How to Buy Furniture by Barbara Jennings
Picking out furniture for your home
should be a careful decision, one based on the same kind of research and thought
process you'd give if you were looking to purchase a new vehicle. Open the
drawers. Sit on it. Bounce up and down. Lie down flat. Open the doors. Smell
it. Try to use it as it was meant to be used.
Ask questions of the salesperson. Never go to
look at furniture without first taking measurements of the space you're going to
But before you even get to the store, flip
through magazines and watch home-improvement shows to get ideas of what you
might like to have. Ask yourself if you're ready for a complete change of style.
Have the needs of your family changed: have the children grown from toddlers to
teenagers since you last purchase a sofa? What are your preferences now
and how have they changed in the last ten years?
Have you developed a budget for what you want
to spend? When do you need the furniture? What is the size of the room? How much
sun does the room get? Is there glare where you want to put that TV? Try to sit
down and write down all of the questions you can think of and be sure to answer
them before you ever set foot in a furniture store. This will not only
help you make sensible decisions, it will help the store clerk to help you more
Be sure to take any paint chips, wallpaper,
fabric samples, pictures, or anything else that will be in the room that can
affect your color or texture choices.
Always look inside a piece of furniture for
flaws that can't be seen on the outside. Look underneath tables, at the back of
an armoire, between the bureau drawers. Check for plywood, particle board or
staples. High quality furniture does not have any of these. High quality
furniture is made to last the test of time.
While you're checking things out, ask the
salesperson about their exchange policies for in-stock and special orders, about
how soon the furniture can be delivered, any delivery charges and what kinds of
warranties come with the purchases.
You'd be surprised at how many people make
purchases, take the item home only to discover it is not going to work or not
really what they wanted after all. Lack of preparation on the part of the buyer
is the number one reason for unhappiness later on.
A common mistake is purchasing furniture that
winds up being too small or too large for the room. Other problems arise when
purchases are made without a predetermined color palette or a budget based on
reasonable, realistic expectations and ability to afford.
In-stock items can usually be delivered in a
day or two by the store or you can arrange your own delivery methods. However
the average time to acquire a custom order is 6 to 8 weeks, sometimes as long as
Be sure if waiting for something that you
pre-check to see if there are any restocking or cancellation fees should you
tire of the wait.
When the long awaited furniture arrives, check
immediately for problems such as the wrong color, a tear in the fabric, a
scratch in the wood. If you see any problems, do not accept the furniture.
Have the delivery people immediately contact the store or showroom and let them
know there is something wrong.
Call the store yourself as well to alert them
to the problem. Have the delivery people place the item back on their truck and
never pay for the shipment nor its return. Do not sign for the delivery
unless it is perfect. The delivery company has a responsibility to return the
product to the store if you have not signed their paperwork.
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