“I like to sit on the sofa to see how it feels on my bottom before buying it from the furniture store.” – Retail Store Customer
“I enjoy the easy convenience of immediate price comparison and easy to find online coupons when buying from my favorite online furniture store.” – Internet Customer
Common Satements Made by The Opinions About Furniture Store
These are the two most common statements made by the opinions. The Opinions of the different kinds of people that prefer to buy something at the local store. Compared to those that like to browse and shop on the internet. Of course, nothing can ever replace the real feeling of sitting on the chair that you are going to buy. Or knocking on the wood of the cabinet to make sure how solid it is. But that experience comes at a cost, and for those of you that don’t mind to sacrifice that experience.
The economics support that market action because everyone can use an extra buck or two to spend elsewhere. More time to spend with loved ones rather than the stranger that is coughing next to you in line.
I always support going to the store and browsing around because it is an experience of ambience that you will never get when clicking on a picture online. But that should definitely be considered as a luxury and leisurely experience, because I am sure many of you are busy and have a budget you have in mind when shopping. In this article I will try to give you some background and true economics of buying furniture online so you are familiar with the pros and cons of not going to your local store, and further be able to address the cons to support a case that you should shop online for furniture more often than many think.
One of the most key things to buying an item is to make sure that the price is right. And I can assure you that the pricing is mostly lower when buying from an online furniture store. Take for instance a dining room set that you find at the local big box retailer or family owned furniture store. They usually go for about $4000-$5000 for a dining room set with 4 chairs, 2 arm chairs, and a table. You can just see it in the Sunday paper ads or the mailers you get from companies like Easy Life or Levitz (which is going out of business, by the way).
Just quickly go to Amazon or Google and you will be sure to find a dining room set with more selection and styles to meet your needs for less than half he price you pay at the local store, you find smaller dining sets at less then $800 up to complete formal dining room sets at $2500 average. And better yet, you can go from store to store to compare the pricing just by a click of a button and with the local store’s catalog in front of you to match up the pricing right at the comfort of your den dressed in your PJs.
So now you may ask “what about the shipping?”, since it does usually cost a few hundred dollars to ship a dining room set, it’s not worth it so you drive to the store and get it yourself, but that takes up a lot of your time.
Time does cost you not only money but also time away from family, friends, loved ones. So think about the drive to the store and using your own truck or rental truck to pick up and move the items into your house. That is a days worth of driving, moving, hauling, etc. Yes, furniture stores do deliver, but they still charge you and also charge to put things together. You can order online with in home delivery just as easy for $125 or more. A lot of the items you buy in bulk have free shipping included. Internet prices less the cost of shipping still gives you a lower price than the store. You probably have to drive to a few stores to compare pricing which takes up even more time.
I know of new home owners that slave to get their home furnished driving tens of (even hundreds of) miles from store to store for 6 months trying to find what they need to fully furnish their home, and this not only takes away from your time but also so much stress is added in this scavenger hunt you created for yourself when you decided to “go to the local store.”
So put together the gas money, the time you’ve lost, the rental truck, moving, and putting things together, that should at least have cost you the same amount as the shipping the online furniture store would have charged you by clicking that checkout button. But of course, you are buying something that is thousands of dollars and you really want to see it and touch it before you buy because you can’t tell the quality of an item from the picture or zoom ups of the items.
What if the cushion is too hard? Or the size won’t fit? What if I have to return it because the color was not right? These are all hard pressed questions that challenge both the customer and the online furniture industry. But you have to realize that everyone (both retail store, online stores) is sourcing from the same people. Even if they buy from different wholesalers that supply their business, it’s the same manufacturer. that makes the items. You are buying essentially the same items made by the originating people whether you buy from the store or online. You’re buying the same quality.
Bolster Your Buying Confidence
So how can you be sure then if the item is what you want? Well, there are many things that can bolster your buying confidence, such as:
1. Email or call the online store and ask them questions about the color or quality of the item, and where it’s made;
2. Find out the manufacturer name, and I can guarantee you will hear the same name that supplies the local store (you can also call the local store to find out what brands they carry);
3. Check if the items have warranties, because a good warranty means they back up an item of quality;
4. Product ratings by customers are sometimes displayed on the product page. Read through them and get a feel of what they say. And if they have comments that address your concerns about buying that furniture item.
All in all you can do your due diligence before making that big investment into your furniture and decorating your home, and the same level of quality checking can be done at the ease of a phone call and/or an email just as you would driving from store to store to compare.