Furniture is an Investment
So you're thinking about buying furniture online. You routinely purchase books and clothes online, but furniture is different. It's a big investment-- maybe about the same dollar value as a new computer system or perhaps much more.
Do Some Research
What if you're not happy with it? Can you just send it back? How do you know which online furniture stores you can trust? This is a big decision so it's worth the time to do a little homework before you buy. The good news is that there are lots of reputable furniture retailers online, offering quality products at fair prices. A few minutes of browsing through a furniture website can usually give you a good idea of whether or not it's honest and reputable. Ask yourself:
Does the company focus on selling exclusively furniture or do they sell everything from pillows to pampers to produce?
The point here is that customizing, shipping and delivering furniture are specialties that require high levels of skill and experience. There's a big difference between FedExing a pillow and delivering and setting up a bedroom set in your home. Furniture shipping and delivery is an exacting art and science. Don't expect it to be done well by an online department store. Go with a furniture specialist.
Does the website provide detailed information about their products: who makes them, how they are made, what they are made of, directions for furniture care?
Spend some time studying this information on the company's website. Call and ask questions about where your furniture is made, what it's made of and how to care for it so it lasts a lifetime.
Are there hidden costs?
Make sure to take into account shipping costs, taxes, and other fees when deciding on your purchase. Many online furniture stores offer free shipping but some do not. Note that not all free shipping is equal. For example, curbside delivery literally means the delivery crew will pull up to your curb. That's it. You will unload their truck, take your furniture inside and assemble it. I'd advise against that. Reputable furniture retailers will provide full white glove delivery and in-home set up, often at no additional charge. There are various delivery options in between these two extremes so check for applicable up-charges.
Is there a lifetime guarantee or do you have to purchase a limited warranty?
This Audrey dining set can be purchased with a free lifetime guarantee at one online store. Another store charges $825.93 for a 5 year warranty. Be sure to check the fine print.
Read the company blog
Company blogs are a great place to learn more about the ethos of a business you're considering for your investment. Use the pulldown menu on the right to explore our company culture at Vermont Woods Studios and learn about our commitment to:
- Interior design, Vermont style
- American made products & Jobs
- Our environmental mission
- Our community
- And more