|Source • Brands||
Price • Origin
The End of the Asia Marketeer?
Ruvati is an Asian Marketeer — an importer of fair to relatively inexpensive faucets from various Asian manufacturers that it sells retail in North America, primarily through internet outlets, under its own brand name.
There are a great many Asian Marketeers in the U.S. today — over two dozen, up from three in 1999. About half of all the faucet companies selling in North America are Asia Marketeers, yet they account for only 6-8% of faucet sales.
The market segment is already very crowded and will likely get more crowded in the future as as new Marketeers enter the market, and as large Chinese factories introduce their own retail brands into North America. Asia Marketeers can also expect rapidly growing direct competition from Chinese-based internet retailers selling their own brands of Asian made faucets directly to North American consumers through Asian-based English language retail sites on the internet.
We think the model is already starting to show signs of unraveling, and the problems for Asian Marketeers will only increase over the next decade. There is a good likelihood that many of the Asian Marketeers like Ruvati will fail.
Why is that important to you as a faucet owner? Simple. If you buy an Ruvati faucet and the company then goes under, your faucet is orphaned. There is no more warranty support and no parts supply for your faucet, so if it breaks, you are completely on your own.
For more information, go to Problems with the Marketeer Model.
Ruvati USA, Inc.
2712 Meister Pl.
Round Rock, TX 7866
(Meets North American Standard)
This Company In Brief
Ruvati USA, Inc. is a Texas corporation that imports faucets from China that it sells under the Ruvati brand primarily through internet retailers. Ruvati is not, as its literature claims, a manufacturer of faucets. Nor are Ruvati faucets custom designs created by or for Ruvati. They are faucets manufactured by two factories in Chinese.
Ruvati USA, Inc. is a Texas corporation owned by Ashraf Hossain. Mr. Hossain also owns Vantage Ideas Properties, Inc. which manages commercial buildings and was formerly associated with two other Texas companies, now defunct: Henry Home Improvement, Inc. ad X3 Security, LLC.
Ruvati is a relatively new company, formed in 2005. Before that date, no one had heard the name Ruvati, except as a Solvenian verb meaning "to uproot". The Ruvati trademark were filed for in November, 2011 and approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in early 2012. It has come a long way in a short time, having achieved considerable consumer notice, primarily due to its relatively low prices and expansive presence on the internet.
Ruvati claims to be "a manufacturer of premium stainless steel kitchen sinks and faucets."1 Ruvati is not, however, a manufacturer. It is an importer that operates out of an office/warehouse center in Round Rock, Texas,just northeast of Austin on I-35. It does not now, nor has it ever owned a factory or an assembly plant.
It buys sinks and faucets in the box and ready to sell from Chinese manufacturers and sells them in the North American under the Ruvati brand name. Some of its products appear to be purchased through Speed Industries, Ltd., a Chinese broker, which acts as a middleman between Chinese manufacturers and foreigh buyers like Ruvati. The actual manufacturers of its main product, stainless steel kitchen sinks, are be XinHe Stainless Steel Products Co., Ltd. and Guangdong Dongyuan Kitchen Utensil Co., Ltd. (also trading as Guangdong Dongyuan Kitchenware Industrial Co., Ltd.).
Like most Chinese manufacturers of stainless steel sinks, Ruvati's suppliers have been affected by an anti-dumping penalty imposed in 2012 by the International Trade Commission in response to a complaint by Elkay. The Commission found that Chinese stainless sink manufacturers had, in fact, been selling certain types of stainless sinks at below their fair market value due to substantial subsidies on steel by the Chinese government. As a result, the price of Chinese-made stainless sinks has gone up dramatically, as much as 185%. Ruvati sinks that were below $300 prior to 2013, are now offered at prices above $500.00: in line with high quality stainless sinks offered by more established manufacturers such as Elkay, Moen and Blanco.
We don't think the company's stainless sinks are much of a bargain any longer, but we have no concerns about the quality of the products. Nor does Ruvati, which backs its sinks with a limited lifetime warranty. Since there is almost nothing that can go wrong with a sink made of 304 stainless, this warranty is not actually much of a risk.
