When it comes to buying furniture online, your initial response might be that it simply can not or at least should not, be done. Furniture after all, needs to be touched and tested in-person to make sure that it is going to be the right fit doesn't it?
While that last sentence may hold some truth, there are more compelling reasons than ever to purchase furniture online, not least of all having access to a much broader selection than what might be available in your area. While there are many tools available to help those shopping online to make the right buying decision, there are nonetheless a great many pitfalls that still threaten the unprepared buyer. The question is then, how to avoid online furniture shopping mistakes?
Do Your Research Before You Buy
It is easy to fall victim to a “good deal”; particularly if you have got a limited amount of time to make a buying decision. Because there are so many online furniture stores, many of them rely on unbelievable pricing models to win customers over. Granted, given the opportunity most people would opt to spend less rather than spending more for something they want, but buying decisions should never be made based on price alone. With that in mind...
Read All the Small Print, Take Your Time
The lure of 0% financing is tantamount to a siren’s call, but are you getting all the details when you get the receipt at checkout? It might seem as though 0% financing is a good deal- and it can be- but ensure there are no hidden conditions so you get no surprises. The best part of purchasing online is very likely the price is what you see; or better yet, you have a chance to see those details without a sales associate rushing you through the contract. Buying online means you can take your time and be informed.
Solution: Avoid impulse buys. Compare the price point of the piece of furniture that is offered at 0% to similar items from competitors that are made of the same materials.
Stick to Your Budget
Furnishings can be expensive and it is easy to get carried away especially if all the costs are not properly displayed on a company’s website. The item you purchased may fall handsomely within your budget, but delivery, customization, fitting, and taxes can all put you over your budget in no time. Before you click “Purchase”, make sure you have been able to review a breakdown of all the costs.
Solution: Set a budget and stick to it at all costs. If it is not clear whether or not any additional fees apply to your purchase, contact the company directly through their website or their social media page and request more information.
Comparison Shop; You Are Online After All
There is more to comparison-shopping than simply putting one price against another. You will want to read plenty of reviews both about the piece of furniture you are looking to buy and about the company itself. You can learn a lot about a company by reading customer reviews, especially with regards to the following:
Their commitment to customer service
*Post purchase service
*Whether or not there were any issues with delivery
*Return policy and flexibility
*Item quality or lack thereof
That last item is especially important because you can not possibly assess an item’s quality by examining a photo on your screen. Be sure to keep in mind that just about every company out there will have a bad review written about them. If the positive reviews significantly outweigh the bad, odds are that you have found a company worth dealing with.
Take Your Measurements
Of course, taking measurements is key for anyone buying furniture. Make sure that anything you purchase falls within those dimensions because if it does not, you might be looking at a hefty fee for returning the item. You might also want to confirm that the item’s dimensions displayed on the website are correct as it is not uncommon for measurement figures to be erroneous. If the furniture’s dimensions are displayed in units you are not familiar with (imperial vs metric) convert them using an online conversion tool and double check your results before you buy.
Do Not Miss Out on a Deal!
Once you have selected a piece of furniture that falls within your budget, will fit in the allotted space, and it is from a reputable company there is just one last thing that is left: check for a coupon code! Just about every online retailer uses coupon codes at one time or another, so there is no harm in doing a quick Google search to see if there are any active coupon codes for the online furniture store you are buying from.While it is true that shopping online is fraught with perils, it is nonetheless one of the most effective ways to purchase items for your home. Making sure your online buying experience is a successful one you need only be prepared and arm yourself with the knowledge that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.