Weinrich: Yes, and at that level, there's a lot of volume. If you go on Amazon, the challenge on Amazon or on the marketplaces today is you go on, there's a lot of Chinese companies out there producing very Walmart-level or cheaper stuff, and they are at the top of search.

Alex Back: Dominating in many categories. And I'm thinking outside of furniture too. It's unbelievable.

Yoram Weinrich: Yeah, and they are because they produce, they're working on 5-cent profit. They look to cut corners, they look to cheapen the product, and they look to find pennies because that's what they're working on. And because it's low price, it clogs up the top of search. It's not like a mall where you can go and say, "I want to get West Elm," or "I want to get Walmart." It's a challenge, and we're devoting a lot of resources, including, to identify ourselves as what we're putting behind the picture and what we're doing because it's all invisible to the degree I'm selling a picture.

Alex Back: I think that's amazing. And actually, first of all, everything you just talked through is incredibly interesting. I think a good lead into this entire conversation for the users of is this topic that we're discussing right now. How can your average user differentiate between—everyone takes a leap of faith when they buy something online—how can they differentiate? Let's say they're shopping a marketplace like Amazon, how do they differentiate between something that is of good quality and not good quality? I feel like I have a pretty good sniff test, but then I'll order the back massager that I'm like, "Oh no, this was crap. Whoops, I made a mistake." You don't want to do that with a $2,000 couch or whatever the case may be. So, what are your tips? What would you do as a consumer to differentiate?

Yoram Weinrich: It's a challenge, to be honest. It's a challenge, but the marketplaces have not successfully segmented their audiences so that they're aware of what they're shopping for. And especially in an area that's as poorly branded as furniture, it's a challenge for sure. It's a challenge. I think the real thing that you have to do when you're shopping by picture is do a bit of research and see that it's a brand. If you look up Simpli Home or Simpli Home Reviews or Simpli Home couch and you go to our site and you go to Amazon, number one, you got to read. You got to take a look at the pictures and the specs. It's important to understand what is the spec, what is a good spec, what makes a quality product, what makes a quality couch. We can take $100 or $200 off that couch or more behind you, probably more in terms of my cost, so we can make that couch cheaper.

Alex Back: Oh yes, we could sell it. The packaging alone, I've been talking to everybody over town about the packaging. It's unbelievable, but keep going.

Yoram Weinrich: You look at the leather. A big element of a quality couch is the fabric. There's a huge range. I could call anything real leather, and the scope of what is on that couch behind you, which is aniline pull-up leather, which ages and you see the wear as you go along and you get that patina and all that, versus a really good semi-aniline, which also is nice. But again, there's different qualities of semi-aniline, but it's more uniform. It doesn't age in that way, and it's a different look and a quality touch, but it's way cheaper. Or you can go to buffalo hide. If you get out of India, you get a buff hide, which is a third of the cost of the leather. And everything's real leather. In terms of fabric, you're looking at things like rub tests. What's the rub test on the fabric? That indicates either commercial grade at 50,000 or 80,000 or 100,000 rub tests, which means how much it can be rubbed until it starts to wear.

Alex Back: Quite literally.

Yoram Weinrich: Yes, or residential, 25,000. Does it have recycled material? Our leather, for example, as well, is an environmental leather. There are a lot of elements to what makes an environmental leather. Our kind of leather is from Brazil. And the fabrics are, does it have recycled material in it, does it not have recycled material? What's the touch feel? A lot of things you can't get from a picture, but we have a lot of rich content, and we try to put as much as we can and we provide for videos. It's a challenge. It's really a challenge, but you got to dig, especially in such an expensive purchase where you can find a couch that looks like that for 500 bucks, but it's not.

Alex Back: I feel very validated right now because this is quite literally what I'm trying to do with this platform,, to really help the retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, everybody in the industry that's actually doing really good hard work, to have them come to the front. Because there's so much noise right now, and everybody makes a couch these days, but knowing which one is a good one that's going to be great quality and safe for your family for a long time is very difficult. I guarantee you this, Yoram, if someone is watching this and just heard you talk through all of that, 100%, I would buy a couch from you. Are you kidding me? But they don't have access to people like you. You're a busy CEO, right? And that's really what I'm trying to do with, and I think that's ultimately what the industry needs. So, thank you for validating my feelings on this Monday morning.

