Online shopping – a holy grail for even the staunchest of sceptics, it’s all about convenient living. Whether you want a loaf of bread, an emergency surprise gift for your partner, head-turning outfits, cosmetics, last-minute party snacks or anything else under the sun; almost everything is a few clicks away.
While shopping for everyday essentials has now become deeply rooted in us, shopping for furniture is a fairly new and novel concept. Often people browse and love what they see online but cannot bring themselves to place an order – because they lack assurance and confidence that they will get value for their money spent. Buying furniture is not only a financial investment but also an emotional one. Hence, it is imperative that anyone would like to do their due diligence. This guide will help you undertake the process stepwise.
The first step is to define what you are looking for. This focused approach will help you in finding the right furniture in minimum time and as per your requirements.
Let’s deep dive on how to decide what furniture is the right fit for you.
An important first step – have an idea of the design language you like. While there are thousands of websites, all claiming that their furniture design language is top-notch, everything isn’t the right fit for you.
Let’s not get overwhelmed, think & list your preferences and requirements. Below are some to choose from Whether you want –
- Antique & Vintage
Then decide what colour scheme you want to establish in your home –
- Quirky bright colours
Now that you have decided what kind of design language and colour scheme you want, it will give you a starting point. Next step you research and assess which brand you want to buy from. Brace yourself because the real work begins here. With the following list, you will be able to take into consideration all that is necessary.
What is it for?
Online shopping, once synonymous with impulsive buying has evolved into a convenient and reliable way of getting access to big as well as small purchases. An increasing number of people are buying furniture online, which is neither something that takes up less space nor something that is changed very often. Hunting for pieces online can be the perfect solution as you get to see a variety of choices without having to scour markets, but one must thye as per preferences, requirements and budget. While delivering on the quality promised is the brand’s responsibility, making sure the right product is purchased is the consumer’s responsibility. You can ensure the same by paying attention to these pointers.
- Be clear about the purpose of this purchase – Do you want something that looks pretty or do you want it to have storage too? Do you want a sleek-looking piece that solves the purpose or do you want a statement piece that dominates the decor?
Every brand mentions the dimensions of the products, make sure to cross-check your room dimensions and furniture dimensions to avoid any disappointment after the order is fulfilled.
While FMCG products get delivered within days, furniture delivery takes longer as it’s a painstaking and long manufacturing process – with the conversion time being anywhere between 3 -5 weeks or even more depending upon the product selected.
So, if you are planning to buy furniture for your new shop, cafe or home, take into account the delivery time and accommodate a grace period in case the delivery gets delayed.
Price of the products
As a consumer we always love a good bargain, don’t we? Many companies also know how to bait us with flashy discounts. But here’s what you need to keep an eye on while buying furniture online: better discount doesn’t necessarily mean a better deal. Furniture is a long-term investment, hence it is ideal that the quality of the product always supersedes the price of it on your priority list.
The quality of materials
There are plenty of materials used in furniture manufacturing, but wood, metal, and fabric are some of the most commonly used materials you need to know about. Here’s how you can ensure the quality of the mentioned material while buying furniture online.
Wood – The wood used in the Indian furniture market can be broadly categorized into two – MDF i.e. Medium density fiberboard and natural wood. MDF is made from resin (secreted by plants) and recycled wood fibers. It is denser than natural wood and is more capable of withstanding changing weather conditions with only minimal wear and tear. On the other hand, natural wood is prone to expand and contract due to humidity and the rise and fall of temperatures. While both MDF and natural wood can be used to make stellar wooden furniture pieces, the one made from MDF will require lesser maintenance and care as compared to one made from natural wood.
Metal – The quality of the metal is assessed by how well treated it is. In layman’s terms, how well has it been powder coated? Powder coating of metal is essential because it ensures the longevity of the metal by protecting it from rust. Metal allows one to experiment with the design and is an important element for many modern furniture designs. Once you have ensured the quality of the metal used you can be assured that it will be a wise investment, as a high-quality metal is sturdy and lasts for a long period of time.
Fabric – The type of fabric and it’s GSM are the 2 most important qualities to check while buyng upholstered furniture. The thickness of the fabric is the mark of its quality, which is indicated by a higher GSM value. It ensures its stability during continuous use of it. Also check the maintenance instruction before buying and follow the same while cleaning.
Know your seller:
- With growing awareness, modern-day buyers are often cautious about the country of origin for the products they are buying in that case it becomes important to check the country of source. It may not be important for everyone to be aware of it but for some, it can be a deal-maker or deal-breaker.
- Are they manufacturers or resellers? This is an important thing to take note of. Why you ask is because it is directly related to what can they do in case the product does not stand true to what has been advertised or it has some manufacturing defects. A reseller may have limited capacity to help you while a manufacturer will bear complete responsibility and chances are that your issues will be resolved faster and more satisfactorily.
New furniture websites and brands are popping up constantly making it tough to decide where to buy from. One thing that can be a game changer is post-sale service. It is an important factor that is often overlooked while purchasing. Make sure you read the terms carefully before buying. Think of the worst-case scenario and evaluate what this company will do if that happens. If you can’t find an answer to that in the policies listed on the website, then don’t be shy to reach out to them over a call or email. It’s better to do the homework beforehand rather than regret it later, isn’t it?
Customer care experience – Get in touch with the customer service team before buying so you’re familiar with them. Call them up or write to them with your questions before buying to see how they handle your queries and check if they are clear, knowledgeable and keen to help you. Are they resolving your queries or just end up praising their brand in order to make a sale? Based on your experience you would have a better understanding of whether to invest in that brand or not.
The real-life experience of your fellow buyers is always a good place to get to know about the brand. If you are worried that the reviews on their website can be rigged, here’s how you can know the credibility of a review –
- Often the review written by customers is not all glory even if they absolutely loved the products. They may or may not be a writer, so if you find a delicately worded review with all the brilliant things to say chances are it’s not real. Whereas, if you find a review which praises the product in a not-so-perfectly worded comment, that’s the one you can believe.
- Google my business is a good place to read the review as the owner of the business cannot delete the bad ones and you can see how the brand handles the customers who have had good or bad experiences.
Now after following the above steps, you have decided on which brand to purchase from
Following these steps will certainly help you make a better and more informed choice. Stay tuned to know what points to consider while buying a particular piece of furniture in our upcoming blogs.