Today's furniture buyers are well informed and spoilt for choose shopping from the comfort away from the high street. This does sometimes put you at a disadvantage when choosing the right new piece of furniture online, but we are here to help with that process. Don't get me wrong, online furniture shopping does have some major advantages, like not having to deal with the pushy salesperson, not spending days trekking from store to store trying to find the perfect piece at the best price, finally finding that master piece and been told "Sorry, its out of stock". AAAHHHHHH!!!!!!. So here are some questions we feel you need answered by your chosen online furniture provider to make your online experience an experience of excellence.
Can I get a better price?
The bottom line is, well very often, the bottom line;-)) Many online stores offer products that are continuously been undercut by other online stores, driving the value of the product down. This in turn forces the manufacturer to "Cut Corners" during the manufacturing process. We would rather suggest that you look for furniture that is been sold at roughly the same price from every online retail store. This would be a good indication that the manufacturer of the item is valuing the actual product that they are providing and ensuring there are no quality sacrifices or corners cut.
What customisation features are available?
You should be offered, at the very basic level within the online store, different sizes, colours, fabric or wood choices right on the product page if available for that product. This does not mean that there are not other customisable options for specific items, and a simple email, call or message to the online store should provide additional information, as well as seeing what their actual response time is to questions as this will be a good indication to their customer satisfaction commitments.
How was this furniture made?
If you're buying a table or chair, you need to know what type of frame it has, and what kind of materials where used in the filling and support. All this affects the quality of your furniture. You may also want to know where it was made and who manufactured it. If you have sustainability concerns, ask about industry certifications and whether the finishes are non-toxic or low VOC which can inversely effect human health.
Do you have other items in the same price range?
It's always good to look at all the options before you make up your mind. Take a look at similar items, because you may find that some other piece fits your needs better. If the piece you like seems a little above your budget, ask to see similar items in another price range. With online purchasing, alternative suggestions are very often provided automatically to help you select the perfect piece for your budget.
How do you deliver and how long will it take?
Never assume anything about deliveries, even if you've made a purchase on the particular online store before. Ask about any additional delivery charges, whether they'll call before delivering your furniture, and what day you should expect your furniture to arrive. Some online stores offer free shipping across their product range, but many have an average spend requirement before the free shipping kicks in. This should be displayed very clearly on the product pages as well at your checkout to avoid disappointment, frustration and any unwanted surprises.
Why should I buy from you?
As a consumer, you have the choice to buy or not buy from an online store of your choice. Ask what sets this store apart from others, what makes them special? It's a good idea to inquire about their merchandise selection, customer service, pricing, warranties, and return policies. But trust your gut, if the online store does not make you feel safe and secure and you question the safety of your personal info, rather move onto an alternative online store.
What guarantees do you have?
Find out about any guarantees cover and if the guarantees are in writing. Some online stores have price guarantees, where they match other retailer prices. Others pertain to their products or customer satisfaction. Sometimes there are additional guarantees from manufacturers. Also ask for extended warrantees as sometimes these can be added for an additional fee, or sometimes even just as an added "thank you". With online purchasing the confirmation email you should receive from the online store is your confirmation of purchase and your manufacturers guarantee for that particular product.
What happens if things go wrong?
Ask who will be responsible for answering any questions and what happens if you decide not to keep the furniture. This is where knowing about cancellation and return policies really help and these should be stated very clearly within the online store. Different ways to contact a representative for the online store should also be readily and easily available. If contacting the online retailer was a difficult task and their response time is slow for a simple question, just imagine how frustrating it will be to get the item returned and and your money back. Again, rather move on to another store that shows interest in your business and welcomes questions.
Can you remove my old furniture?
As anyone who has tried to get rid of used furniture knows, discarding it can be a pain and a hassle. Not many online furniture retailers will remove your old furniture when they deliver your new one. Some suggestions are to place your old furniture of social media platforms to resell, with the payment going to the the actual cost of the new item. Or you can always offer it up for free on one of the many online platforms within the UK, giving the gift of something old to you to someone who would appreciate something new to them.