How to Buy Furniture
Furniture World. Whether you're moving into a new place or you're just tired of your old decor, buying new furniture is an exciting prospect that can totally transform the look of your space. However, there is a bit of strategy involved in buying furniture beyond simply picking out what you like. Before you head to the furniture and start buying big piece, make note of a few important considerations.
Choosing a Furniture Website
The Internet operates as an open marketplace, and not all Internet retailers are reputable or reliable. Buy furniture online from popular, secure websites to protect your financial information. This also reduces the risk of problems after you complete your purchases. Take the time to research the website, and the furniture you plan to buy, to make sure you get the best deal.
Choosing the Right Furniture
Measure your space. Start out on the right foot by measuring your room and the ideal size of the furniture you’re looking for. Although you may think that you can just ‘eye’ it, you may end up making a colossal purchasing mistake and buying something much too large or too small. When you have your exact measurements, you’ll be more focused in your search and less likely to purchase something that won’t really work.
Determine the style you’re looking for. In recent years, more styles of furniture have been available than ever before. Whether you’re looking for something modern, traditional, antique, or unique, there’s something on the market for you. When you’re out shopping, though, it can be easy to be persuaded by a salesperson to buy something outside of your typical style. Therefore, go shopping with a specific look in mind. You’ll be able to easily sort out what works and what doesn’t, and make narrowing down your options much easier.
Keep color in mind. Although bright colors and fun patterns may sound great in theory, you should look for colors and patterns that will stand the test of time. When you are in the market for furniture, look for items that will last you many years and won’t need replacing - especially with color. Choose a good neutral tone for the majority of your furniture, and then opt to have one or two pieces in a color or pattern you enjoy. This way, you’ll stand a better chance of still loving your furniture years down the road as your style changes.
Consider your lifestyle. Although you may have always wanted an antique cream velvet couch, if you are the proud owner of several pets and a few children, that couch probably won’t last long. Be sure to buy high quality furniture that will be used the most often, and lower quality (if you are trying to save money) on items that will get less use. Look for fabric that will stand up to a busy household if necessary, and pay attention to your color choices as well.
Pay attention to quality. If you’re heading to Ikea, you are probably focused on low prices more than high quality. If, however, you are investing in a solid piece(s) of furniture you hope to last many years, then you should pay close attention to the quality. Wood furniture comes in three makes: solid, veneer, and plywood/particleboard. Solid wood is what you want; it may cost a bit more but, as the name suggest, it is 100% good quality, solid wood. Veneer is a core of plywood coated in higher quality wood, while plywood is compressed sawdust and wood bits. If you’re looking for upholstered furniture, check the quality of the springs in the base, the substance of the stuffing, and the structure of the support system. If you can, look for sofas with a fifth leg in the center to give better support. Hardwoods come from deciduous trees, while softwoods come from coniferous trees; the name has no bearing on the actual hardness or softness of the wood. If the furniture squeaks or makes noise, it’s not very good quality and should be avoided. If the furniture is primarily assembled with nails and glue, avoid it. Screws and dowels are the best for good quality furniture. Price doesn’t always dictate the quality of an item of furniture, so make sure to check it out thoroughly before committing to purchasing.
Getting the Best Price
After you find the different pieces of furniture that you want to have in your house, get down to the gritty aspect of shopping online: pricing items. You can save a lot of money by researching different items and their price points, as well as the costs for taxes and shipping.
Compare Prices. Very few Internet retailers sell one-of-a-kind items. You can find most furniture, especially the kind you assemble yourself, on dozens of sites. Do a little comparison shopping before you buy by looking for three to five stores that offer the furniture you want. Note the cost of the items, shipping costs, any tax charges, and if the store charges for return shipping or re-stocking. Do this for every piece of furniture you find, to make sure you buy from the online site with the best overall deal. It takes some time, but careful research pays off. For example, I recently saved $75 on a coffee table, by comparison shopping with other websites.
Look for Sales. Internet retailers offer sales, especially around the holidays. If you have your heart set on a piece of furniture, but you think it costs too much, wait before making your purchase. The website might put the piece on sale, or on clearance. Many experts recommend shopping for furniture in January and July to get the best deals. Furniture manufacturers drop new furniture shipments twice a year, in February and August, so many online retailers put the old models on sale the month before to make room for the new stock in their warehouses.
Find a Coupon. Retailers love to give out coupons as a way to get people to visit their websites. You can take advantage of these special deals and get hefty discounts on your purchases. Start by visiting the furniture website and signing up for the company mailing list. Several sites email new mailing list customers a coupon just for signing up. You also receive other coupons periodically, and links to sales and clearance deals. After you sign up with the website’s mailing list, hunt for store coupon codes and promo codes. Several websites collect coupons and special deals from online retailers. These websites posts the coupons online, with the coupon code, so you can take advantage of the discount even if you didn’t receive the deal directly in your inbox.
Consider Taxes. If the retailer has a brick and mortar store in your state, you may have to pay taxes on your online purchases. State taxes on retail purchases can range from 5% to 10%, a significant amount of money for a large purchase like furniture. If you buy a $550 couch and have to pay an 8% tax rate, that couch ends up costing you $594 before shipping. Most online sites list their tax policies on the About page or in the shopping cart. Factor in the sales tax before finalizing your purchase.