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What to know about buying furniture online

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Be a savvy shopper with what you know about buying furniture online

Be a savvy shopper with what you know about buying furniture online

At some time in your life, you?ll probably need to buy furniture. Sure, the pieces you can scrounge from relatives are great and they will last for a while. But over time, those pieces will need to be replaced as they wear out.

Today there are many options for purchasing new furniture, including buying it online. Before you point and click your way to new furniture, there are some points to consider. Read on for a better online experience.

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Retailers and manufacturers put reviews online for a reason. It lets other potential buyers get a good idea about the sofa, dresser or table before deciding to purchase it. Read these reviews to learn how the piece has worked for someone else and whether or not they think it was a good deal.

If the site doesn?t offer reviews, type the maker, model and model number into a search engine. If there are no reviews, be wary.



A picture can only tell you so much about an item. Since you don?t have the luxury of touching the product before you purchase, many retailers offer great descriptions and spec sheets for their products. Read these details carefully and make sure you understand what they say.

For instance, know the difference between premium leather and bonded leather ? it could save you heartaches down the road. As an added bonus, the furniture you?re looking for is often for sale locally. This gives you the option of trying it out in the store and then buying it online, usually saving some serious cash along the way.

Measure twice, buy once

You may have fallen in love with a gorgeous Italian leather living room set, but aren?t sure if it fits in your living room. Measure your room dimensions first and sketch them out on a piece of paper. Then look at the size of each piece of furniture. Plot it out on your sketch to make sure it will work in your space. Perhaps you can only fit the sofa and table, just a chair or all the pieces.

You?ll never know unless you measure.


Want another tip? Make sure it will fit through the doorways, and look at the twists and turns you may need to maneuver through, as well. How sad would it be if the perfect sofa ended up living on your porch?

Do it yourself

Assembly, that is.

Plenty of online retailers keep costs down by shipping furniture in pieces that need to be put together after delivery. Be honest with yourself about your mechanical aptitude and skill levels. Sure, you can get all the experience you want by building it yourself. Just make sure you have the patience for it.

Some companies will offer to either deliver it assembled or have the delivery person do it for you. Just be aware that these services are rarely free and costs can add up quickly.

Pricing, delivery and returns

Prices vary as much online as they do at local stores. In some cases, this is because one merchant includes basic shipping in their online price, while another may have all shipping costs listed separately.

It?s important to look and make sure you understand what the real price is, as well as whether delivery is included. This also applies to the delivery itself. Standard shipping means your furniture will be delivered when it?s convenient for the manufacturer, not necessarily on your schedule. If you need it quickly, you might want to pay up for faster delivery.

Another note about shipping is the actual drop-off. Some companies deliver only to the curb (or doorstep), while others will bring it in the house for you.

Lastly, know that most businesses offer returns if you don?t like the product or it doesn?t work in your space. However, unless it?s a warranty claim, the cost of shipping the item back can be prohibitive.

This is why it?s so important to do your homework first and be a well-informed online furniture buyer.


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Since 1996, has been considered the web's catalog shopping authority. Our trends experts have carefully reviewed thousands of catalogs and online stores and have featured only the most respected, distinctive, and trusted ones. From popular favorites to new discoveries, you'll shop and save with exclusive coupon codes!

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