Knowing how the furniture business actually works can help you make that decision in finding the right kind of pieces at the right kind of price. The furniture industry in the country works at a multi-level distribution system which all begins from the importer or manufacturer. Factories sell their individual products to the retailers who, in turn, sell the units to the buying public. A factory can either sell through distributors or people can buy directly from them.
What You May Not Know…
In maintaining the showroom and warehouse, retail furniture shops often hire the services of sales or maintenance staff. Where there are people working for them, then it naturally follows that there are also wages as well as commissions; also operational expenses. These overhead costs are the very reasons why furniture shops need to have a high mark-up. Therefore, furniture with a suggested retail price of $500 could only be worth $200 and the rest of the amount is used to pay the overhead cost.
A good alternative in saving money when buying modern furniture is to purchase from online shops. These online furniture stores have less operational costs so you can expect that there isn’t a huge mark-up on the units that they sell. Though there are also online shops that have actual warehouses, still, there is no need to hire a lot of staff to man the actual shop premises.
Shopping for furniture online also allows you to tailor fit the unit to your home. In essence, you are getting quality service at a much lower cost. An example of this is when a settee with bonded leather is fitted with Italian leather at exactly the same price.
When shopping online, there is just one thing that you need to remember – it pays to be cautious. Find online furniture shops that respect a private policy which also allows the use of MasterCard or Visa cards.
Do not send checks or use wire transfers. Money orders also do not work too well. If a furniture vendor also has PayPal then you are guaranteed of extra protection.
Shun online shops that deliver freight collect. Find the ones that already incorporate the delivery fees in the actual price. This should prevent any extra charges that will be heaped upon you once the furniture is delivered.
Online buying also allows consumers to look at more selections. This is why this system is becoming more popular by the day. Apart from the huge number of selections, prices are also a lot cheaper online. These shops can also be easily accessed and will never require that you travel and spend gas money. Online shopping can be done anywhere – in your home, at the office, in an internet cafe or even in a shopping mall.
In a nutshell, here are some tips that you need to remember when shopping for furniture online –
- Check the warranty period that is being offered by the online shop. Their products must be backed by warranty for manufacturing defects for a particular period of time. Of course, there will always be a risk of furniture being broken because of some defects. It can also be damaged when in transit which is the case when you receive a dining table with a broken leg upon delivery.
- Make sure that all the specs of the furniture unit are easily accessible.
- Check for return policies. Look for online shops that are transparent with their terms and conditions. There are unavoidable situations such as the need to return a unit when it was not what you ordered in the first place. There are some retailers that ask the customers to bear the shipping fee once the unit is sent back to them (no matter what the reason).
- Ask about shipping policies and charges. The best shopping sites offer free delivery.
Remember these tips and you are bound to get only the best furniture deals online.