I get asked how to shop effectively online for large furniture as we all love (or not) to take a Saturday out of our schedule to walk around a retail park, sit on 20 different sofas and still come home without having placed an order. The thing is, are we taking these trips for the experience or to actually buy something? We have so many more choices online that even after 5 different shops, I know I would find it hard to settle on a sofa before taking a look on the world wide web for a wider range of options and the limitless options. I also appreciate for some, this can be overwhelming.
At KaVaRa Interior Design, here is what we look for before proposing any piece of furniture to our clients as we curate their options online with care whether the retailer has and doesn’t have a physical shop:
- Reputation of the seller: Don’t be fooled. Just because they have a huge shop you can popped into, it doesn’t mean the quality nor service is great by default so dig into this at the early stages. Take a look outside of their website to see what previous customers have to say.
- Product review: Look at what previous customers who bought that exact product have to say about it. As a rule of thumb, we never propose a product that has less than 4 out of 5 stars to our clients. We read the few negative feedback (if any) attentively before deciding if we should put it forward or not. We are looking for any repetitive complaints.
- Product specification: such as dimensions, colour, material, assembling methods… When the product is not in front of you, you are encouraged to read more about this part and make an informed decision on whether this is suitable for your needs rather than take a guess based on its look and feel in a showroom.
- Competitors: Many retailers carry different brands which means the exact same product you are looking at can be found elsewhere. Do a quick search on Google to see if it appears elsewhere. Now you might find it for a different price or you might find it with another retailer that has better incentives such as quicker delivery, assembling service etc that might influence your decision.
- Delivery: If you need a fast turnaround, this can be a key deciding factor and most websites will have these details clearly mentioned. If you are ordering multiple items from various retailers, make a note of the expected delivery date at check out so you can be around to receive the item as they don’t always turn up together.
- Return policies: how long you do you have to return something? Will you be charged for returns and how much? Are you liable for the physical return of a product and the transportation cost etc.
- Warranties: Does the product come with any type of cover or do you need pay extra for this? Often, it is worth paying for this and making use of it when needed.
- Photos: on Google Images and Pinterest, search for the product you are looking to buy. You might be able to find pictures of this posted by a previous customer and see how it looks in a real home.
If you still want to see the item in its flesh, you can always call up the head-office and ask the nearest showroom (if there are any) that display this exact product and take a trip before placing your order. Depending on the product, you can also request samples.
I hope this is helpful and has given you confidence to purchase even the largest of items for your home online. It saves heaps of time, shows you many more options and makes it much easier to compare.
Feel free to share this with someone who might doing their home up or just moved into a new home.