There are a lot of things that one ought to consider when buying furniture online for a new home or as a replacement for the old ones. You need to look for things like quality, price and sales terms. When you’re purchasing online, there are a lot more to consider than just quality and price. Buying any products online is not an easy process, and there are a lot of things you need to consider. Here are a few tips that you should keep in mind when shopping for furniture online.
Choosing a furniture website
Not all retailers online are reliable, and you can end up in the hands of scammers if you’re not careful. When choosing a website to use, look for secure websites to avoid being a victim of financial fraud and identity theft. You should take your time to do thorough research on the websites before entering a deal.
1. Read the about us page
The page contains detailed information about the company. This is the first thing you should read once you log in to the website of any online retailer. The information you’ll get there includes the company history, customer services, contact information, physical address, and any guarantees. If they don’t have any physical address, ensure they have a way in which their customers can contact them online.
2. Check the reviews
Reviews are a good way to tell if the company is reliable or not. Genuine online companies allow their customers to leave reviews, give their opinions and comments. Your decision to work with the company will depend on what the reviews say about them. If you meet several bad reviews, you should take that as a red flag and flew from the company because you’re likely to experience the same problems if you do business with them.
You can also check Google Product Search where users rank and review different stores and their products. There is a section where users rank merchants on a scale of one to five stars and submit reviews. If you find that the star rating is one or two, run for your safety. If they have three to five stars, go to the reviews and get more details about the product.
3. Check their return policy
Buying furniture online is a challenge as you risk getting a different product from what you ordered or getting a damaged product. In this case, you’ll have no option but to return it. A good online company should have a clear and flexible return policy. If the company has no return policy, don’t purchase your furniture from them.
Good online stores should also give you an ample return time such as 30 to 60 days and should not charge you any restocking fees or require you to cater for the return shipping fees.
4. Shipping costs
Most online stores will charge you shipping costs if you buy products from them especially if the shipping involves large items like furniture. Every company has its own rates for shipping costs. You can find the information about their shipping costs at the about page or on the FAQ section. Compare the shipping charges and opt for the cheapest rates. You should also remember that free shipping charges are not always free as they might include it in the purchase price.
5. Consider your style and preferences
Some online retailers offer products from different retailers hence have a variety of styles to choose from. However, if you buy directly from a merchant, you can find that they focus on one particular style such as modern, traditional, or green-friendly furniture.
Look for the store the store that offers furniture that much your sense of style. You can search for furniture with a keyword that carries the style you prefer to make your search easier.
6. Look for a store with a good selection
When shopping online for your furniture, you should look for stores that offer a variety of options. You should have better chances of finding everything you need in one store be it small furniture pieces, office furniture, bedroom furniture among others.
Another advantage of getting a furniture store with a wide selection is that you’re likely to get a discount if you buy multiple pieces. It is also easy to much colors or styles if you buy in one store.
7. Brick and mortar locations
Even when you’re buying furniture online, you still need a store with physical locations so that you can shop physically for the items you want to buy. Seeing the furniture face to face will help you make a final decision if you really want it and save you from the stress of having to return it after buying.
Companies with brick and mortar stores may also eliminate shipping costs as you may decide to pick them yourself after they have been shipped.
8. Secure websites
Not all online stores have secure websites, and you might end up being at risk of identity theft. Ensure you see details that indicate the site is secure before submitting any personal information. Secure sites have their URLs starting with https instead of http. A secure website also comes with a lock icon which you can double click to see the website’s security measures.
Other websites offer information in their FAQ section about security policies. You should consider checking them before proceeding. You should also exercise caution when responding to promotional emails.
Choosing the furniture
After finding the best company website to use for your online furniture purchase, it’s now time to select the furniture you want to buy. This part is fun and stressful at the same time. The tips below will help you make a good choice.
9. Check the photos
If you look online for the online stores, you will come across various photos. Some photos are posted in decorated rooms that highlight the furniture. You will also find links to side angles that show a traditional look of the pictures without any props. Check as many photos as you can by searching the brand name and the name of the item. Imagine how the furniture will look at your home and make a final decision.
