Furnishing your living space with beautiful statement furniture does not have to be extraordinarily expensive. Sure, there will always be brands just out of your reach, but at the same time, the choices are dazzling when it comes to affordable furniture online.
Read this article and don't despair. You have plenty of options to improve your house on a budget.
1. Start your shopping by reading the retailer's About page. This is a great place to find out about the company, their history, customer care, and satisfaction guarantees. Reputable companies will provide contact information and will inform customers of ways to reach them. Many electronic stores don't have physical stores and thus can offer merchandise for a lot better prices than traditional retailers. Make sure you know if the store operates only online before expecting the best deals.
2. Read customer reviews – this is an essential step in the research process. Most of modern retailers have a special section for customers to review not only the product, but the store shopping experience too. You can start your search at Google Product Search. It offers a Shopping section where you can compare different products sold at different stores. The shopping experience is rated 1 to 5 stars. Don't pay too much attention if the store has a couple of bad reviews – it can happen to the best of them. However, avoid repeat offenders and take your business somewhere else.
Amazon offers reviews on products and their partner stores. You can even filter your search by the highest rated merchandise. Also, when in doubt, check Better Business Bureau to find out about your selected retailer.
3. Find out about shipping costs as it might make a big difference in price. You can find a lot by reading Frequently Asked Questions or scouting customer review section. Some companies will charge you an arm and a leg for shipping and handling to justify their low prices. You might end up paying a lot higher price if you don't find this out ahead of time.
See article How to Save Money at Home Depot
Other companies, on the other hand, incorporate the shipping price in the total cost, and then claim to offer free shipping. Be careful here too and compare the same product on multiple websites.
4. Shop at secure websites and don't offer your confidential financial information to just anybody. Protect yourself from identity theft and verify if the site is secure. As you land on the checkout page, the URL should change from http to https. Some sites have a lock icon somewhere on the bottom of the page to indicate that your information is secure.
A lot of online retailers list their security procedures in the FAQ section. Exercise care when clicking on various links or when opening unsolicited emails.
5. Examine photos carefully and look at all of them. Virtually all online sites offer multiple pictures of every item. You can see how the chosen piece looks in a decorated room and then click on other photos to review it from all angles. Try changing colors for different looks. If the retailer does not provide multiple images, be careful and look somewhere else.
Some stores like Walmart or Amazon provide an option for customers to post their own images of the bought product. Look for those too – they might be more realistic then the expectation.
6. Carefully read the description before selecting. Keep in mind that all companies choose their description wording very carefully. Wood materials, for example, can be called veneer or composite wood and will be a lot cheaper than solid wood. Not reading carefully you might expect something totally different than reality.
Read all the specifications. Do take your time and find out everything about durability, guarantees, and care instructions.
7. Read the reviews for every piece you are thinking about buying. Allow for a few bad reviews as some bad experiences might be very individual and won't reflect the reality. Stay away from furniture pieces with notorious bad reviews because they are a good indication of poor quality or a lackluster customer service.
See article Online Home Goods and Furniture Shopping
8. Comparing prices is an essential step if you want to be sure you're getting the best deal. Fall in love with a piece of furniture somewhere and then take some time to search if the same thing might be cheaper somewhere else. Try finding 3-5 stores that sell the same items and then pick the best deal.
Make sure you look at price, shipping cost, and return policy before making the decision. While this comparison might often seem tedious and time consuming, rest assured that it will save you money if completed properly.
9. Find a coupon and shave more money off your furniture. It makes a great sense to sign up for some of your favorite stores' mailing list. You will periodically receive special sales and coupon codes to aid your savings.
In addition to mailing lists, search for other coupons available online. There are quite a few websites that specialize in coupon collecting and aggregating. Check Retailmenot, Dealcatcher, and Couponcraze for some deals that stores don't advertise themselves. All of those sites have a great variety of coupons for tens of thousands of retailers. Don't despair if some of the codes don't work and keep looking.
10. There are a few different ways to receive your furniture. The cheapest method is front door delivery where the driver will leave your package outside for you to take care of. Virtually all free shipping is this type. Another option is inside delivery, when the delivery service will bring the furniture inside and might even bring it upstairs. This is more expensive than the first option and convenient for those of us who can't lift heavy weights. The priciest way to receive your delivery is white glove delivery. The furniture will be brought inside, unpacked, and set up for you. This option usually costs $100 or more.
Be mindful of your budget when choosing the shipping options. After all we all have neighbors, family members, and friends to aid us with unpacking tasks if we are really trying to save some money.
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