Furniture shopping tips.
1. Measure measure measure! Not just your room, but the entire path it takes to get to your driveway, up stairs, through doorways, narrow halls, around tight corners. Even the most experienced delivery staff could potentially damage your home or furniture if you did not measure properly. You may even get stuck with a restocking fee if you have to return a sofa. If you are still not sure, call the store and see if a delivery person can come take a look.
2. Have a plan, then measure again. If space planning and selection is overwhelming and you just don’t feel comfortable finalizing plans, find a professional designer. Design has many elements that many feel like they can do themselves, but a professional can bring unique ideas and tips and plans that will WOW you. You’ll find yourself saying, ‘I could never have done this.’ Proper planning is your best friend.
If you prefer to DIY. Look over your home and take an inventory of what you may have already. A good plan can save you money and your sanity. Furniture shopping gets overwhelming with choices and options. Its not cute or fun to bicker with your significant other in front of a salesperson you just met. Take your time. Furniture shopping is like getting a tattoo. Your going to stare at it everyday and USE it, don’t settle, don’t stress, don’t rush.
3. Shop for quality. Buying a quality piece of furniture is a way to go green and save your green. If you buy a brand new sofa for 300 bucks at a big box store, chances are your going to buy another $300 sofa in a year. And the next year. If you had spent $900 bucks on a sofa in the first place, you wouldn’t have sent 3 sofas to a landfill, your kid wouldn’t have broken the back when decided to jump on it, and you wouldn’t have had to install that pulley system to get you off of the sofa after the cushions took the shape of a pancake in 3 months. Same goes for mattresses.
If you cant afford it, don’t get it… Deal with that cruddy sofa and save for quality. Trust me.
4. Find a trustworthy retailer. Good customer service will make your shopping experience that much easier. Research your retailers online… Better business bureau, online reviews, word of mouth.
5. Patience. I’ve worked in furniture for 6+ years now. And the one thing I’ve learned, is that anything can happen… Which is why I pressure proper planning. If you have chosen a reputable retailer, I assure you, they want to keep you happy, repeat business is the name of the game. That doesn’t mean you can call the shots, you can compromise on a solution, but there are so many hands involved in the furniture industry that the average consumer does not realize.
Custom orders may take longer than expected. I don’t recommend custom orders in a short and definite time frame. Furniture manufacturers and freight companies may shut down during holidays, sometimes for a whole week, which may delay assembly and arrival, and even your retailer from providing the customer service they wish to.
Manufacturers usually do not make the fabric, they import it. If they have to wait on more fabric, this may cause more delays. Your salesperson can check stock with the manufacturer before you order.
Furniture is big and bulky and heavy and not the easiest thing to transport. Don’t believe me, try to find a friend to help you move and pack without a bribe or food or booze or money. If something happens from point a to point b, don’t worry, it happens, a good sales staff and retailer will take care of you.
6. Buy local and American whenever you can. Online shopping has become the biggest threat to the average brick and mortar store. It’s good to use the Internet to research, find what you love, and make sure you aren’t paying three times more than you have to. However, there are a few thinks you should know about doing business online when you are buying furniture.
To repeat number 5, furniture is big and bulky. If the online retailer doesn’t assure white glove in home service(this is rare). You better corral up some strong friends to help you. Because with curbside delivery, you are going to have to unwrap, assemble, and delivery the furniture inside yourself. By the end of it, you will probably be kicking yourself for waisting your and your friends time and energy. Some services are worth paying for, and that’s coming from the self proclaimed queen of bargain hunting. Customer service is one of them. If something goes wrong in an online transaction, you will probably have to pay the shipping for return, which is NOT cheap.
Many people can have good online shopping experience, but you have to know what to expect, and one thing would be surprises.
7. Don’t fall for gimmicks. Free tvs, Buy one get one, 50% off, liquidation and store closings, etc. Buyer beware. If its too good to be true, it probably is. Quality merchandise doesn’t need smoke and mirrors. If you are looking for REALLY good deals and don’t mind the miles, shop consignment stores or yard sales.
8. Don’t think the protection plans are a scam. Hear out your sales person, and read the paperwork. We’re human, we make mistakes. We spill things, drop things… Stuff happens. I’ve had customers that were able to pick out whole new bedroom/living/dining rooms because their daughter spilled nail polish, they left a water glass on a nightstand, they spilled red wine on their sofa or rug, etc etc etc.
9. Edit. Maybe even have a yard sale to help pay for new items you may need. Declutter and clean and minimize and organize your home before you buy anything new, especially if the money could be spent on more economical things. Put everything in its place, and have a place for everything. Don’t bring in anything you don’t absolutely love. This is what I think that actually makes a home cozy. Not museum. Just you. Which brings me to number 10.
10. Keep in personal. Don’t blow your budget on art that doesn’t speak to you. Keep it sentimental. Family photos, art painted by you or a friend or a favorite artist. Like I said, don’t settle. I love a good deal, but I just can’t buy an inanimate landscape from TJ Maxx for 35 dollars just because it’s 35 dollars and I happen to have a space it fits in. I’d rather live with a blank spot until something screams or begs me to be hung in my home. Have style. Be you. Don’t be afraid to try new things, even if it’s just in small doses. always check a retailers return policy.
I see too many people struggle with furniture shopping. Furniture shopping should be fun. Follow my 10 tips and I hope the insider advice helps you and enjoy a beautiful space to enjoy with loved ones. Fill it with memories and smiles and there we have something priceless.
Stay tuned for more interior design advice, craft projects, etc.
The beach is calling me…. Much love to you all.