Should I Buy My Furniture Online?

Buy online…or by from my local store? This is a question that many customers ask themselves, whether they are buying shoes, TVs, or furniture.

There are millions of consumers that do buy online. Online bedding and furniture sales are growing according to an article in Furniture Today (the industry bellwether) versus furniture retail sales for bedding and furniture.

Here are six compelling reasons to buy online:

1. It’s convenient. Turn on your computer and start shopping.

2. Easy to be an informed consumer. There’s loads of information about what you are thinking of purchasing. There are blogs, forums, and numerous articles on just about anything you are interested in.

3. When there are no local stores. You may live in an area where there are not many or any local stores.

4. You may want to furnish a vacation home. You live in Rutland, Vermont and your vacation home is in Taos, New Mexico and you’re arriving in 10 weeks and you have no furniture. Your in-laws are arriving the following week. Help!

5. Not enough local choices. For example, if you live along the East Coast, slip covered furniture in brick and mortar retailers is plentiful. However, if you live in the Midwest, you may have a hard time finding one you like. Or you might want something more unique than local stores carry.

6. Lower prices. Usually you will save some money, sometimes a lot, if you buy online.

That being said, buying online is not for everyone. Here are few concerns that you need to consider when buying online and how to address them.

Delivery. Generally deliveries from an online retailer will be longer. Ask your etailer about their delivery service. See my future blog on what to know about delivery services when buying online.

Comfort Level. Some people need to see what they are buying, they need to sit on the piece. They need to face to face contact with their salesperson.

Service. It ‘sometimes easier to get service from a local brick and mortar retailer. At Casco Bay Furniture, we have a good network of local repair facilities nationwide and we also include a free furniture protection plan with your purchase with in home service to address this issue. We also have the capability to take your order back to the factory for service if all else fails. Ask you etailer about how they handle service problems.

My Advice

You have to decide for yourself if youfeel comfortable buying online. Here are some things to that might help you to having a good experience shopping online:

1. Become a knowledgeable consumer.  Research, the construction methods used in building your furniture. For sofas we I recommend 5/4 solid maple or hardwood frames, not plywood or mixed woods, a true 8 way hand tied and hand knotted spring construction, a high resiliency foam seat cushion with a down wrap with a down and fiber back cushion. For case goods choose a quality well constructed piece.

2. If you are shopping for a name brand item, comparison shop.

3. Whatever you buy look for quality. Study the construction features. Look for detailed pictures or a video of how the furniture has been built. A quality product will stand the test of time and actually save you money in the long run.

4. If price is your most important consideration, look for the best price, but do so with caution.

5. Review the type of warranty included in your purchase and the return policy of the retailer you are considering.

6. Review type of delivery

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