If you’re ready to decorate your NY apartment, home decor stores online can be a godsend. Online shopping has made it possible to simultaneously buy a toaster, bake a chocolate babka, and binge-watch Sherlock, all while dying your hair and dressed in yesterday’s jammies and your old bunny slippers. If you’re in the process of furnishing your home, online shopping can turn what was once an arduous and unbelievably booooring task into something fun, exciting, and relatively effortless.
On the flip side, if you’re not careful, online shopping can turn your furniture-buying experience into an extraordinarily expensive, headache-inducing exercise that drains and then empties your patience and your wallet.
1. Comparison Shop Before You Drop (Your Cash)
Just because you can buy it online doesn’t mean you should buy it online. Say you found the Chesterfield sofa of your dreams at an online store called Chesterfields-R-Us.com. You should still do a little more Googling to see if the sofa is being sold anywhere else for a cheaper price. You may discover that the Chesterfield in question is being sold at WeLoveBritishSofas.com for nearly a third less than the other site is charging. Factor in shipping costs, too. Chesterfields-R-Us.com may offer free shipping if you spend over a certain amount, while the other site may charge a hefty shipping fee that erases those 33 percent savings you were so gung ho about.
2. Always Measure Before Buying That Treasure
There probably isn’t a worse feeling in the world (at least when it comes to furniture shopping) than the one that descends upon you when you realize that that one-of-a-kind Chesterfield sofa you ordered won’t even fit into your apartment. Before you buy, pull out the measuring tape to make sure the item can make it through your door. Then measure the rooms that they’ll go into to ensure that they’ll fit inside the space. Make sure you take note of height, depth, and width. You need to know how far the item is going to jut out into the room. If you don’t, you might have to hire a furniture doctor to disassemble your new item, bring it into the house, and reassemble it — a process that will set you back a few hundred dollars.
3. Stay Logged into Social Media So You Stay Up to Speed …
You may be one of those people who avoid social media the way paleo dieters avoid donuts, but buying furniture is one time you should be prepared to cross your digital picket line. By monitoring business Facebook pages or signing up for alerts from top retailers, furniture stores, and flash sale sites like One Kings Lane, Chairish, and Gilt, you’ll be the first to know when things like top-of-the-line furniture, kitchen items, and home accessories go on sale. And we’re talking about brands like Frette, Mitchell Gold, Ralph Lauren, and Cuisinart that can go for as much as 50 to 70 percent off — and maybe even higher. It’s all about the timing.
4. Make Sure Things Can Be Returned So You Don’t End Up Burned!
Before using home decor stores online, always check the seller’s return policy. Certain furniture and accessories, especially sale items, are nonrefundable or exchange only. Oftentimes they’re final sale. This means that if there’s something wrong with your item, you could very well be stuck with it. Go over the return policies with a fine-toothed comb.
Image Source: Flickr/Dave Pinter