Planning to purchase furniture online? Most people do this because It is very convenient, saves a lot of time, effort and money. But a lot still doubt the idea of buying online because it seems too risky. There are many horror stories in purchasing online especially home furnishings. How can you tell that what you see is actually what you get? How can you tell that the furniture will work well in your home without seeing it on actual first? We’ve listed several things you need to know before buying your dream furniture online.
Check The Website
You must be wary of unscrupulous websites out there. Keep an eye on the website design, most of the illegitimate online stores do not invest on good website design. Check on the layout, make sure that all pages are updated, no grammatical errors or mistakes and everything is in the right place. These small errors are hints that every content posted were not carefully checked. Moreover, check the About page of the store. The About page tells you if they are already established, who the owners are, do they have staffs or warehouse, where is the item coming from and where is it made.
Check Website Encryption – When you’re on a secure website you will always see the “https” and a padlock icon in the address bar. What does this do? This means that the site is using encrypted communications to secure all information like credit cards, bank accounts when you submit to it to them. The owners of the website will not be able to store or even know what are the information that you have submitted to them. Do not submit any information on a check out page without this encryption.
Check Contact Details
A legitimate online store will have contact details on its site. If there is an incomplete contact information, without an address, email, and phone number you should be cautious. Legitimate online stores also have customer service support where you can get in touch whether if you have inquiries about the orders or a first time buyer.
Look For Customer Reviews
When buying online, customer review is a tool to making sure you are buying a legit or a high quality product. Take a look on their website to see if there are any customer reviews about the products or the company. Usually on the product page, customers have the option to post a review about the product they purchased. Check all these and see if they have actual photos posted. If you are still uncertain, you may be able to find reviews about the website on google search. They often moderate bad reviews on their website that’s why an outside search is also helpful.
Check The Dimensions
When buying furniture online, you must always check the dimensions. This is usually posted in the information or specification part of the product page. Dimensions or Measurements are very important, look after complete dimension information like height, width, depth. If there is a missing information, do not hesitate to message the seller. This is essential because this would give you an idea if the furniture you are about to purchase will fit into your home. Do not depend on pictures as it can be deceiving most of the times.
You can sketch or use software to try fitting in the actual furniture size to the plan. Check out our software here to start planning your furniture layout easily.
Know The Materials
Most of the times, Items photograph differently to how they look in reality. Be sure you understand what you are buying by going through all the available information about the product. Answer these questions; What is the material, Where does it came from, what is the exact color. Again, If any of these information are not posted, contact the seller first just to be sure. Do not be easily deceived by beautiful photos!
Know The Lead Time
If you are planning ahead of time or if you are running out of time to furnish your home, be sure to know the lead times. Furniture are sometimes made to order but there are many stores offering ready ship items also. The store must have the available stock information on their website. And if there’s no stock available yet, check how long is the lead time for your item. If you are on a tight schedule in moving in, make sure you know these information as some items take as long as months to order.
If you are going to shop on online vendors and not on official sites of furniture companies, always compare prices. Different vendors offer the same furniture but the price varies. Some vendors offer sale and promos that you may want to look at. Make a list of all genuine furniture vendors and try looking up the same furniture model in each site. Always remember, If the price is too good to be true, think again.
Know The Warranty and Return Policy
Order returns are unavoidable especially in online shopping. Whether due to defects or other issues, It is best to check their warranty policy and return policy before heading to check out page. Checking the warranty and return policy ahead of time gives you the guarantee that you have a plan if the orders are not acceptable. Here’s the checklist for you to assure that they have a fair return policy:
- Do they accept returns?
- How long is the warranty period?
- Check the time limits for their return policy and exchange policy.
- What are the conditions that the item can be returned?
- Check if there are fees in returning an Item.
- Is there a refund policy?
- How to apply for return of items or refund of purchased items.
Buying furniture online is an exciting thing to do especially for new homeowners. In comfort of your own home, you can fill in your home with beautiful furnishings of your dream. We hope that these tips will help you in choosing the best furniture for you and your family!