Looking to buy some new furniture for your home? Want to skip the weekend trips to crowded furniture stores? Buying furniture online can be super convenient, but also a bit scary if you aren’t sure what to look for.
Should you go for that super cheap modern sofa that seems too good to be true? How can you tell if something is good quality just from pictures? And what if it arrives and doesn't fit or match your decor at all?!
No need to stress - we've got you covered.
In this handy guide, we'll walk through all the tips and tricks to make your online furniture shopping a breeze. Here's what we'll cover:
Is Buying Furniture Online Easy?
Furnishing your home can be an exciting endeavor, but also a daunting one if you’re not sure where to begin. With ever growing online furniture stores these days, buying furniture over the internet has become a popular trend.
No doubt it is a great option for many homeowners looking to upgrade their living spaces in an affordable and convenient way. You can find quality pieces for every room in your home, all delivered straight to your door.
However, there are some important factors to consider when buying furniture online to ensure you end up with products you’ll truly love.
Use this comprehensive guide for interior designers tips to follow when shopping for furniture online. We’ll walk you through everything from researching stores, comparing prices and communicating with companies to ensure your online furniture purchases go smoothly.
Research Online Furniture Stores
The first step is researching and browsing the selection of different online furniture stores. Look for companies with a good reputation and range of furniture to choose from like sofas, beds, dining sets and more.
There are a number of furniture stores that claim to have popular options with large inventories available online. Be sure to check out the website’s categories, filtering options and search capabilities to get an idea of the selection. Quality photos and product descriptions are also key when buying furniture sight unseen.
Take note of delivery areas, average processing and shipping times, and any warranty or return policy details listed on the website. This can help you determine if the company will work for your needs before making a purchase.
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Checking reviews of the furniture and the retailer is crucial when buying online. Look on Google Reviews for objective feedback from other customers about their experiences. This can give you insight into the quality, durability and value of the furniture, along with details on shipping and customer service.
Avoid making impulse purchases - the returned furniture process tends to be more complex online.
Consider Shipping Costs and Delivery Times
One of the downsides of buying furniture online is having to pay for shipping, which can add a significant cost. Make sure to factor in the shipping charges before finalizing a purchase. Some companies offer free shipping promotions or thresholds.
Keep delivery timelines in mind as well, which may take weeks for online purchases. If you need a new sofa or a car bed for kids quickly, look for retailers with expedited shipping options or local showrooms for faster in-stock pickup.
Compare Quality and Materials
While pricing is one consideration, take a close look at the furniture’s quality and materials as well. These details are not always easy to determine online, but product descriptions should give you a sense of what to expect.
Look for real wood rather than particle board construction for durability. Check details like leather versus bonded leather, hand-tied coils in sectional sofas, and cushion fill material. Understand materials like velvet or microfiber fabrics before purchasing as well.
Look at Return Policies
With online furniture shopping, you will not have the advantage of testing pieces in person before purchase. Make sure that the retailer offers adequate return policies in case the furniture does not meet expectations or has defects.
Many allow free returns within a certain window, but you generally pay for return shipping. Be sure to properly measure your space and understand policies in case of issues.
Envision How It Will Fit Your Space
Since you cannot see furniture in person, it is crucial that you accurately measure your space and visualize how new pieces will fit. Use a tape measure to get room dimensions and floor plan.
Also measure doorways, stairs, and hallways to ensure large items can be moved into place. Use the furniture dimensions listed online and sketch out your room. This helps avoid costly returns from pieces that do not fit.
Start With Smaller Pieces
When first venturing into online furniture buying, consider choosing smaller decorative pieces like side tables, ottomans and chairs. This lower risk option lets you get a feel for the company, quality, and shopping experience before investing in more expensive items.
Once you are comfortable with the process, it may give you confidence to upgrade major pieces like living room furniture and dining tables. Take it slowly to ensure online buying works for you.
Buy Swatches First for Upholstered Furniture
For upholstered items like Love Seats; the color, texture and quality of the fabric may be unclear from online images alone. Some companies offer fabric swatch samples you can order for just a few dollars.
Investing in swatches lets you make more informed decisions and ensure the fabric is durable and stain-resistant. This helps avoid disappointment from the upholstery once the real furniture arrives.
You can even order a sample patch of a rug to check the quality and pattern of the material used.
Be Wary of Too-Good-To-Be-True Deals
If a price seems unrealistically low for a piece of furniture from a retailer you’re unfamiliar with, proceed with caution. This could be a scam website or the furniture may be defective or inaccurately portrayed.
Stick with reputable brands like Berre, and understand what is the typical price range for the style and materials. If it seems too good to be true, it often is. Trust your judgment.
Know What You’re Buying
If you want to elevate your living room with timeless and functional furniture, you can’t keep your eyes off of descriptions. Furniture descriptions online tend to be lacking at times. Before adding an item to your cart, be sure to get all details about what is included, the assembly required, hardware and tools needed, and exact materials used.
You do not want to end up with a half-assembled piece missing key components. Reach out to customer service with questions to gain clarity before purchase.
Communicate with the Company
Do not be afraid to contact customer service before and after ordering to voice concerns or gain information. Ask about stock availability, expected delivery date, or payment issues.
After ordering, proactively reach out about delays or if pieces arrive damaged. Most companies are willing to work with you to make the process smooth. Document everything in writing.
Paying with a credit card that offers purchase protection can give you peace of mind on higher-cost furniture purchases online. This provides coverage in case items are damaged, lost, stolen or not as described by the retailer.
Do your homework on whether your credit card provides this benefit and if it applies to furniture. It offers recourse if issues arise.
Look for Sales and Promotions
One of the perks of online shopping is taking advantage of regular sales, deals and promotions that retailers offer. Sign up for email lists from your favorite stores to stay in the loop on discounts and clearance events.
Popular times to buy furniture on sale include long weekends, Black Friday sales, and inventory clearance around new product launches.
Final Tips For Buying Furniture Online
While buying furniture online comes with challenges, taking the right approach can set you up for success. Follow these tips to save time and money while avoiding disappointment. Take measurements, assess options, read policies, ask questions and use purchase protection in your favor.
With a wide world of furniture at your fingertips today, upgrade your living spaces with high-quality pieces delivered right to your home. By following this guide, furniture shopping online can be done seamlessly and safely. Do your research and enjoy furnishing your home with confidence and ease.