Before you buy furniture online
When making the decision to buy furniture online, there are a few things that you need to know. Saying goodbye to the tiresome chore of trailing around the store in search of your perfect piece of furniture is one of the many advantages you sign up for when shopping online. In just a few minutes of reading, find out about the Do’s and Don’ts and all you need to know before buying furniture online.
Taking the easy route to buy furniture online
We all know how stressful it can be to spend hours walking up and down your local furniture store, searching for the piece you saw in the catalogue, that is most probably out of stock already. Trying to understand furniture lingo, materials you never knew existed, and payment options, all in the moment, is an undeniable frustration. Not to mention being persuaded into buying something you really don’t need, by the over-friendly salesperson.
When you consider these aspects, scrolling through an online furniture store with the intention to buy furniture online seems like a blissful float down the river, where every decision you make is fueled by your own mindset, desires and time.
Buy furniture online: Do’s
Because you are not in store to physically touch or set eyes upon your chosen piece, there are a few precautions and measures to follow so as to avoid disappointment, and in the worst-case scenario, being scammed.
• Make sure that the website you have chosen to buy furniture online from has a valid and trustworthy URL. You can do this by making sure that it is preceded by https:// – where the S stands for secure.
• If you are uncertain, make use of the customer care line, as any trustworthy store will have a dedicated customer service team ready to assist you during working hours.
• Make sure that you have selected the correct quantity and colour option in your online orders – sometimes website options can be finicky and you have to double check your choices.
• Ensure that the website uses an accredited South African bank account, if you are ordering locally, before making your purchase.
• Understand that there is the possibility of you having to return a piece that you ordered. It may not appeal to you in person as it did in images. In this case, you need to ensure that you are familiar with the store’s return policies.
Advantages of shopping for furniture online
As already mentioned, the dropping of the stress factor by physically shopping from home or another comfortable space on your phone, laptop or other device, makes for a much more pleasant shopping experience. However, there are other advantages to shopping online:
Information at your fingertips
Forget feeling awkward at firing endless questions at a store employee, and instead enjoy having all the information right under your nose. Online furniture store shoppers enjoy straightforward and easy to understand information alongside each piece of furniture that they may fancy. From colours, measurements and materials used, you will have a clear frame of reference when deciding on whether or not to purchase a gorgeous piece.
On many occasions, furniture shoppers from all around the world have traipsed the aisles of the store, only to bring home a piece that is simply too big for their space, despite having tried to measure out the room beforehand. Ordering furniture online can save you that stress.
With a measuring tape in one hand, and your phone in the other, you can compare the dimensions and measurements of that gorgeous piece you’ve been dreaming of, while standing in the very room you wish to place it in.
A sea of colours and catalogues
Without a doubt there are a sea of unique colour and material options found in online catalogues as opposed to the several available options typically found in store. If you are a creative, looking for some unique pieces to enhance your living space, then making the decision to buy furniture online will be highly beneficial and time efficient.
Having your device right in front of you, and no rush, means that you can browse the internet for design plans and ideas so that you can create your perfectly unique and gorgeous space. You can even update your entire home’s furniture and design scheme according to a design you find on the internet, by finding similar pieces and decorations to the images on the store’s catalogues. There is nothing quite like sprucing up your space, knowing you have been as cost savvy as possible.
Sales, sales, sales!
If you have made the decision to buy furniture online, you may already know that online furniture stores are well-known for their massive sales. Whether seasonal, clearance or other budget specials, you will always find a gorgeous piece up for grabs at a price unheard of in any physical furniture store. Many South African online furniture stores host month-end sales, perfect for those who have been saving up and can now buy their desired piece at an even lower cost than imagined.
Understanding the website
Online furniture stores in general offer customers a friendly, easy-to-use interface, allowing you the freedom to explore the site and all it has to offer, with a few flicks of your finger or mouse. For those who work until late and cannot find time to walk up and down a furniture store, such a site is extremely valuable.
The Wish list allows you the opportunity to ‘store’ away your favourite pieces, so that even if you cannot purchase them now, you will not forget them. It is a great way to keep track of furniture that you are considering for purchase, but still wish to do some research or deep thinking. If you’re lucky, items on your Wish list may become part of a sale, and you will be notified.
Categories and filters
Perhaps one of the greatest assets to you as you buy furniture online is the online use of categories. This time saver allows you to find what you’re looking for within seconds, and the use of filters refines your search down to the last detail. For example, the use of the category ‘Couch’ and the filter ‘Blue’ will potentially bring up the furniture piece of your dreams.
To buy furniture online is still a personal experience
A potential worry for online shoppers is that they will not receive attention from the store if they need assistance. Hanging on for an operator, especially during busy periods, can be a nightmare. Luckily, most successful online furniture stores have an online customer service team to assist you in your search.
This service is conducted through a real time message platform over the website within which you can communicate with a real person and establish that human connection before making your important decision. If you are unsure of this, most sites also make use of virtual assistants who you can communicate with over WhatsApp, for an even more personalized experience when you go furniture shopping online.
While shopping for furniture at expensive, branded boutiques has become the new craze, the fact still remains that most people want to experience luxury while still remaining budget friendly. While visiting the store, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement and novelty of buying expensive furniture, but more often than not, this leads to impulse buying that we come to regret.
Shopping online alleviates some of those impulses. For one, the pieces are remarkably more budget friendly, and two, one is not carried away by the promises and assurances of the enthusiastic salesperson who may sway your decision. Furthermore, within a few minutes of scrolling a site, you could find a similar piece to the costly one you have been eyeing out, for half the price.
There is a great amount of anticipation and excitement when it comes to buying new furniture. So it is easy to understand why many customers find the 2 – 5 day delivery wait quite unbearable. However, it is important to keep in mind that this wait ensures the careful, quality transport of your furniture by a courier or delivery service that is trusted by the online store from which you have purchased. Loading your own furniture on and off of your bakkie can be a back breaking task. And God forbid you drop your coffee table or dresser in the process. It is best to leave this up to the professionals, and save yourself a trip to the physiotherapist at the same time.
Online furniture stores are generally very transparent about the payment plans made available to customers in order to alleviate financial strain. After all, furniture is a necessity, and something we all need to make our spaces comfortable to live in. There are a whole host of plans for each piece, ranging from 3 month plans to 12 month plans. There are options for everyone.
Having the payment plans in writing on the site is, to a large extent, a more approachable option. Oftentimes it is an awkward conversation to have with a salesperson in a busy store, or a cashier at the desk in front of a queue of impatient customers. The different payment options laid out before you in summarized terms is a great way to plan your purchase and keep tabs on how much you will owe at the end of every month until you have paid of that piece of your dreams.
Buy furniture online to avoid Covid-19 risk
At this point in time, the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) rates in South Africa are skyrocketing. As more activities are prohibited, travel restrictions imposed and stricter regulations are put in place, the best place to be, when possible, is certainly home.
For most, work is not optional, and so the majority of the population cannot remain safely at home. However, by shopping for furniture online, you can limit your exposure to the public as well as ensure the safety and health of your family and co-workers by keeping out of physical stores and away from the public.
The global pandemic does not have to keep you from updating your home déco in a period where you are spending all of your free time at your house. For those who are fortunate enough to work at home, the restrictions are a good opportunity to plan your furniture updates and make your space feel new again.
If you are concerned with exposure and infection via your furniture’s delivery and the courier team, do not hesitate to call the online store you are considering ordering for and quiz them on their Covid-19 protocols. There are strict measures in place for physical and online stores alike worldwide put in place to try and curb the spread of the virus.