At Total Bathrooms we pride ourselves on being the exclusive suppliers of Roper Rhodes, Laura Ashley, Tavistock and R2 factory 2nds bathroom products. All of these items come directly from the manufacturers and we display them in the dedicated 2nds showroom at our location in Bath.
But what makes a factory 2nds item, a 2nd?
Being a factory 2nds item doesn’t necessarily mean the item is damaged. Often the items we have received are deemed 2nds due to issues with their packaging. This could be that they were supplied to someone, opened and then returned and the packaging could not be put back to new. Potentially it’s been water damaged, knocked in transit or similar.
It’s hard for us to tell if this is the case but often if the product looks like new, it’s likely to be because of one of these reasons.
Despite being manufacturers and suppliers, Roper Rhodes and Tavistock etc. have their own company showrooms to show businesses like ourselves. They even have display trucks that drive around with a full display in the back!
When they update the displays, they don’t simply throw out the old units, taps, basins and toilets but rather they pass them over to us! Quite often these are like new but they can have some signs of wear, particularly where they’ve been fitted but this is often entirely hidden once they have been re-fitted.
This is the most obvious reason for a 2nds to be given to us, but the actual damages can vary wildly.
One of the most common damages that occurs in 2nds furniture is the “transit bar” in the rear of the unit breaks. This bar actually only exits to ensure the unit doesn’t flex during transit (as the name suggests!) and makes no difference once fitted. This means that a unit that is given to us as damaged, is actually practically new once fitted as the bar has no function at that stage.
Other damages can be small chips and marks. We have access to matching touch up paints from the manufacturers so in the case of small paint chips in furniture, we can often supply a pot of paint to cover this up when you purchase a 2nds item. Often on worktops, the corners are chipped but this is easily rectified by simply trimming the end off the piece.
In the case of ceramic basins, sometimes there are chips or cracks in the glaze. We will assess whether these are in a position which will allow water ingress and if they’re no good we get rid of them. But in most instances, these basins are perfectly fine to use and are a bargain!
Mirrors & Electricals
We sometimes get electrical items in factory 2nds, the most common ones being mirrors with lighting and demister pads.
We test all of these items before putting them on display and selling them. However, they don’t always work! This isn’t a problem for a mirror though, because of course it still works as a mirror. If an item is found to have an electrical fault we will make it safe and ensure it’s marked as faulty, with a price reflecting the reduced functions.
Of course like furniture, mirrors can also sometimes have small marks or chips. If there are any it’s often on the corners.
End of Line & Pre-Production
Sometimes something simply doesn’t sell. Our suppliers regularly change out their ranges as new styles come into fashion and they produce new products. Some time after this happens, any remaining products are cleared and are often given to us as factory 2nds. Generally this means the products are perfect but sometimes due to the space of time they’ve been stored for, they have some small marks.
We also very occasionally receive pre-production items. These are effectively prototypes that were used to display potential ranges and are then cleared once the item enters full production. Normally these have been displayed so may have some slight marks and sometimes the colours differ slightly to the final production models.
Whilst many 2nds are almost perfect, some have small damages and imperfections such as the transit bar breaking, or marks on the corners.
Returns & Credit
As you can see from what we’ve talked about above, the condition of factory 2nds can vary wildly. For this reason, we insist on customers inspecting their 2nds in person before they are collected or delivered, and that they are therefore “sold as seen”.
Of course in the event that an item presents additional faults to those originally found (such as a previously working LED mirror failing immediately, or a unit suddenly falling apart) we are happy to find replacements and swap these over for you. We have a huge amount of stock of factory 2nds, both in our showroom in Bath and in our off-site storage warehouse, so we can normally find an alternative.
As a rule we do not offer refunds on 2nds items. However if you decide that an item ultimately does not suit your bathroom and you have not installed/used it yet, we can sometimes offer a credit on return so that you can select alternative items and put the money towards something more suitable.