It is so easy these days to just hop online and order pretty much anything, even furniture, but that does not mean its the best way to purchase. We see this all the time as a brick & mortar store, people come in and "window shop" and then go home and try to find the same thing online but cheaper. Here is the kicker, its usually not a better or less expensive and I am go to tell you why.
1. All free shipping is not equal
Shipping is such an expensive factor in furniture delivery, and is included in the total cost of your product one way or another. If you are getting "free shipping" than think again, likely the cost is baked into the price of the item , it can make up to as much as 35% of the total cost depending on the type of shipment.
If you are buying an expensive piece of furniture you will want the highest and best delivery with the lowest damage rate. The best type to get is White Glove, the only disadvantage is this can take a little longer than standard delivery but it is a small price to pay to ensure your furniture will arrive in one piece and be put together properly (if needed). If you are opting for standard delivery do not be surprised if that nice delivery man leaves the item at your doorstep or even asks you to get it off the truck yourself, yes this can happen! So do not skip out on delivery.
2. You're choosing the wrong color, and you don't even know it
It is a known fact that every screen whether it be computer, tablet, phone, etc are calibrated differently, meaning the color on the screen will vary. It is very hard to get a true sense of what the color of something will be in real life and in the lighting of your own home. Products in showrooms will also look different based on their positions and the amount of light is cast on them. Think of it like a taking a photograph using flash compared to not using flash.
This rule also applies to products that are the same color but made by different manufacturers. So if you found something in a store for instance a bronze lamp and then find one similar online likely the color will not be a match. This could not be a deal breaker, but something to always keep in mind.
3. All returns cost you money
"Easy returns!" has been a selling point for a lot of e-commerce companies, but the reality is it may be easy but it will cost When you make a return expect to pay some type of fee - whether it's shipping or restocking fee. Always read the fine print in the return policy before you place your order. Look for things that can be potential problems - you'd be surprised what you find! For example, you will probably see something like "Item must be in it's original packaging." In a typical White Glove delivery the boxes and packaging are all thrown out. The key is to inspect the furniture thoroughly at the time of delivery and refuse to accept if it is not right.
4. There's a good chance your furniture will not fit
The only measurements you need are your furniture's dimensions and its surrounding space, right? WRONG! Along with that, you'll need to measure the path to your space, including doors, stairs and hallways. The worst thing that can happen is finding out your new couch will not make into your home, and guess what now you have to deal with a return! Check out this previous post to be sure you are measuring your space correctly!
5. Unexpected fees will come out of your pocket
Get to know your state's tax laws for out of state purchases. There's a good chance you'll have to pay an internet sales tax and you need to factor that cost into the total purchase.
6. Cheaper is not always better
When it comes to furniture, cheaper is usually not better. Likely if you found what you think is the same item online but cheaper, it is not the same. How furniture is manufactured is important and you will find this out a year into sitting in a new couch. If you are truly looking to invest into pieces that will be in your home for a while I highly recommend shopping in a store so you can touch and feel each item, a good sales person will be able to explain to you the quality that went into the piece. Basically you get what you pay for, if you opted for something less expensive just be prepared that you are not getting the same quality.
7. Customer service
Lastly but probably most importantly is the customer experience. If you are shopping at a store most likely you are going to get not only great customer service but an overall better shopping experience and this goes a long way when you are buying furniture. Small stores like Darby Road HOME pride themselves on working with each customer to ensure they are buying the right piece. Whether that be as a design client to do a whole room or just buying one item. We are here to help you with all of your design questions, you just can't find that experience online!
So don't forget about the small brick & mortar shops that are here to inspire and help create the home of your dreams. Click here to make an appointment today with one of our designers to get the process started.
We would love to hear from you your thoughts! Have you ever had an online purchase blunder? Comment below and tell us about it!