Ruvati claims that its faucets are
"designed down to the smallest detail. Every curve is excruciatingly molded, every subtle aspect is agonized over, every part is researched and rebuilt till it’s perfect".
Ruvati's "Designer Spanish Faucets"
In an e-mail received from Ruvati on June 6, 2016, the company stated:
We use Contract manufacturing from factories in Europe (Spain) and Asia (China). We do the designing ourselves for most of our products with help from a design firm in Korea, and we own those designs. We then contract out the manufacturing to multiple facilities overseas.This is a cleverly worded statement that gives the impression that Ruvati designs its own faucets without actually saying so. While Ruvati may design some of its products, it does not design faucets. Ruvati faucets are designed, engineered and prototyped by the Chinese factories that make them and are in the factories' . Ruvati faucets are "off-the-shelf" faucets, not custom designed by Ruvati or for Ruvati by some unspecified Korean designer.
Similarly, we don't know whether some of Ruvati's products are manufactured in Spain, but we do know that none of its faucets are manufactured anywhere except China. One of it's suppliers Heshan Wotai Sanitary Ware Co., Ltd., one of Ruvati's manufacturers, sells under the Giosa brand name in Europe and maintains a sales office in Valencia, Spain. (It also has sales offices in Brazil and Portugal). Its factory, however, is in Heshan City, China. It does not now nor has it ever manufactured in Spain.
We typically call on the companies we review to provide us with information about the company and its sink faucets. Most companies go out of their way to provide us with accurate and complete information. Some, like Ruvati, try to deceive us about one or more critical facts. We do not take such attempts lightly because they put us through an enormous amount of work to debunk the false statements. For this review our researchers spent more than 21 hours tracking down the source of every single faucet in the Ruvati inventory through customs and import records to two specific factories in China and to specific faucets in the factories , so we know for a fact that as of January 15, 2017 no Ruvati faucet was manufactured any place but in China as and that Ruvati had not designed even one sink faucet in its inventory. It may design other things with the help of its Korean designers, but not faucets.
So, the only real consequence of Ruvati's attempt to deceive us is that we will never again accept at face value any stamen made by the company.
You can download and read the Ruvati Faucet Identification Guide to find out which Chinese factory makes a particular Ruvati faucet. And, all of this could be true. It's just not done by Ruvati. Ruvati faucets are not designed by Ruvati, although Ruvati implies that they are (see sidebar: "Ruvati's Designer Spanish Faucets"). They are straight out of the of the Chinese manufacturers that make them.
Standard Chinese faucets use metric fittings and brass that may contain more lead than is permitted in North America. They need to be modified for the U.S./Canadian market to accommodate our quaint system of non-metric fittings and the strictest lead-free standard in the world. But, this is engineering, not design. The style of the faucet is not affected by these modifications.
Known manufacturers of Ruvati faucets are:
• Guangdong Holatz Plumbing Fittings Industries Co Ltd., (also trading as Guangdong Calise Sanitary Ware Industry Co., Ltd.). Holatz/Calise is a division of the Weiqiang Group of Chinese manufacturers that sell their own Calise brand internationally. The Group contacts with which rebrands them for sale in the U.S. as Cadell faucets. There is no observable overlap between the faucets sold by Ruvati and those sold by Cadell. They both sell from the same manufacturer, but have selected different faucet models from their supplier's extensive catalog.
• Heshan Wotai Sanitary Ware Co., Ltd. which has sold its own Giosa brand plumbing products in Europe through a marketing and warehousing facility in Valencia, Spain since 2013.Ruvati's website is very well organized, with clear, crisp pages, intuitive navigation and sparing use of Flash-y media. The site is refreshingly forthcoming about the features of individual faucets, including identifying the cartridge valve used in each faucet — a practice we wish every faucet seller would adopt. Installation instructions, downloadable as .pdf files, were crystal clear. Our plumbers had no problem installing our test faucets. Detailed specifications, often presented on other faucet company sites as .pdf documents, are presented right on the web page for each faucet, a much more convenient location for the viewer.
