Staying Safe Online
When I wanted to re-decorate and re-design my house a few years ago I decided that quality was the way to go over second-hand vintage. Don’t get me wrong I love, love, love all things vintage, from large dining room tables to a chez-lounge chair, from leather handbags to a pair of 80’s slouchy leather boots. The thing is that with all of the choice out there, and I’m talking about online here, I was seeing all sorts of lovely modern (never thought I’d be using those two words in the same sentence) furniture and at some really awesome prices.
It used to be that if you invested in quality dining sets, three-piece -suites (not even sure if they sell the in three’s these days!) you’d be paying through the nose. Online often meant ‘expensive’ not so anymore.
So, my desire to have lovely luxury furniture set me on a quest to find the best possible pieces at as low a price as I could find. Is that the best strategy? I would have said no a few years back, but there is so much competition out there that stores just have to be competitive. So small profit for them, large discounts for us!
Admittedly, taking the time to search for some really great furniture specialists online (and I do recommend a site that specialises in quality) is a bit of a task, but now is a great time to do just that.
Choosing a Furniture Seller Online
What to Look Out For
Of course, as wonderful as the world wide web is, it is an open market-place. Anyone can set up shop online and start selling. Anyone could set up a website, fill it with beautiful images of furniture and sell. But they may not actually have anything to sell. Who would know until they’d fleeced loads of unsuspecting customers? Thankfully this is not common and there are ways to protect yourself online.
It’s always a great idea to do some research if it’s a new website to you. Does it have reviews? Is it mentioned elsewhere online? Just because a website has no reviews though, it doesn't automatically make it dodgy. Setting up a new business is a lengthy process and making sales takes time. You can’t have reviews without a big internet presence. So, what then? Take a look through the site. Is the content well written? Is It secure? (https) Is there a physical address and phone number?
If the answer is NO to any of the above then this is a red flag.
Always a good place to start. What’s the back-story? Do they belong to any trade organisations? Is there a company registration number?
How can some online retailers keep their prices so low? Surely they aren’t legit? If you imagine how much the rates and rent might be on an actual bricks and mortar building and the staff wages to run it as well as the online business then you can see how some businesses can’t compete with purely online furniture retailers. So cheap doesn’t mean iffy in lots of cases. It just means that those retailers can afford to cut their prices and still make a reasonable profit.
Google My Places.
Do they have a business ad that appears on Google when you type in their name? This is excellent proof that a business is legitimate. They may well have some reviews too. All good evidence that they can be trusted.
Check Their Returns Policy
Look for websites with flexible return policies. Many stores give customers at least 30 days, but some offer 45 or 60 days to return items. The U distance selling regulations mean that they HAVE to offer you your money back with 7 days and you do not have to give a reason. Some stores require that customers cover the cost of return shipping, which can get costly for large or heavy pieces of furniture.
Most stores list their shipping policy on their FAQ or About pages. Thoroughly review a store’s shipping policies before buying furniture from the website. We offer FREE delivery on most items, particularly on our dining chairs as we can pack and ship them easily, we like to pass a saving on to the customer.