Yoram Weinrich: Look, the reality is that especially with a couch, so much is hidden and so many details you're looking at. You could do a section on the interior structure, you can do a section on foam, polyfill, and feathers, and how that creates comfort. You can do it on zigzag springs versus webbing versus eight-way hand-tied and the difference in the seating comfort.

Alex Back: All articles we have at, by the way, but keep going.

Yoram Weinrich: I'm trying to help.

Alex Back: Okay. You're doing great.

Yoram Weinrich: And the wide variety of quality of fabrics as well, and what that means in terms of seating comfort and durability, and commercial grade versus non-commercial grade and all the rest of the stuff. Other than saying, "Okay, that's a $500 couch, that's a $2,000 couch," people really don't understand, and it's difficult. I would have to read. Please certainly read Simpli Home reviews.

Alex Back: We all do. That's what I say to everyone. I don't actually know all the—I couldn't go to a couch website or sofa store and tell you every single thing you might need to know. If you're really concerned as a consumer about getting a good quality product, you have to do some digging. That being said, there are a lot of really good quality—it's not like everyone's trying to scam people in this industry. If someone's been in business for a long time in furniture, they're doing something right, whether that's a mom-and-pop retailer down the street from you or a manufacturer. I think that generally one can trust a lot of the furniture that they buy. Your average consumer sniff test will probably weed out some of the bad eggs, but I think reading and learning about brands a little bit more is very important, like you said.

Alex Back: How did you get into the furniture industry?

Yoram Weinrich: You don't choose the furniture industry, the furniture industry chooses you.

Alex Back: Do you feel like that was the case?

Yoram Weinrich: I'm not sure.

Alex Back: I'm not sure. Wow, really batting a thousand here, Alex. All right, how did you get into the furniture industry? Tell us the story.

Yoram Weinrich: The company was, for the first 10 or 12 years of its existence, a sourcing company. I lived overseas for a number of years. I came back with three children, having to start trying to make a living at 40. It was early days of the internet, 2000. Alibaba existed. My partner, who is my brother, was working at Home Depot at the time. We had another partner there for a while, and there was an opportunity. I had sourced certain things already and found a couple of products that were very cheap. I could way cheap that in Home Depot and things like that, and I started selling opportunistically a wide variety of products—everything from polyethene architectural molding to inflatable hot tubs to patio furniture to gazebos to outerwear and to furniture. So, one of the products was furniture at that time, and so we started doing that.

Yoram Weinrich: Some factory designs, some of our designs. We created a range of products and showed it to Home Depot Canada, and we got it in for quite a number of years. Then we went to Walmart, went to Zellers, went to a whole bunch of different companies. We were looking for sales reps to get us into different retailers, and we were scrambling a bit. A Canadian rep group approached us and said, "Hey, would you mind if we take some of your products and sell them to Costco Canada?" They asked me to go to that first meeting with Costco because I was a product expert in the furniture that we were producing in Vietnam. The good thing about working with large retailers is you do learn how to make quality products because everything has to be tested.

Alex Back: Oh yeah, I worked with Costco, and they'll chop that thing up and make sure all the bits are right.

