When it comes to how to buy furniture, take some time to do research, read reviews, and compare similar prices and pieces.
Since it can be a moderately expensive investment that will last you a long time, it merits taking the time to do your homework.
Otherwise, you may end up with a piece of furniture that you are unhappy with and is not compatible with the intended space.
Below is a primer on how to buy furniture without regretting it the next day.
#1 – Know What You Want
Some folks go shopping online without having a clue as to what style they are interested in, what their long term plans are for the space being furnished, and what the room measurements are.
It would be great to measure the area you plan on furnishing because sometimes, furniture appears to fit, but then when it arrives, it doesn’t fit or is too big for the space. Measuring will save you a lot of time.
Also, if you are a visual person, consider making a drawing of the space you are shopping for to help you decide whether a sectional or a couch will better suit that area.
If you have pictures of furniture you like, bring that with you, along with paint samples from the wall and carpet swatches to help you during your shopping excursion.
Having everything in front of you will enable you to compare the colors and reach a solid decision.
Give thought to how long you plan on keeping this space furnished with its new look. Consider what feelings you would like to experience upon entering this room.
Exploring different ideas and properly planning will help you make a decision that you can happily live with for many years to come.
#2 – Measure the Space
Sometimes, the way stores arrange furniture can throw off your ability to gauge if it will fit well in the desired space. Even though it may look perfect in a showroom, it may not work well in your home.
If possible, try carrying a tape measure with you and take measurements before committing to buy a piece of furniture. After measuring, if you are still indecisive, then go home and draw out the desired furniture piece on a sheet of paper to help you envision what it will look like and if it will be suitable for your room.
#3 – Request a Fabric Swatch to Take Home
Before purchasing a piece of upholstered furniture, ask the furniture store representative or internet store for a fabric swatch. The way fabrics look in a showroom or on the internet may be deceiving because of the difference in lighting.
Once you have the swatch, compare what the material looks like in the desired space during different times of the day. Also, see how the color blends with other existing pieces, accessories, drapes, area rugs, and wall color.
#4 – Know Whether the Furniture is Comfortable or Functional
If you plan on making an internet purchase (recommended if you want to save money), you may want to check out furniture stores that carry similar merchandise in order to test it out.
If you decide to purchase your furniture via the internet, it is important to familiarize yourself with that particular furniture store’s return policy in case you need to return the piece so that you are not stuck with something that doesn’t work for you.
However, whenever possible, it is a good idea to test the furniture out by sitting on it, laying on it in order to see if it is comfortable and feels like something you will enjoy sitting/laying on while reading, napping, or watching TV.
Just don’t get sucked into the salespeople’s friendly pitch, because they generally don’t care about your satisfaction, they care about their commission.
#5 – Forget About Sales
Although it can be difficult to pass up a piece of furniture that is 50% off, give it careful thought before forking over the money because if the furniture does not fit the style you have in mind and you are unable to return it, you have just invested fifty percent more than you had to because chances are that you may end up feeling dissatisfied with this purchase and buying replacement furniture in the near future.
Therefore, shopping for furniture requires planning, and even if you come across a deal that seems irresistible, but not entirely what you are looking for, it may be better to wait a bit in the end for the sake of getting furniture that you are extremely pleased with.
#6 – Don’t Let Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth
It is very tempting to forward links to several family members and friends to get their opinion on what constitutes appealing furniture.
Unfortunately, what others may like may not work for you because buying furniture is such a personal choice because the pieces suit your taste, needs, and comfort.
However, consider narrowing it down to asking one or two people that have exquisite taste and who are close to you to come accompany you because chances are, they are familiar with what you like and may offer suggestions you may have not thought of before.
#7 – Consider Buying Furniture Online
There are three major advantages to buying online as opposed to in the store.
#1 is the choices. In the store, you are limited to what’s in the showroom (or their highly priced items in the catalog).
On the internet, there are no limits whatsoever in the type of furniture you can buy.
You can literally choose from showrooms all over the world, from any style, just by clicking a mouse.
#2 is the price. Almost everything is cheaper online, because online stores don’t need cushy profits to pay their salespeople and store employees.
This allows them to pass savings onto you, and most sites offer free shipping as well.
#3 is the convenience. I hate going to furniture stores and immediately being jumped on by greedy salespeople who see me as their latest target for their commission.
On the internet, I am not pressured by the ulterior motives of salespeople; I can choose the furniture that I like, and not the furniture I’m being convinced to like. No one likes a sales pitch.
#8 – Don’t Required Individualized Attention
If you are going to require unlimited assistance from a salesperson in the showroom, don’t bother. Salespeople are usually juggling among many customers, and their allegiance is to those customers who they think will buy something (customers buying something = more commission for them).
Why would someone who earns his/her paycheck from commissions devote attention to someone who is simply there to browse and not make an immediate sale? In this instance, buying furniture is a lot like buying a car; the people there to “help” you are really just trying to sell you something.
Don’t get ripped off. If you have questions about how to buy furniture, you can find answers online.
You’re not likely to get individual attention at a store, and even if you do, the “help” is almost always biased toward getting you to buy something expensive. And once you agree to the sale, they try to “upsell” you other profitable items like warranties.
You know, warranties. That’s where you pay hundreds of dollars for what you think is insurance, and on the tiny chance you actually do need something replaced or repaired, you read the fine print to discover what you need isn’t covered in the contract.
Thank goodness the internet has made shopping for furniture easier and more advantageous for the buyer.
#9 – Measure the Areas Where Furniture Will Be Brought Through During Delivery
It’s happened to a lot of people where a sectional was delivered and the delivery people could not squeeze it through the front door.
Some delivery people take measures to prevent the piece from scratching the door and walls, while others may not display as much care and scuff the front door frame and front door in trying to make the piece of furniture fit through the door.
Don’t let this happen to you. By planning ahead of time and measuring the size of the entry and walls leading up to the area where you would like the piece set will save you a lot of time and trouble.
Also, explore other entry options in case your front door is not wide enough. If you have double French doors that lead outside, this is a great alternative.
#10 – Don’t Pay Full Boat for an Overpriced Turkey
Let’s face it, some furniture stores charge an arm and a leg for their pieces.
By doing comparison shopping, it will give you an idea on the different prices out there and enable you to make a better decision that fits your budget.
If you find a piece of furniture that is lovely, but isn’t discounted, consider waiting for a sale.
It is not uncommon for online furniture stores to mark down inventory during holiday weekends, such as Memorial Day or other sales events.
Another tactic that can be employed is calling or emailing the merchant to give you a discount if you buy multiple pieces of furniture or perhaps, you may ask them to throw in a free delivery (which is quickly becoming the industry standard anyway). You have nothing to lose by asking.
Lastly, it is possible to purchase furniture at some stores on an interest free financing credit plan with deferred payments for one year. However, try to pay off the balance within that time frame or you may be faced with paying a high interest for this purchase.