10. Read descriptions
If you make the decision of buying furniture online, read the description carefully and don’t just scan it. This will help you gather enough details about the product and decide if you want to but it. Be sure that these companies will choose their wording carefully to impress their customers. Ensure that the material they claim to have used in the product is of high-quality. Look for other information of specifications, and relevant information such as durability construction and maintenance instructions.
11. Check the measurements
Don’t be deceived by the photos into assuming the furniture can fit in your place. Measure your room and double check the result versus the measurement of the furniture to see if they’ll fit perfectly. Make sure the furniture will fit through the doorway and the hallway perfectly. Seek other opinions about how to get the furniture into your room to avoid any damages. If you can’t find the measurements online, you can call the customer care to give you the actual measurements.
12. Read reviews
Once again you have to read the reviews buying furniture online. Ensure the site gives its clients a platform to leave reviews and give testimonials about their experience with the product. One bad review should not discourage, but if you happen to come across many bad reviews, then you should stay away from the product.
13. Don’t let colors deceive you
Most photos posted online have been distorted especially on the colors. Some colors may look lighter online even though they are darker in reality. You can search the website with different computers to be sure about the colors because your computer can alter the colors of the pictures. You can also see the reviews on what previous buyers are saying about the color of the product.
After you’ve found the online store you want to work with and the particular furniture you want to buy, it’s now time to see the pricing. Ensure you calculate the amount of money you’re going to spend including the taxes and the shipping costs. Here are tips for saving some cash in your furniture online purchase.
14. Compare prices
Several online sites offer products that resemble each other giving you the option of accessing the best rates. Ensure you compare prices from different companies that offer the same product before purchasing. Note down additional charges such as taxes and shipping costs. This will probably take you a lot of time, but it’s worth the effort if you want to save some extra cash.
15. Wait for sale deals
Many online stores offer sales on particular times of the year including December holidays, special occasions or just clearance sales. You will get the best deals on the furniture of your dream if you buy them during those times.
16. Get a Coupon
Many online retails offer coupons as a way of reaching more customers and getting them to visit their website. These coupons give you access to discounts that can save you a lot of money. Sign up for the company’s mailing list, and you might be lucky to get a coupon just for signing in. This also means the company will always invite you sales links or any clearance deals.
You can also hunt the store coupon codes and promo codes to give you access to great deals even if the website does not invite you directly via email.
17. Consider the taxes
Stores that have brick and mortar stores in your state may require you to pay taxes if you buy products online. Depending on your purchase, the state taxes may range from 5% to 10% which will be added to your purchase amount. You can find information about the tax policies in the about page of the online store. Ensure you understand the terms before proceeding with the purchase.
Furniture is always very bulky and requires special handling. This makes them expensive to ship. Every company has its shipment methods and offer different levels of shipping with every level getting pricier. Stores with brick and mortar offer site to store shipping. The shipping might take longer, but they won’t charge for the shipping fees if you pick the product in person.
You should also look for companies that offer free shipping deals. Although some free shipping may not be for free since they are factored in the costs, you can determine this by comparing the product prices with other companies. Don’t overlook the prices if you’re offered free shipping deals. Do your calculations correctly.
18. Front door delivery
This is where the company’s driver drops the furniture at your doorstep with your only work is to carry it inside your house. This can be the cheapest shipping option, but you still have to get another person to help you carry the furniture inside the house which can also mean incurring additional charges in paying the person.
19. Inside delivery
This is where the delivery driver brings the furniture inside your house, and it’s more costly than front door delivery. This is a good option for those who don’t want to lift the furniture. They will, however, not help you inspect the product, open the boxes for you or even help in setting it up.
20. White glove delivery
White glove delivery is an all-inclusive delivery option where the driver does everything for you. This includes inside delivery, unpacking the item, inspecting and setting it up. This will cost you a lot more, but it’s a good option if you can’t set up the furniture yourself.
21. Store pick-up
Companies with brick and mortar stores will give you an option of picking the product from the store yourself. They will ship the product to the warehouse near you and inform you if it’s ready for pick-up. This is the cheapest option you can opt for, but you might need to hire a truck to help you transport the boxes to your home.
Buying furniture online is the best option these days if you want to save time and money. However, if you don’t take all the necessary precautions, you might end up with low-quality products or become a victim of scammers. Take all the necessary precautions such as checking the reputation of the website, reading the description of the product, and working with good sales terms including shipping costs.