Last updated on April 18th, 2019 at 12:56 pm
Assessing Fine Furniture Stores with Online Reviews
This is part of a series of posts on how to buy fine furniture online. Bookmark this page or sign up for our newsletter to learn more.
If you’re shopping for fine furniture, you know the importance of due diligence, especially if you’re purchasing online. Today we share tips and advice on using consumer reviews to find the best furniture stores for your needs.
Use Multiple Online Review Sites
You’ll find hundreds of consumer review sites. The question is: which ones are credible and trustworthy? The USA Federal Trade Commission FTC stresses the need to Read Reviews and Be Skeptical when shopping online. Even the most “independent” review sites can be contaminated with conflicts of interest so check several different sources. Google, Facebook, Yelp, Trust Pilot and Site Jabber are among the most popular online furniture review sites.
The FTC has sued companies that posted “fake” reviews but most phoney opinions fly under the radar. This 1 min FTC video on how to evaluate online reviews shows common forms of bias in reviews. For example the reviewer may be:
- receiving a free product
- a paid reviewer
- a competitor of the seller
- an employee or affiliate of the seller
- a robot
Compare Ratings on Several Review Sites
Below are 3 reviews of the same online furniture superstore. Follow the links to the review sites to see the ratings and comments consumers have submitted. Results are:
- TrustPilot review – average rating of 1 out of 5 based on over 500 reviews
- SiteJabber review – average rating of 2 out of 5, based on over 500 reviews
- ResellerRatings review – average rating of 2 out of 10 based on over 70,000 reviews
Full disclosure – this seller is obviously a competitor of mine. I apologize for citing them but I had to use someone for an example and they seem big and strong enough to be unaffected by my post. To their credit, they’re certainly better than some online furniture stores, notably this one.
Reputation Management is Big Business
Reputation Management is estimated to be a $5 Billion industry within 2 years. Forbes describes this sector: “Part PR gurus, part tech experts, they specialize in providing online makeovers—often by burying negative search results and promoting content that accentuates a client’s desired image.” Hundreds of companies like Hide Bad Reviews have sprung up recently. Need I say more?
Online reviews have a major trust problem. Furniture superstores have entire divisions focusing on reputation management. Although it’s wise to check out online reviews, be skeptical. Read the seller’s responses to both compliments and complaints. Your best furniture stores are likely to be small, specialty companies which you can assess yourself over the phone or in person. Don’t rely solely on review sites. Instead give the store a call to discuss details and get advice. Avoid stores that focus on gaming the online review system. Find a company that’s renowned for design, quality and a superior delivery experience. They are alive & well and living in the USA.
- Reviews & testimonials for Vermont Woods Studios
- Is that online review site telling you the truth? CNBC
- The manager’s dilemma (“a Prisoner’s dilemma.. where engaging in manipulation is the most rational choice in an increasingly competitive market situation.”)
- The rise of fake Amazon reviews — and how to spot them
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