Buying Furniture Online? 5 Useful Tips to Know
Living in the age of technology and apps where almost anything can be purchased or experienced on the web, it is no surprise that furniture companies try to capitalize on this cost-effective opportunity and offer their furniture and décor online as well.
At Level Studio, some of our team members have worked in furniture retail in the past which allows us to share with you some of the pros and cons when it comes to buying your furniture online.
QUICK AND COMFY
Today’s world moves fast and it’s “sink or swim'” for many companies that cannot adapt to this lifestyle. When people buy things, they want them shipped yesterday. By purchasing furniture online, you get to avoid long lines, commutes, inconvenient store hours, people, and commission-based sales. Shopping online can be done quickly—if you know what you want and can be done in comfort in your own home.
Grab a coffee
or wine, you may
be in it for the long haul with so
Note: If you want to avoid disappointment and dealing with returns/exchanges, see if it is possible to visit the store or showroom beforehand to view the furniture you are interested in.
Online furniture stores are like other retail stores where they will advertise sales for Boxing Day, Cyber Monday, New Year’s Day, or really any other day of the week that can be marketed.
When it comes to these sales, furniture stores will limit stock and throw a time limit which makes the general public make rash choices. The best thing you can do is take a second and regroup your findings and thoughts. Ask yourself, are you purchasing furniture online because it is solely on sale?
Furniture, whether it’s a sofa, armchair, or sideboard is something that you spend part of your life with. It is the backdrop for all your important moments in life like dates, family gatherings, and game/movie nights.
Don’t choose on a
whim just because you saw it online for sale.
Once at work, one of our team members witnessed (and eventually counselled) a couple fighting during a sale over a sectional that was “$800 off”. They were so fixated on the advertised “sale price” that they did not stop to think if they actually liked the sectional or if they were just buying it because it was on sale.
Although this interaction happened in-person, the same happens online except you will be more inclined to actually buy it since it is literally clicks away. If it feels too good to be true, it usually is.
Take a picture with your phone and upload it to Instagram and before you do, edit the photo. Increase the saturation, brightness, and contrast. Looks amazing right? The water in the ocean has never been bluer. The real-life version is a little less perfect and website catalogs are no different.
Retailers photograph their inventory in a studio setting and edit the images in Photoshop altering the actual appearance—even the retina display on your computer monitor can alter the appearance of the furniture.
In short, go to
the showroom and let your eyes be the judge.
Note: While some online furniture stores may provide fabric samples, they may come at a cost and be too small that you are unable to get the full picture. Although this is a great resource, it may just be easier and quicker to visit a store since you will still need to place an order and wait for them to arrive.
Returning something you purchased online can be a nightmare and here is why. Some stores have a policy where if you bought it online, it must be returned online. On top of that, you will need to deal with ‘Head Office’ and this may be in a different city, province or country.
Also, you’ll most likely
get transferred around internally within their department.
So much for saving you time right?
If you are like us, we love to have a personal connection with our purchases—especially with big items like furniture or electronics so if there is ever an issue, we know who to talk to and know they will help us.
This is probably the most important point to consider. How can you buy a chair online without trying it? Everyone has a different body and furniture isn’t a “one size fits all”. Because of this, It’s a personal decision.
In Harry Potter,
the wand chooses
So, in this case, the chair chooses the ass.
During our furniture retail days, we would wait in excitement to see the upcoming catalogues for the new season with sneak peeks of the collection. They would look so beautiful (and why wouldn’t they – they were probably photographed in a studio and photoshopped to the nines), but once the pieces would come in, we would be underwhelmed. The fabric felt itchy, the colour was off, and the height did not work.
All this to say, seeing as one of our 5 senses is touch—you might as well use it.
INFORMATION & FAQ
This is straightforward but if you have a question, would you not want an answer in that moment? While online stores have FAQ pages and store policies, your question or concern could remain unanswered. You can contact the company by sending them an email but then you will need to wait for a response—if any.
What happens if
you do receive a response but now you have more questions?
In short, we have moved into a lifestyle where we don’t necessarily need a face-to-face connection for some things, especially after COVID-19. Remember this:
Design is personal – How personal is a store’s website to you?
That said, we totally understand the need for online furniture shopping, especially for those who would rather skip dealing with a pushy salesperson.
But if you are still unsure and want professional help, consider reaching out to us. We offer a variety of services that can suit you and your needs. Let us know how we can help!