Online furniture shopping is a convenient way to find some great pieces for your small space. It can, however, be somewhat challenging buying furniture without physically looking at it. So here’s a few tips to help you shop for furniture pieces online and make smart choices.
Tips for Online Furniture Shopping
1. Measure your space. This is especially important if you have a small space with limited room. So measure that corner that’s begging for an accent table carefully. And a bonus tip for you: Measure the opening through which the furniture piece must be carried. This means your front or back door and any other openings (like elevators) the piece must pass through. You’d be surprised how large a piece of compact furniture feels when trying to wedge it through a small doorway.
2. Know your style. Are you going for a rustic feel? Shabby chic? Modern? Retro? Have your style in mind before you begin your online furniture shopping. It will keep your search focused and limit your choices a bit, which will save you some time.
3. Know when to skimp or splurge. You want quality, but quality costs money. If you’re on a tight budget, you may be able to cut corners with certain furniture pieces that don’t see too much wear and tear, like an accent table or shelf. Other pieces, like couches, chairs and dining tables, need to hold up well under a lot of use and are worth splurging on to get the best quality you can afford.
4. Read the reviews. Most websites (like Amazon) let you sort the reviews, so read the negative ones first to see what people’s complaints are. Even if an item has a high rating, there could be just one negative aspect that is a deal breaker for you. You don’t know that until you read the reviews. Also check out any questions and answers in the product description. These can be enlightening as well.
5. Read the product description carefully. When doing online furniture shopping, the product description should be a critical part of your decision process. Pay close attention to the measurements (see tip #1, above). Also look at the materials from which the piece is made. Fabricated wood can look like real wood in a photo. A fabric may look like leather, but actually be pleather, or some other leather substitute (not that pleather is bad – you just want to know what you’re buying.)
It’s also a good idea to check the care instructions. Does it wipe clean, or does it need special care?
6. Check the assembly requirements. You want to know what you’re in for when that perfect piece arrives. Reviewers often mention how easy or difficult the product was to assemble, and this is very helpful.
7. Know the return policy. No matter how carefully you choose your furniture or decor piece, there could be something about it that just isn’t quite right and you may want to send it back. Take note of how much time you have to return it to get your refund. Also note who pays for the return shipping – you or the seller.
These tips apply to Amazon, and any other retailer you may visit while doing your online furniture shopping. We hope they help you in your quest for that perfect compact furniture piece for your space.
You might want to check out this video from The Federal Trade Commission as well. It has some great tips for online shopping in general.
What about you? Do you have any online furniture shopping tips to share? We’d love to hear them in the comments. Happy shopping!