When it comes to shopping for quality furniture, the strategy is always try before you buy, but with a rapid rise in the number of furniture retailers, today, consumers can conveniently discover superb home furnishing options on the internet.
Furniture can be a big investment, thus making it a big purchase for a home, and shopping for furniture without seeing it in person can seem like a real challenge. With so many of us cooped up at home this year finding new or different living room arrangement ideas has become more important than ever. Good living room arrangements make our homes feel much more comfortable, and more importantly, functional. But it can feel difficult to find the perfect pieces for our homes without going into a store or seeing something in person. While having a hands-on showroom experience appeals to many people, unless you live in major cities such as New York or Los Angeles, you may not have access to the best options. This is why relying on online shopping has become such a great route to take when furnishing a home. And like buying anything online, taking your time, and paying close attention to can be the difference between a dream and a nightmare.
So many of us immediately write off the idea of buying furniture online because it seems way too risky when we are always seeking reward. How can you tell if the furniture piece you are seeing is what you will actually receive? How can you know what the quality is like without feeling it for yourself? How can you be confident the furniture will fit the aesthetic in your home? If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, keep reading! In an effort to guide you through this seemingly daunting process, we’ve pulled together our top tips for how to buy furniture online.
Decide What You Want
Before you even start shopping for furniture online, you will need to determine exactly what you want. Whether you are looking for one specific piece of furniture or looking to furnish an entire room or home, it's important to have a clear idea to make the most out of your furniture shopping journey. If you’re having a hard time knowing where to start, you can start by browsing Pinterest boards, Instagram, or designers' work that you admire to get a general idea about the style and look you want to accomplish. We also suggest having a budget in mind before you start shopping for furniture as this will help guide you in the decision making process.
Measuring properly is one of, if not the most, important components of buying furniture and it is even more crucial when you are buying furniture online without seeing it first. Since you likely won’t be able to walk into a physical store and see how the furniture will fit in your space, you’ll have to make sure you're measuring correctly and double checking. The last thing you’ll want to deal with is ending up with furniture that doesn’t properly fit in your space. Keep in mind, if your furniture is being shipped to you pre- assembled, you will also need to measure stair ways and doorways to make sure you can get it to its intended place.
When you land on something you would love to buy, make sure to read over the product details to find the dimensions and if you’re still feeling unsure you can try and connect with someone to provide more details over phone or email. We highly recommend using newspaper or painter’s tape to build a layout on the floor to show you how it will look in your home. Last, but certainly not least, remember to make sures you will have a few inches of space between your furniture and the walls. Checking the dimensions and making sure they work within your space before making your purchase online will help save you from a huge headache later.
Research The Company
With countless options on the market, the variety can feel overwhelming at times so don't be afraid to narrow down your options accordingly. Knowing your parameters and doing your homework is going to save you from surfing through endless pages of options. Asking yourself some of the following questions can help narrow down your choices and find a brand that is right for you. Is sustainability important to you? Do you want pieces that are made in the United States? Are you looking for a specific fabric type or finish? You can begin your research by reading the company’s about and FAQ pages. This will give you insight into the quality, craftsmanship, and policies of the furniture brand to determine if you think it will be a good fit. You can check out all the details about Inside Weather on our about us page here!
Product listings are always intended to sound complementary and that is why it’s not super uncommon for an item to sound like exactly what you’ve been looking for at first glance. Reviews on the other hand can tell a very different story. Reading reviews is key to the success of making your online purchase. You can easily eliminate items that have no reviews or poor reviews on the website. You should rather focus your time and efforts on shopping for items that have a lot of available, and positive, reviews.
When researching pieces, remember to always keep in mind that every item is bound to have a couple of bad reviews, especially if it has a high number of comments because not everyone can be equally content with something. A poor review does not necessarily mean that you can’t move forward with buying the product, but it should play a role in your decision making process. Thoroughly reading reviews can save you time and money so don’t forget this step!
Check the Return Policy
Of course we never go into making a purchase with the idea that we will be returning it. With that being said, sometimes it’s unavoidable with online purchases. No matter how much time and energy you put into making your online purchases, there are cases where it just doesn’t work out the way you hoped it would. Checking a company’s return policy ahead of time can at the very least give you the reassurance that you have a backup plan if things don’t go your way.
Here are a couple of questions to keep in mind when reviewing a return policy:
Do they accept returns?
Is there a time limit to their return policy?
Do return items need to be in their original packaging?
Are there any restocking fees for returning an item?
What will you need to do to return the item?
What is their turn-around time for a refund?
Ultimately, no matter how much you love something and want to keep it, we always recommend sticking to a retailer that allows returns.
Evaluate Shipping Costs
Don’t forget to factor in the cost of shipping! While many retails include shipping nowadays, you should always review the shipping policies prior to making a purchase, which you can usually locate on an FAQ page. You don't want to risk falling in love with a furniture item and only to discover just before purchasing that you'll need to dish out another $100 on shipping.
When you’re online furniture shopping, you need to be certain that you know exactly what colors, fabrics, and finishes you’re getting. Materials can often look very different when seeing them in person than they do online. In order to test if everything works well within your home, or fits your personal style, order a few fabric swatches or finish samples online first. You can order free fabric samples on our swatch page here!
Buying furniture online should not feel like you are making a big gamble. With so many furniture design options on the market it should be exciting, you just have to remember to be smart about your sourcing and selection processes. Keep these tips in mind for the next time you’re ready to make an online furniture purchase, and we’re sure you’ll feel much more secure about what you’re bringing into your home. Check out Inside Weather for more tips like small living room furniture ideas or family friendly room ideas!