Buying furniture for your home during the circuit breaker can be a challenge. Showrooms are closed and all shopping has been moved online, cutting out any in-person furniture testing. However, people have been successfully buying furniture online for years, tackling many of the issues you might be facing. With these tips and tricks up your sleeve you’ll buy furniture online like a pro in no time.
Measure your home
Before you even start browsing furniture shops, you need to know your own home. If you’re replacing an old couch, for instance, measure it thoroughly and then measure the area around it to be safe. You’ll be surprised at how misleading images can be and how much larger (or smaller!) furniture ends up being in reality.
While affordable furniture can be hard to resist, comparing prices is not just about finding the cheapest option. Prices often differ based on material quality and special services, such as inclusive delivery and long-lasting warranties. These extras are easy to dismiss when you make your first purchase, but online-shopping veterans will tell you how handy they can be in the long run.
Read customer reviews
This is not simply to establish the quality of your piece, but to look out for any misleading information in the description and check the colour accuracy. Many reviewers will call out wrongful dimensions or inaccurate colours, allowing you to judge how trustworthy the shop really is.
Know your materials
Be it an oak table or a leather couch, it’s important to know what the materials behind your furniture actually are and how much maintenance they require. Raw wood is aesthetically pleasing and generally long-lasting, but it can be susceptible to moisture and difficult to clean. Leather is fairly easy to maintain but can make you sweaty and uncomfortable, particularly in a humid climate. Try to establish which of your current furnishings you like best and which ones you dislike, then keep an eye out for those particular materials.
Ask for samples
In this day and age, many furniture retailers are happy to send out samples that indicate the texture and colour of their furnishings. You can often pick a set of various samples directly from the website, testing the look and feel from the comfort of your own home and taking all the time you need to evaluate them. Make sure you are fully satisfied with the materials and colours before choosing your furniture.
Sign up for newsletters
When it comes to discounts and special offers, nothing is quite as handy as a newsletter or mailing list. Newsletters from individual furniture shops will often bring weekly discounts and sales straight to your inbox. We recommend signing up for these as soon as you start thinking about buying new furniture, as a really good deal might come up any day.
Check the warranty and return policy
Good furniture comes with a long-term warranty. If a furniture shop makes promises about pieces that last a lifetime but doesn’t back up these claims with a legal warranty, your furniture is going to fall apart sooner rather than later. Return policies are also worth considering, as they allow you to properly test your new pieces over a number of days or even weeks before deciding if they live up to your expectations.
Pick the right kind of delivery
Choosing the right delivery option for your own needs can tremendously improve your experience of buying furniture online. Most retailers let you choose between picking up the furniture yourself and having it delivered to your home. Some shops go the extra mile, offering to bring the piece directly into your chosen room and even assemble it for you. If you struggle with back problems, for instance, these particular services can be very helpful. Make sure to always check the flexibility of each shop’s delivery times as well, as some might only operate when you are out of the house, making delivery arrangements more complicated.
Make sure the payment is secure
When paying for furniture online, it’s important to double-check the shop’s security measures. The quickest way to ensure the security of your payment is by looking at the website’s address. If it tells you that the connection is secure, you know that your passwords and other details are protected. Additionally, payment forms should always be encrypted, meaning that those particular links will begin with ‘https’ instead of the standard ‘http.’ If you want to take your security into your own hands, consider paying with a third-party service, such as PayPal, instead of typing out your credit card details online. This forms an extra barrier that a potential identity thief would have to overcome.
Featured image courtesy of Brim Design.