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Copycat Upholstery: A Review

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  • Copycat Upholstery: A Review

    This is a review of Copycat Upholstery Inc., a company in Orlando, Florida that specializes in mail order boat upholstery. I am writing this to share my experience with the company and their product and to hopefully help others make an informed decision.
    Their contact info is:
    Copycat Upholstery Inc
    3416 Shader Road
    Orlando, FL 32808
    www.copycatcovers.com

    Toll Free: (888) 599-9366

    Email: sales@copycatcovers.com
    Sales: Archie@copycatcovers.com

    As anyone that has even thought about pricing a new interior for their boat knows, replacing all of the vinyl upholstery in your boat can be very costly. When I got the green light from the boss lady to do this project, I started to get quotes from various places both local and mail order. These prices ranged from $2500 to $1000 for my 1989 Ski Nautique (20ft closed bow ski boat). Now, that’s quite a difference.
    I intend to break this up into 3 sections: Customer Service, Product Quality, and Overall Impression.

    Customer Service Rating: 3/10
    Copycat came in at the low end of the pricing spectrum at just over $1100. I submitted a request for quote through their website in August of 2010. I received a prompt reply from Scott at Copycat giving me a price. I was not ready to purchase yet and he continued to keep in touch by email over the next several weeks. In late August, I received a promotional email from Copycat offering 15% off for orders placed by the end of the month.
    I had already decided to give Copycat a try so this was icing on the cake. I went ahead and placed the order. Copycat required a 50% deposit up front to reserve a date of my choice. I scheduled my slot for Dec 6th 2010 and was promised a 2 week turnaround. In the next week, I received a package from Copycat containing my invoice and receipt as well as vinyl samples. I also received an email from Scott to verify that I had received the package.
    In late November, I contacted Scott again asking what information he needed and the best way to send it. He told me to select the colors I wanted, write the details down and send the details and the color sample with the skins. I also added some special instruction. I asked for the “storage pocket” to be duplicated in grey rather than the original red and for the original of that piece to be returned.
    I shipped my skins to Copycat on Nov 30th to make sure they had them in hand for the Dec 6th slot I had reserved. I also called to confirm that they received the covers later that week. I was expecting them to be finished and returned by Christmas. Christmas came and went without new skins and I really didn’t think anything of it due to the holidays. By middle of January I was beginning to get concerned. I emailed Scott and this time I received a reply from Archie. I learned that not only were my skins not finished, they had not been started yet.
    3 weeks later, I still had not received my skins. I called Copycat and again spoke to Archie on Tues. Feb 8th. I was told they would be ready by the end of the week. On Mon Feb. 14th I called again. This time the phone # was disconnected and I could not reach anyone. This worried me to say the least. I emailed Archie as well as the general sales email address found on their website. I received a reply the next day from Jamie. This email contained photos of my new vinyl. I was told that my order was ready to ship and that he would get the tracking number to me as soon as they did ship.
    On Friday of that week (2/18/11) I still had not received a tracking number and called again. This time I spoke to Archie again and was told that they still needed to add the snaps (3 on the back of the “pocket”) and they would then be ready to ship Monday at the latest.
    Monday came and went, no contact. On Tuesday I called again. Still waiting on snaps. I called again Wed, 2-23-11 and still waiting on snaps (3 freaking snaps!) At this point I told them I needed the skins shipped that week, with or without the snaps. Archie again promised they would get them shipped ASAP. On Thursday (2/24/11) Archie called and said the snaps were on and that he needed to verify my shipping address so he could send the skins. (Happy!) He was to call me back later that day with tracking info. No call later that day, but he did contact me Friday morning 2-25-11 confirming that they had shipped.
    On Tues. March 1st, I received my new seat skins via USPS. 8 weeks late and 13 weeks from when I shipped the originals.
    I must add that they monogrammed the Nautique “N” logo onto the rear backrest. This was a $100 option I had not selected and was not charged for. I had originally asked for pricing on adding a “Correct Craft” logo but decided against it.
    Overall, the skins were way behind schedule on the promised delivery date. I could accept this better if I was not told on 2/8/11 that they were ready to ship, only to have them actually shipped 3 weeks later on 2/24/11. Contact with the company was also iffy. Email went unanswered for the most part. Phone calls were answered promptly with the exception of the day it was not in service. They were not as good about returning calls with the information requested if they did not have it on hand.

    Product Quality Rating: 8/10
    After receiving the seat skins, I took them out of the box and examined them. Initial impression was good. The vinyl was good quality and the colors were good. The seams were straight, and the stitching looked good.
    They left extra material at the edges of each piece, this helped greatly in stretching the skins during install. Fitment was very good. I did not have any issues with fitment during installation. The seams lined up well with the edges of my seat bases and the material stretched into position well and overall looks very good.
    Minor issues I have with the quality were that some of the stitching started to unravel at the edges as I stretched the skins into position, this only happened in areas I had to trim anyway but a stop stitch of some sort would have been nice. There was also one place on the Captains seat cushion at the rear that looked unfinished. After being installed, the vinyl should wrap around to the bottom of the seat frame, at this area the vinyl had no welt or stitching (aprox 2 inches) on either side. I believe it should have been folded over and stitched. I fixed this with a small amount of spray adhesive.
    Overall I am very happy with the product quality. The fitment was very good and this helped make the installation look as good as possible, especially since I had no previous experience working with upholstery.

