How to Shop for Furniture Online

By: Matt Trostle

When it comes to online shopping, there are the obvious pitfalls; but it sure beats driving around mindlessly looking for a parking space. There is also the immense convenience of being able to check out a wider selection, compare prices, read reviews, and get bargain prices only available online.

In fact it seems so painless and hassle-free that it's a wonder why everyone doesn't do it. It seems most people don't know how to get started or don't realize the vast information available to them. To help, I thought I'd create a simple how-to guide for the beginner online furniture shopper.

Be Informed

Today, the higher quality online stores have websites that give a great deal of information including pictures and graphics of great detail. You will also find dimensions and materials used that sometimes isn't readily available at an offline store.

The first step to smart internet shopping would be to go through this information with a fine tooth comb; discarding the frills and gleaning genuine information. Treat it as you would a glib salesman. Look for real answers and make sure all your questions are answered before proceeding further.

When you have found exactly what you are looking for, compare prices with other similar websites to see if the price is right. A good shopping comparison website may come in handy here. Also, when comparing prices, make sure you include shipping in the cost. Some online furniture stores will say free shipping but the shipping cost is actually just added to the selling price.

Double check the actual dimensions of the product and make sure it is as tall or wide as the picture implies it is, and also that it will pass through all your doors comfortably to its final destination.

Gather as much information as you can about your furniture selections, and if you still have questions call up the store and clear all doubts. The most reputable online furniture stores will have a toll free number for you to call. If they don't or it's hard to get in touch with somebody, that's not a good sign and you should probably stay away from that website.

Store Policies

Determine if it's a secure site before typing in your credit card details. Don't be put off by the lengthy small print, most of it is there to protect you, the consumer. Look for things such as a the store's return policy. With these things in mind and a few clicks of the mouse, your furniture shopping is complete!

Delivery

If not provided to you, ask for a valid phone number and address to contact if the company that will be delivering your new furniture. You may need to work with the shipper on a time that is convenient for you since you'll need to be home to accept the delivery. Sometimes there is the option to track progressive stages of delivery online.

Find the policies and procedures section of the website for their policies regarding late delivery, damages, set up, and trash take-away. This way you will know exactly what to do in any situation that may arise.

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