Yoram Weinrich: Yep, so we had to go through all that testing process. They party test in labs, and so we produced quality products. When we went to Costco, when I went to Costco, this was for And I said, "How much?" It was 2012, and I said, "Who buys furniture online? That doesn't even make sense. This is stupid." Anyway, so I went to the meeting, and they told me the volume they were moving at that time, and my jaw dropped. I went, "How much are you selling?" And they told me the quantity, and I said, "Really?" So it opened my eyes, and we said, "Okay, we'll bring a couple of containers in for ourselves, and we'll try to get into some online guys in the US and Canada." We did, and we said, "Okay, we're going to sell 100 pieces a month, 50 pieces a month, that'd be great. That'll be great, extra money, hallelujah." We launched around Black Friday in 2012, so we didn't really feel anything. Then we suddenly got on, I think we got on Overstock first, and then Wayfair, and then Amazon. By the second Black Friday, the first year of Black Friday, the few containers that we had in stock just went "boom" and disappeared on Black Friday. We went, "Oh, that's exciting, I think we got something here." At that time, I was taking pictures myself of the furniture in the corner of the thing. I was running the ads, I was doing the traditional thing, and we were just bootstrapping everything. In those days, it was the good old days that you didn't have to pay for advertising, and there were not a lot of people online, so we were top of search. So, we grew. We started with around 60 products, and we quickly added a lot of products and a lot of different categories. Then, we added upholstered ottomans and bathroom vanities and laundry cabinets. We started going higher-end with doing ready-to-assemble furniture with higher-end versions of that. So, we did rubberwood, solid rubberwood, solid acacia, solid mango.

Alex Back: Makes a big difference, but yeah, keep going.

Yoram Weinrich: Yeah, and now we're doing oak veneers and walnut veneers as well. This year, we introduced sofas, higher-end sofas, our couches, and we just introduced four new styles right now. We're going to introduce another four styles in the fall and probably another four or eight styles in 2025, trying to get, I think, around 20 styles in stock and moving higher and higher. I think that the path to knowledge is through ignorance, and if you are aware that you're ignorant and you go and seek to educate yourself, especially if you don't want to get a basic couch. If you are not looking for an inexpensive couch, that could be a quality couch for what it is, which is the $300, $400, $500 couches. They are that price for a reason. They have cheaper materials, cheaper fabrics, cheaper—everything. They're good for what they are, potentially. They probably pass quality. They have four-and-a-half-star reviews, it's all fine. But if you're going for a more expensive couch, and what we pride ourselves on, we are at Restoration Hardware level—not, sorry, we're not Restoration Hardware, but we're Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, West Elm level in quality, but we just do it at a great price. But in order to know that, you have to go to a platform like yours where you get educated and you say, "Okay, what should I want if I'm spending so much money?" Once you get that clarity, then you can take a look, and you can always communicate on our website. You can go to our customer support and communicate and ask. There'll always be somebody to educate you. It is an expensive purchase, it's a couple thousand or $1,500, that's not a little bit of money. What we're trying to do is create something that's durable and that you can live with and be comfortable with for a long time.

Alex Back: This has been a wonderful conversation. You are clearly a deep resource for knowledge and education on this industry. I'm probably going to tap into it at another time if you would let me. We have a lot of topics we didn't cover, but I hope we can have you back at to speak to the good people in our community about various things that you know a lot about.

Yoram Weinrich: Thanks very much. I appreciate it.

Alex Back: Okay, and a link to Yoram's glasses will be in the notes if anyone's interested.

A smiling man with short brown hair and a beard stands on a beach during sunset. He is wearing a black short-sleeved shirt with small white dots. The ocean and sandy shore are in the background, creating a warm and relaxed atmosphere.
Alex Back is the founder and CEO of Previously, he was the co-founder and COO of the popular furniture brand, Apt2B, which was acquired by a large US retail furniture chain in 2018. He worked to integrate Apt2B, one of the very first online furniture retailers on the Shopify platform, into the operations of the 100 year old larger business entity and was deeply immersed in the business operations of both online and brick and mortar retail for 4 years before leaving in 2023 to start Working in various parts of the furniture industry since 2004, he has 20 years experience in retail sales, e-commerce, marketing, operations, logistics and wholesale manufacturing and distribution. He has worked extensively with partners such as Costco, Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon and his work has been highlighted in many publications such as Forbes, CNN and HGTV, among others. Alex is delighted to bring his experience and authority on couches and the furniture industry to this platform, along with many of his industry colleagues who are helping him keep the audience informed and engaged on a daily basis.
Alex Back CEO & Founder