TRY BEFORE YOU BUY
… are the risks of buying furniture online worth the saving?
From food, clothing, jewellery, art, electronic gadgets, household goods and furniture, to even the acquisition of land, homes and cars, we go shopping online for them all, without ever leaving our living rooms.
But, when it comes to trying to understand what you’re exactly looking at when buying furniture online, it’s a tricky business. How do you get your head around spending a huge amount of money just on something to sit on, in the absence of being able to see it and touch the item? You have to take a wild guess with what exact colour you might receive, its precise dimensions and the quality of fabric (and remember that the choice of fabric available online is usually limited).
It’s not just the style, colour and fabric you need to consider but much more - it has to suit the layout and décor of your house. An upholstered chair or sofa is not like a shirt that can be returned easily if you simply decide you don’t like it.
Yes, online furniture shopping is a great way to save time and money but these are just some of the challenges involved in the process, which is why I encourage my clients to try before they commit to buying, be it a stool, a bench, an armchair, a chaise longue or a bed.
Furniture design is saturated, but when you actually try something, you may discover it doesn’t feel right – perhaps the back is too low or the depth is too deep, or too shallow, and the fabric isn’t how it looked in the images. Take a dining chair – one might look the same as the next, but is it going to be comfortable enough to sit at for hours, eating, drinking and chatting?
You might think you’re making a saving by buying cheaply online, but you could be very lucky if you don’t end up making a mistake. If you do choose to go down the online route, be sure to do your homework first by visiting a store to properly assess your options. Then you can seek out the best price and the best deal available – beneficial if you’re on a strict budget.
But remember, even if the trend of buying furniture online has soared in recent times,
the message is that people tend to buy online, the small, simple objects and home accessories to decorate the house, more than to furnish it.
Ultimately, you will probably spend less than what you would spend by buying furniture from a shop or an interior designer, but you will not get the after-sales service and care that you will get from a brick and mortar store. I’ll let you decide.