    Overall Impression Rating: 7/10
    I was very disappointed in the time it took to receive my seat skins. I got an impression of disorganization from them when I called. Seemed like they could stand to hire an office manager or a receptionist to handle customer calls. Someone besides the salesman. But overall the quality and price helps to ease that pain. The quality is on par with any of the local shops I contacted (better than some) at about half the price.
    If I had not started this project when I did, I might have a different opinion. But as it stands, I will not miss any boating time so I can be a little more lenient than I would be otherwise.
    My advice to anyone that chooses to use Copycat, start early. Do this project at the beginning of your layup season. Since you have to send them your originals, your boat will be down until you get the new skins. Call them often, make sure your job is a priority .This is a “squeeky wheel” case, don’t let them forget about your order.
    Would I use them again? Probably. Like I said, the price difference is significant. I would not wait as long to call and check on the status though.

  • #2
    Link to photos of finished product:

    http://www.correctcraftfan.com/forum...ing-upholstery

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    • #3
      Nice, honest review.
      Now
      2000 SAN

      Previously
      1999 Air Nautique
      1996 Tige Pre-2000
      1989 Lowe 24' Pontoon / Johnson 100HP outboard

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      • #4
        Nice review. When I was replacing a skin I didn't get past step 1 with Copycat. I submitted a request for quote and never heard back from them. I took that as a bad sign and with their mixed reviews I decided to go with Nautiqueskins.
        2005 SANTE

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        • #5
          I think this is probably a fair review. I have not used either, but it seems to go along with the "get what you pay for" mantra. I am sure that copy cat does excellent work, but maybe they are not able to hire an office person because that would make price go up. Unfortunately, with the economy the way it is, we all have to sacrifice a few things for $$$ now.
          Either way, thanks for taking the time to write this and help others in the process.

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          • #6
            No problem. After doing my own research, I felt that there was alot of info on several different forums that just didnt add up completely. Everything was "a friend of a guy I know" type second hand (or third) info and it was hard to find alot of first hand info. So thats what I wanted to provide for the next guy that tries to have this done.

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            • #7
              very nice review, and will be helpful to many im sure ... that poor communication via email correspondence is something that i have encountered more than once when ordering something, and it never fails to royally piss me off and leave a bad taste in my mouth about that business. I suppose its because email is so easy to use and is usually listed as a way to contact them on their site ... but some folks just arent very good at using it as a means of communication
              2003 SANTE - "OG 210"

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              • #8
                Bigger question is would you buy from them again knowning what you know today?
                2003 226 LE

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by obd666 View Post
                  that poor communication via email correspondence is something that i have encountered more than once when ordering something, and it never fails to royally piss me off and leave a bad taste in my mouth about that business.
                  I agree 100%. I use email as a primary method of communication on a daily basis so I cant understand a business not being prompt on replies.

                  Originally posted by Lvnspeed
                  Bigger question is would you buy from them again knowning what you know today?
                  actually answered that in the last line of the post. Maybe I should make it bold or something so its easier to see? That was something i made sure I put i nthe review.

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                  • #10
                    I also had Copycat do some work for me this winter, I feel Chris4x4Gill2 ratings are right.
                    I had very similar customers service as far as product turn around and communication. I sent my skins in early October and got them back a few weeks ago.
                    I don't have the product tacked yet but it looks like quality craftsmanship and the material feels good and looks good.
                    If anyone does use Copycat take Chris4x4Gill2 advise on sending your skins in at the start of the layup season and stay on them to get them finished!

                    I talked to Archie to see what the deal was and it sounds like he was left with a huge mess when Scott left. So I'm sure we weren't the only customers that had this issue. The poor customer service was pre-Archie so I don't blame him for any of my concerns with Copycat, when I dealt with him it was all positive and I was seeing results.
                    I'll give Archie credit for busting his *** to get my skins found, done and returned to me. I hope they get their loose ends straightened up and wish him and Copycat the best of luck in the future!
                    1998 Correct Craft Air Nautique DD
                    FCT 2 by NDT
                    Teak Platform Restoration
                    Re-Carpet Trailer
                    Oxidation Removal
                    Install Automatic Ballast System
                    Re-Decal Boat
                    Interior Restoration

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                    • #11
                      Your right about the turnover I suspect. That probably had alot to do with the feeling of disorganization

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                      • #12
                        I think it would be a good idea to make them aware of this post, too.

                        Great write up. Honest, and fair. If he sees it, it may give him some guidance moving forward. No harm in constructive criticism.
                        the WakeSlayer
                        1999 Super Air - Python Powered <-- For Sale
                        1968 Correct Craft Mustang

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                        • #13
                          I promised them finished photos when I have everything installed. Ill add a link to here then.

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                          • #14
                            I would like to know how your skins are holding up after 3 years of use? And how much exposure do they receive during the year to the elements (how many days is the boat out).

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