It is a little known fact that online shopping orgininated well before the invention of the internet. Michael Aldrich used a modified television in 1979 to sell items though a systems similar to the modern day internet shopping. Since the invention of the internet, and its use worldwide, internet shopping has become a popular way to buy and sell products worldwide. It is now possible to shop for goods not only outside our local neighbourhood, but around the country and even across the world. This gives us many more options, but it does not come without its risks. Internet shopping for furniture often involves buying items without being able to see them first hand. This can be risky as we cannot personally assess their quality, size and real colour. There are also risks involved with exchanging money over the internet. How do you know if the company is trustworthy? homify has done the research and identified the most important things to consider before buying furniture on-line.
Where should you start your search for furniture online? How do you know if a company is trustworthy or not? Start by searching for the piece of furniture you would like. When considering a website, look at their web address. If their name is in the address bar, this is one sign of credibility. Secondly, find out about the company, this should be in a page on their website named ‘about us’, or something similar. This will give you information regarding their history, and the management structure. If the management are named on their website, they are more likely to stand by their products and the quality. Next find the ‘contact us’ page and ensure they have contact details such as a phone number and an address. This will be important if you need to contact them with concerns after the purchase. There are many companies that are internet based only. These may be trustworthy, although a company that has a proper address is a more solid bet.
When you have narrowed down your search to a few companies, it is time to look into these further. It is important to not only depend on what the company includes on their website, but what other websites write about them. To find this you will need to search for recent reviews of their company. A search of the company name will reveal a list of websites that may have recent customer or industry reviews. Sites such as Google Product Search can be helpful as users can rate and review different companies. It is generally understood that people tend to be more motivated to write bad reviews than by good feedback. With this in mind look at the types of complaints in the reviews, if there are issues that are continually coming up, take this consideration when choosing a company. If quality is a problem, this may be one company to avoid. This bath is by Taps and Baths.
As the delivery of large furniture pieces can be costly it is important you make the right decision the first time. To do this you should look at the products specifications very carefully. First, look the pictures; they should have several photos of the one piece, taken from different angles, giving you a good indication of what the piece will look like in your home. Next, read the descriptions carefully, look out for information on materials used. Manufacturers often use terms like ‘wood look’ or veneer, which is not actual timber, but composite woods from wood pulp or other synthetic materials. Finally make sure you spend time checking the measurements for the piece. It would be a disaster to buy the piece only to discover that it doesn’t fit into the space you had made for it.
If you are unable to pick up the piece, or if the company is located far away, you will need to get it delivered. Delivery information is often located in the ‘Shipping Costs’ section of the website. If it is not immediately found, it will often be in the list of FAQ’s. Be sure to read the company policy on shipping costs before purchasing any furniture. Companies can use different companies to deliver the furniture and these can have very different costs. Many discount furniture companies may also raise the costs of shipping to cover the costs of the discounted furniture. Be aware of any special deals on shipping costs as many companies may offer free delivery if you spend over a certain amount. If you are making a big purchase it may be worth your while to make an additional small purchase to qualify for this free shipping. This furniture is by Preetham Interior Designer.
When you have made the final choice of furniture and what company to buy it from, you will then need to look at the payment options. This may be another way of checking if a company is a trusted, reliable company. If there are a number of different options in which to pay, this is a good sign. If there is simply an account number where you will need to transfer the amount, consider whether this is a legitimate company. Most established furniture companies will allow you to pay with a credit card, direct debit, or through another means such as PayPal. PayPal and other similar companies are a good way to ensure a safe transaction as they provide a buffer between your bank details and the company. They may also provide protection against fraudulent traders.
When you have paid for your well thought out purchases many people think that this is the end of the shopping process. This is a common mistake. It is easy to sit back and wait patiently for your furniture to arrive, although you really should be pro active when it comes to online shopping. After the purchase the company should send you a copy of the invoice and provide information about the expected delivery time and what company will be providing the shipping service. This should get to you within 24 hours of purchase. The shipping company should contact you within a few days to let you know how they process the delivery and provide a way of tracking your purchase. If these things have not happened, follow up immediately with the company. This will ensure that you get your good in a reasonable time.
Buying furniture online can be a give you much greater options and save you time and money. Although you have to be aware of fraudsters and scams that operate on the internet. To ensure you get the best deal be sure the verify the legitimacy of the website, check the specifications carefully, be sure the shipping costs are fair and they deliver to your area, only purchase through trusted sites and always follow up to ensure they will deliver in a reasonable time. For more tips on shopping see 5 Interesting Shopping Malls.