Increasingly, customers are turning to online shopping for their furniture needs. If you buy furniture online, you’ll have access to a much wider assortment of different furniture varieties, you can comparison shop easily between brands, and you’ll likely end up finding a better price.
That said, if you want to shop effectively and end up with the best possible furniture, there are some tips you’ll need to follow.
Choose a Brand You Trust
One of the most important steps is to choose online stores and furniture brands you trust. There are millions of different websites selling furniture out there, and not all of them are scrupulous or trustworthy. If you’re going to make such a major investment in your home décor, you need to feel confident that you’re going to get the product you want.
- Brand familiarity. Have you heard of this brand before? Have you ever owned furniture made by this brand in the past? Do you feel confident shopping here?
- Personal recommendations. Has anyone you know shopped with this brand in the past? Can they offer you a personal recommendation? Or do they have another brand they can bring to your attention?
- Online reviews and testimonials. When you find a store worth considering, always make sure to scope out the reviews and testimonials. What are people saying about this brand? In this step, make sure you’re also consulting sources outside the main site (to minimize the chance of encountering fake reviews).
Pay Attention to Measurements
When shopping for furniture in person, you’ll have an intuitive grasp of how big the piece is. But when you’re shopping online, you’ll need to be much more reliant on numbers. Take measurements of the rooms in your house you’re looking to furnish, and double check the measurements of the pieces you’re considering. You may find out that a certain piece is much bigger or much smaller than you initially realized. This will help you pick the perfect piece of furniture for each room of your house.
Scrutinize the Visuals
It’s easy to tell what a piece of furniture looks like when you’re viewing it in person, but online, lighting and optical illusions can cause your perceptions to be distorted. This is especially true when it comes to colors and textures; in photos, the furniture may look like it’s a certain color or that it has a certain feel, but there’s a chance this doesn’t reflect reality accurately. Look at multiple photos and videos online if you can, studying the furniture in different lighting conditions and with different angles. You’ll end up with a better sense of how it looks.
Consider Visiting Furniture Stores in Person
If you’re not sure about your decision to buy furniture online, consider visiting more furniture stores in person. Your chosen online brand may have a local pickup area, or you may be able to see a similar piece of furniture in a local store. This is especially important if you want to try out the furniture before you buy it; this way, you can figure out whether it’s comfortable enough to meet your needs.
Spend some time comparison shopping online to make sure you’re getting a good deal. The straightforward approach here is to compare the prices on your chosen website to the prices on other websites, but also consider whether this item has been on sale in the past—and whether it could go on sale in the future. In some cases, it’s worth waiting for a new sale. Along these lines, consider looking for coupons offered by manufacturers or other institutions; is there any way you can easily score a better deal?
Review the Extra Details
When you start closing in on a purchase, consider the extra details surrounding your purchase. For example:
- Shipping and/or pickup. How much are you going to pay in shipping costs? And what types of shipping options are available? For example, you might be able to score free shipping if you spend a certain amount, or you might want to pay extra for “white glove” service, which includes delivery and installation. You may also want to pick up your furniture at a local, physical branch.
- Availability. Is the item you want in stock? Sometimes, it’s possible to purchase an item in an online store, but it might not be available for several weeks, or even months.
- Taxes. It’s easy to forget, but remember you’ll likely need to pay sales tax on your purchase. Incorporate this into your budgeting and planning.
- Guarantees and warranties. Does this brand offer any guarantees or warranties? What happens if you don’t like what you receive? What if it’s damaged during delivery? What if it breaks after just a few uses?
If you follow these strategies, you should be able to find furniture for every room of your home online—and for a good price, too. After your first few rounds, you’ll have a much easier time identifying good deals, and you’ll have a selection of online furniture brands you trust, making future purchases even easier.