Stephen Webster's Blog
Shoppers are more confident than ever in making purchases online. Moreover, younger generations are more likely to make their purchases online, which means the e-commerce industry shows no signs of slowing down. This comes as no surprise in an economy where many of us are hoping to save a few pennies when we can, and what better way to find the best deal than to compare prices online? Buying furniture online is no different. In busy cities where many people do not have a means to transport furniture, the prospect of having a new dresser delivered right to your home for free is appealing. Online furniture shopping offers a wider variety and sometimes better prices than a brick-and-mortar experience. So, the question is, should you make your next furniture purchase online? Here are some things to consider before clicking the "check out" button on your next furniture purchase. Shipping and returns Have you ever bought clothing online only to find out that it didn't fit when it was delivered? You can face the same problem with furniture. It's important to check beforehand with the online store what the shipping and return details are. If you are worried that there might be fine print in the company's "free returns" policy, get it in writing from a customer service representative that there will be no fees and that shipping labels will be provided. Customer reviews One of the beautiful things about online shopping is the ability to find honest, sometimes ruthlessly so, feedback about the company or furniture item. Never make a purchase without reading the reviews. With online shopping no news does not equal good news. If there are no reviews, look for a similar item that has plenty of positive feedback. Get to know the company Buying furniture is a commitment, and an expensive one at that. If you walked into a furniture store that was filled with cheaply-made items with no employees in sight, you probably wouldn't make the purchase. The same goes for online purchases. Check out the website, read the "About Us" and testimonials. If the website looks like something that you used to wait for 20 seconds to load on your AOL dial-up, you might want to steer clear. Don't depend on the photos Things don't always look the way they do in the pictures. You might order a coral sofa to find that it's hot pink. The texture of fabrics looks different in images, and some photos are edited to give furniture smooth edges where they don't exist. If the store has a brick and mortar location, you could go in to try before you buy. If not, request a color or fabric swatch to be sure it's the right fit for your home. Double check your measurements Before you check out, go back and read the item description to be sure that the product your buying is the correct size and dimensions. Similarly, double check the measurements at home. Follow these pointers and you should have a good online furniture shopping experience. But if you don't, be sure to leave a review on their site for the next potential customer.