44 years ago, when my dad founded Schroeder Furniture Store, he would have never imagined that ordering a sofa could be as easy as tapping a few times on a screen. From the way we communicate to how we do business; technology has had an impact on almost every aspect of modern life. But is it perfect? I don’t think so. In this article, I’m going to share what I believe are the pros and cons of buying furniture online.
The most appealing advantage for a potential customer is the price. An item can be cheaper online as a result of cutting off some expenses (Salesforce, rent, utilities, etc.). On the other hand, with an online store, you won’t have the ability to see, touch, or feel the product before purchasing it. So, if you are 100% sure of the item you want to buy, maybe you should take advantage of their lower prices.
It’s also important to note that most of the time, it’s not that easy to get a real idea of the quality of a furniture piece by its appearance. If you want to make sure you are getting the quality that you are paying for then I would recommend you to see, feel and touch the furniture piece before closing the deal.
Another aspect related to the previous one is the time that it takes for you to purchase and receive your product. When you buy online, you don’t have to deal with a salesperson which makes your order to go quicker. The downside of this is that you most likely won’t receive the advice of an expert about colors, size, and the overall design of the piece you want to purchase.
For me, this last one is the deal-breaker. The sales staff at furniture stores are -most of the time- highly knowledgeable and passionate about furniture, so their guidance when designing a specific space or picking the perfect piece is unevaluable.
Regarding shipping, most of the time, online furniture stores can offer faster options than traditional because- given their business model- they tend to have a larger warehouse. So, if you don’t want to deal with a salesperson or wait a few weeks for your piece to be shipped, maybe the online option is better for you.
Nevertheless, like everything in life, this last one has a not-that-cool side. Given the characteristics of online furniture stores, in most cases, there is no room for customization. A traditional furniture store can take up to 8 weeks to ship a color, fabric, and configuration customize a piece of furniture. So if the shipping time is your main concern, an online store might be a good option.
Another critical aspect to keep in mind is the post-sale service. Let’s say you live in Michigan and you buy a piece of furniture from an online store based in California if something happens with your piece you can’t just walking into the store and get it fixed. And life happens -especially with furniture- so having someone to go back and get your problem solved can prevent a few headaches.
I think that the online world, especially in the retail business, has many great things to offer and it can make our lives easier. But it isn’t exempt of a few downsides that we should keep in mind. So, if you are looking for new furniture, please take these few tips into consideration and explore all your options!
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