Shopping for furniture? Is there anything I should know before I buy new furniture?

Shopping for new furniture, the glamorous show rooms, all the driving around and the miles of walking in those large warehouses to find the perfect piece of furniture that suits your decor. Clearance furniture stores, high end furniture stores, furniture stores that can custom make your furniture, etc., etc.  But, with so many choices out there, what should you be looking for exactly?

To know what type of furniture store you just walked into carefully examine the floor models.  Are the majority of them in near perfect condition or is there scrapes, gouges, etc. in all the pieces?  There are furniture stores that specialize in selling seconds/damaged furniture. Usually the damage is close to the floor, a nick of out the wood trim, a small rip in the leather/fabric, the recline lever of a sofa not working, etc.  You may see the words liquidation, liquidators or clearance in the store name or then again maybe not. 

You may also see tent sales.  Tent sales usually consist of furniture that is damaged or a furniture line that has been discontinued that the store will no longer be stocking/selling.  Tent sales are common on long weekends.

Other furniture stores may have items you want to purchase stocked in their warehouse or they may have to order the furniture directly from the manufacturer for you.

Things you may want to know…

Before you purchase furniture examine the floor model carefully, look at the labels, how it is made, where it is made, etc.  Unfortunately, there are companies that have a higher end floor models on display, but are actually selling you a model that looks the same, but is not the same build quality.  Basically, a knock off. Although, this is considered false advertising, a bait and switch scheme, this can happen.  Usually the store will claim that the floor model is old and they had to switch manufacturers, etc. 

It pays to ask what the furniture stores policies are on the following:  

Furniture arrives damaged – what are the policies?  Can you get a refund, replacement, discount for the damage or do you just get a credit note to buy another piece of furniture at the same store?

Delivery and set up – Does the furniture company have its own delivery drivers or is it an independent firm doing their deliveries for them?  What is the delivery and set up policy?  Are they just going to drop off the furniture at your front door, only for you to have to haul it up two flights of stairs?  A major discount furniture chain who constantly runs late with their deliveries is known for this practice. They claim they will come back to haul it up your stairs and set it up for you.  Of course, many phone calls later, it is like pulling teeth to get them to come back to do so.

Warranties/guarantees – What happens if the piece of furniture breaks after a week, a month, etc.?  Does the store offer free repairs for a certain time period or are you on your own with the manufacturer directly? Also ask if there is a manufacturers warranty and what that consists of.  Some manufacturers warranties are better than others.

Extra charges – Sometimes you may think the furniture company is throwing in free leather cleaner for your new sofa, until your credit card bill arrives with an additional charge on it for the leather cleaner. If you receive extra items with your delivery, call the store to verify it or you maybe in for a surprise.


When buying furniture it is better to ask too many questions, than to make any assumptions.



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. coconews
    Jun 03, 2008 @ 19:28:04

    We walked into a furniture store about a month ago because we thought they were going out of business.

    As we were walking around we noticed a lot of the furniture was damaged in one way or another, sofa sets were mismatched (color of one piece was a different shade than another), etc. I asked the salesman if they were liquidating seconds, he said yes. I then asked, “so you are in the business of getting seconds from the manufacturers and then selling them at your store?” The salesman then said, “yes, that more furniture would be arriving in the future.”

    So, although you may see signs/advertising that may make you think a business is shutting down, it may not be. Good advertising ploy though.

    Personally, I think you can buy better quality seconds on Craigslist. Second time around that is, probably a lot less beat up in comparison to what this store was actually trying to sell you.

  2. Trackback: Furniture » Blog Archive » Buying furniture?
  3. Trackback: Buying furniture?
  4. Bill
    Jun 24, 2008 @ 09:08:00

    Make sure you really like the furniture your buying, some companies like the Brick do not give refunds period. Others may take the item back, but will charge you for picking it up again and a 10% restocking charge. Hardly worth it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: