How to Master Online Furnishing Shopping?

By: Matthew Du

Guide on Choosing the Best Furnishing While Shopping at Home.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of us to work from home in the past two years and work as we know it has never been the same. During lockdowns, we have seen many of us continually finding ways to improve our homes and make them conducive to work and productivity. This includes redesigning our private spaces and buying home furnishings.

While the pandemic has dwindled, and many businesses are transitioning into hybrid setups, working from home is still a reality for many of us.

Online shopping is the new normal – the pandemic proved that to us. While buying food and clothes on repeat online is a no-brainer, shopping for big purchases like furniture online can be intimidating. This is understandable. Many online retailers want their products to stand out. They could end up misrepresenting their products by downplaying the less desirable features or by emphasizing too much on the product’s attractive aspects.

You can end up buying something you didn’t want, and that is a waste we don’t want to happen, especially with big investments like home furnishings.

So How Can You Master Online Shopping for Home Furnishings Online? Here’s What You Need to Know:

Know Your Style, Your Home, and Your Budget.

Before you even look at what home furnishings to buy, you first need to determine what exactly you want and what your home needs, then set your budget. There are infinite choices on the internet. Having a clear goal and plan before venturing out into online shopping is the best way to limit your options and protect yourself from emotional purchases that you’ll regret later.

Here Are a Few Tips to Prepare:

Find Your Style.

Don’t know what you are looking for? Check out online interior designs or spaces that appeal to you. See what inspirations, genres, or styles make you feel excited. Pinterest and home/interior design blogs are perfect resources for this.

If you want to go a step further, create mood boards that fit the vibe you want your home to be. You can also find tips and tricks from interior design channels on YouTube.

Measure, Measure, Measure.

Knowing the details of your home is critical, so do not skip this step. Measure your space, and take notes. The worst thing that can happen in online furnishing shopping is choosing pieces that you cannot use just because they don’t work (either too big or too small) for your space.

If you are still looking for a space aside from furnishing shopping online, be wise and choose a home that is spacious enough to fulfill that interior design you’ve been dreaming about.

Being ergonomic and trying to fit as much furnishing in very little space can only take you so far. There comes a time when you will need more space not just for your productivity but also for your sanity.

Crown Asia is a prime real estate developer that boasts decades of experience developing high-end houses and lots, as well as condominiums, for sale in key cities and provinces in the Philippines.

If you want to live a rich lifestyle as if you were in an Italian suburb, consider checking out Vita Toscana in Cavite. Located on Bacoor’s busiest road, Molino Boulevard, this 8-hectare development is accessible to primary establishments (schools, hospitals, malls, etc.) that make it easier to live your dream life. Houses and lots for sale here are also very spacious so you’d have enough space to design your dream space!

If you’re more of a city person, Hermosa Condominium in Las Pinas. This premium condominium village was established with your needs at the forefront. Live the premium city life without being squeezed into small studio spaces. Hermosa Condominium offers spacious studio, 1-BR, and 2-BR units!

Set a Budget.

The key to not overspending? Set a budget.

This seems to be very trivial advice to give, but we all need a reminder.

It’s tempting to buy every pretty piece of furniture you see in online stores. But, when you have a plan, it will be easier for you to hold back.

Having a reasonable limit on your furniture spending ensures that you can still have the space you want without breaking the bank. No chandelier or sofa in the world can be worth putting yourself under financial stress.

Check Out Customer Reviews.

Looking for customer reviews and ratings at multiple sites will give you a better idea of what you are buying. Also, scammers still exist. Checking what you buy before buying it can help you identify any fake or unscrupulous product recommendations.

Check the comment sections for praises or complaints (dishonest advertising, bad customer service, etc.), video or blog reviews, or even asking random users for their opinions can help you make an informed decision. By doing this, you get the raw experience of the product from the consumers’ perspective rather than from the company’s marketing.

Moreover, prices can highly differ at various online furniture stores. Even if reviews are similar, you may be able to get the same product at a better deal in one store compared to another.

Size and Proportion Are Key.

This advice is connected to the rule of measuring your space first to gauge what furnishings can fit.

The internet has a wildly interesting way of making furnishings look larger or smaller than they actually are in person. You might have seen a few horror stories of people getting a smaller or bigger product than what was advertised! You don’t want to be one of those people.

More than that, how heavy the item is may also play a role in whether it is suitable for your space.

Once you find a furnishing product you like, what you can do is mock it up. Get accurate measurements from online store sellers, and try to draw how it would look in your space. Visualizing it in your head may not be enough. Create a draft footprint of it or simulate it by using other objects in the house.

In this way, you get an idea of how the furniture will sit in your home even before you hit that purchase button.

Keep an Eye on Colors.

Many online sellers color-correct pictures of their products to make them pop. To add to that, cameras can never fully capture the colors of objects. This can depend on lighting, lenses, and even the time the picture was captured! Some products may look very vibrant in photos but are dull in real life.

If in doubt, ask for additional photos of the product. Good to see how the colors play out in artificial lighting and natural daylight. Also, request photos taken from different angles to see if there are any differences in tones and hues.

Consider the Material.

The furnishing’s material can make or break how you experience it. If there’s a particular material you want (leather for your sofa for example), then stick to it. What the furnishing is made of can also determine how ergonomic it is in your space.

If you don’t know what material you want, consider looking at tips from interior design blogs/ sources. The material can also determine the product’s quality as well as the price. To ensure you can find the most cost-effective piece, research the material and see which one is for you.

You can also check the material using your eyes. While feeling the product through the screen is impossible, you can see its textures through lighting. Intense lighting outlines textures well, while scattered lighting reduces textures.

Ask for high-definition images so you can easily zoom in and out. The product in different angles does not only help in checking the color but the quality of the material as well.

The Devil Is in the Details.

Look out for the screws, hinges, and other small hardware accessories of the product. Are they well-established?

These small details are often ignored, but just like hems in clothing, how they are placed determines how well the product is crafted. When sloppily installed, they can ruin what could have been a great piece of furniture.

Examining the little details can be hard when you are doing this only through the screen. So if you can, try to get samples.

By doing this, you can check the color, material, and hinges yourself. Test it in your space. See if the overall feel and experience fit your standards.

If getting samples is not possible, find a brick-and-mortar version of the store. You can physically try the furniture. This would also make it easier to compare similar products and see which is a better fit.

After doing this, you can purchase the product in a shop online and get a cheaper price.

Review the Store’s Return Policy.

Even though from the last advice we talked about trying to get samples or checking out the furniture in physical locations, there are times when these options are not available. You end up adding to the cart and hope for the best.

In these situations, your best protection is a good return policy.

In online furniture shopping, you may meet the unexpected – a beautiful chair sits uncomfortably, a trendy decor looks flat in real life, or fabric looks soft but feels rigid. Many home furnishings need to be tested out physically, especially when purchasing sofas and beds for their stability and comfort.

Knowing this, you should know the store’s return policy before buying. Even if the product looks pretty in pictures, it can disappoint you in real life. Worse, they can show up at your front door damaged, lacking in parts, or in a different color!

Some questions to consider when reviewing the return policy are the following:

  • What is the store’s process for damaged items or missing parts?
  • How about exchanges when a different color to what you ordered was delivered?
  • Can you return the item if it doesn’t meet your expectations as advertised?
  • What is the refund policy and is it easy? Cash or store credit?

Also, consider whether you will have to cover the return shipping charge. How much is it? Large and expensive items like furniture could potentially have freight shipments that run into thousands of pesos.

Be Careful With Shipping Costs.

Look at the store’s shipping policies. It would be hard to fall in love with a piece of furniture only to discover that its shipping cost is half or more of its price!

Note that if there’s free shipping, the retail price could be a bit higher. Do some comparison shopping to see which websites or stores could give you the best deal. Some furniture stores could offer you cheaper prices upfront, but you could end up still paying more because of shipping costs. Do not fall into this trap!

You can also take advantage of deals when you buy more items in one store. If there is none, it wouldn’t hurt to negotiate with the seller. After all, you are buying many items from the store. The rule here is to not shy away from asking. You might get discounts.

Moreover, ask the retailer about their delivery options. Most stores have three delivery options: front-door delivery, inside delivery, and white glove delivery.

With front-door delivery, the seller will deliver the product to you, but you have to bring it inside yourself. This is a hassle choice especially if you live in a condominium or multiple-story apartment.

With inside delivery, on the other hand, the delivery staff will carry the furniture to which part of the house you want it to be. This is an easier choice than front-door delivery but is also a little bit more expensive.

Lastly, with white-glove delivery, the store will help bring your online purchase furniture inside your house, assemble it as fitting, and arrange it according to your preferences.

Pick one option that is most suitable for your circumstances and convenience.

Designing your dream home is a double-edged sword. If you know how to prepare, it can be a breeze. Otherwise, it can be very stressful. Nonetheless, bearing these tips in mind can help you ensure that you have a hassle-free time buying from an online furniture store.

However, more than picking the best furnishings, choosing the best home is just as important when building your dream space. Trust leading real estate developers such as Crown Asia as their houses and lots, and condominiums for sale are passionately built so you can live the high-end life at the heart of the city or in key provinces in the country.

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