Making a large purchase like furniture over the internet might seem like a phenomenally bad idea, but people do it every day. In fact, more furniture purchases are made online than anywhere else, even when consumers pick up at their local furniture store. In a world where you can even buy a car online and have it delivered to your door, getting bulky furniture items, in the same way, doesn’t seem so farfetched.
Still, you’re not alone if you feel a bit of trepidation clicking that buy button. Put your mind at ease and improve your overall online shopping experience by looking at reviews for the furniture brand, collection, specific item, and the online retailer through whom you will make your purchase. Each of these reviews will tell a different part of the story and give you an overall view of whether or not you should place your order as you intend.
Brand reviews – look for signs of quality and durability
Any furniture purchase is only as valuable as the brand you are buying. If the brand doesn’t have a good reputation, there is no reason to believe you will be happy with your purchase. Look for reviews that specifically mention how the product was when it arrived and how long the furniture lasted.
Reviews that show damage or fast deterioration could be clues of poor quality, or they could be flukes based on a number of factors outside the brand’s control. On the other hand, if you consistently see customers warning against poorly constructed furniture, you should probably look at a different brand.
If you see vastly different reviews of the same furniture brand, it could be due to a difference in shipment carriers. If a common complaint is “It arrived damaged,” chances are the brand is just fine. Instead of blaming the manufacturer, check which online retailers are making the shipments, and what carriers they are using. This can help you further narrow down where you will want to go to get your new furniture online.
Reviews of a specific furniture collection
Furniture brands usually release their offerings as a part of a specific furniture collection that is then featured in a broader product catalog. Just as the best car manufacturers sometimes have a model that is a complete dud, so too can furniture brands issue a collection that doesn’t perform or hold up as well as their previous offerings.
For this reason, you should look for reviews about the collection itself, even if you are looking within the catalog of a furniture brand that you trust. Look too for reviews about one particular furniture item, especially a big ticket item like a sectional. You don’t want to get that dud model. If you see bad reviews for the one you want, search the brand’s other offerings for better reviews.
This type of research is important no matter how you choose to buy your new furniture. With all of the review platforms available online, there is no reason to make a purchase without full confidence. Once you have thoroughly researched the furniture brand, collection, and items that you want to purchase, it is time to look at the reviews for different online furniture retailers.
Making use of reviews for online furniture stores
Of course, ultimately it is the online furniture store’s responsibility to make sure you get a product that you can use and enjoy for many years to come. Finding reviews of particular online stores might not be quite as simple, but you should still be able to find some clues through consumer watchdog organizations like Consumers Report.
Look at both the good and the bad reviews. Do the good reviews seem fake? Are they all anonymous? Were they all posted within a short time frame? Are there recent reviews? Any of these could be red flags that the positive reviews you are reading are actually fabricated by the store’s own internal staff.
When looking at the bad reviews, look for those that offer truly useful information. A review with just one star and no explanation is not helpful enough to be considered. Skip over these generic reviews or ratings and look for those that have some meat.
When you find bad reviews, check to see if the online retailer addressed the issue. Every review website offers the ability for the site owner to address issues to improve their overall ranking within the review site. Often the fact that a mistake was made is less important than how the issue was resolved.
As you sift through the bad reviews that do have explanations of their experiences, look for clues as to what people have objected to. Are their shipments often damaged? Do people have difficulty getting them to honor returns, exchanges, or warranties? Does the online retailer have a good reputation with other platforms like Amazon or eBay?
One or two instances of such issues can be expected from any large retailer, as such issues do happen on occasion. No one is perfect, online or off in the real world. But if you see review after review pointing out such difficulties, you probably don’t want to have anything to do with that retailer.
Instead, go with an online furniture store that you know you can trust. 1StopBedrooms is one of those online furniture retailers with a great reputation for timely deliveries of quality home furniture and décor. Shipping issues can often be on the part of the carrier rather than the online furniture store, but if the store has repeated issues there should be some evidence that they are trying to correct the problem or switch carriers entirely.
Online furniture stores that offer the most brands are also the most trustworthy – that means they have been accepted as a brand ambassador for more manufacturers. Furniture brands don’t want their items being offered by unscrupulous retailers, so when you find one that offers a variety of brands and collections in one place you know that you are dealing with someone reputable.