But, some faucet pages contain inconsistent information. For example, on June 3, 2016 when we last checked, the description of the RVF3103CH faucet indicated a limited lifetime warranty on the right side of the page, and a 1 year limited warranty on the left side. It cannot be both. This is probably just an oversight, but one that appears on a number of pages.
The Ruvati faucets we examined were found to be good-quality stainless and brass faucets with robust cartridge valves from Kerox Kft, a Hungarian manufacturer. Other faucet brands known to use this cartridge include
The faucets are available in just two finishes: brushed nickel and polished chrome. There is not option for any special finishes.
Ruvati has upgraded the term of its warranty from 1-year to a "lifetime" warranty since our initial review of the company which severely criticized its weak warranty. We consider this a major step in the right direction which suggests that the company is gaining more confidence in its products. The company has had the new warranty policy for just a few months, so there is no track record for post-sale customer support and warranty service. However, our experience with Ruvati customer service is that it is responsive and helpful. The Better Business Bureau rates the company A+ based on the no adverse reports by customers since the business was accredited by the BBB in December, 2013. This is an enviable record.
Ruvati claims that its faucets are certified "UPC, cUPC, IAPMO, NSF/ANSI 61, ASME A112.18.1/CSA B125.1" and entitled to display the copyrighted UPC shield logo that is prominently displayed on its web site. Unfortunately, there is not a shred of support for the claim2 or its display of the copyrighted UPC shield logo3.
On May 28, 2016 we notified Ruvati it was required by 10 C.F.R. §429.12 to file certificates of compliance with the Department of Energy. The company responded on June 6, 2016 that "We just started our filing process with DOE and are waiting for confirmation.". However, as of the date of this report the certificates are still not on file. Faucets not on file with the Department of Energy are not legal for sale in the U.S.
The company has been in business for just a few years. It has had a good start, but there is no guarantee that it will still be around a few years from now. Most new faucet companies, like new companies of all kinds, fail in the first few years. And, China-Marketeers like Ruvati are, we think, facing increasing price competition from even newer companies, and from the exploding number of China-based e-tailers jumping into the faucet business. One of the established China-Marketeers, FSA Imports, seller of the Fontaine brand, has already failed, and we anticipate more closings over the next five years.
We cannot suggest the purchase any faucet unless it is certified safe and reliable to North American standards. Without this certification it is not possible to tell whether a faucet is safe to use in your home, or is robust enough to withstand years of use without failing. It is not legal to install an uncertified faucet in a drinking water system any place in the U.S. (including all U.S. territories) or in Canada. In most places a licensed plumber will not install an uncertified faucet, and if it is installed you may be required to remove it or face criminal charges.
We also don't like the company's readiness to misrepresent its faucets by implication. It even attempted to misrepresent them to us, evidently unaware that we have the ability and resources to fact check. We can be fooled, bit it's not that easy. A company that deliberately employs false representation as a marketing tool is, in our opinion, not to be trusted.
Chinese and Taiwanese faucets similar to Ruvati include If you have experience with Ruvati faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear from you, so please contact us or leave a comment below.
1. At the bottom of every page of the Ruvati web site, the following appears the following notice:
"Ruvati USA is a manufacturer of premium stainless steel kitchen sinks and faucets. . . . . Ruvati faucets feature ceramic disc valves and exquisite brushed nickel or polished chrome finish. Quality you can trust, and functionality you will love... that's the Ruvati guarantee."
2. Certified UPC, cUPC or IAPMO is just shorthand for a certification of compliance with ASME A112.18.1/CSA b125.1 by IAPMO-RT, one of the seven accredited testing and certification organizations. The company claims certification of compliance with ANSI/NSF 61, but, in fact, it is certified just to ANSI/NSF 372 which is only one part of ANSI/NSF 61.
3. Only those faucets that have been tested and certified by IAPMO-RT to comply with ASME A112.18.1/CSA b125.1 are permitted to display the UPC or cUPC shield. IAPMO-RT has no listing for Ruvati faucets indicating compliance with the standard.