This is the third part of a series of three posts on how to safely buy furniture online. The first two posts showed you how to find a secure furniture website. It’s upon reaching a safe site that you have to start looking for affordably priced furniture for your home.
Spending a little time on your research by comparing different points and their features can help you maximize your investment, and even save money on taxes and shipping costs.
1. Check rates
You first have to take a look at all the furniture on the website. Note its rates, the shipping costs, if there are any tax charges to be paid, and if you have to pay for any return shipping or restocking.
You can save a substantial amount by not paying for shipping. In fact, sometimes after all this research, you may find out that the site you had chosen charges too much for taxes and shipping. If this is the case, you will have to repeat the entire search from the beginning once again to find a site which doesn’t charge extra taxes and rates.
It’s usually retailers having brick and mortar stores that charge 5-10% as taxes for online purchases. This adds up to a substantial amount when you buy a large piece of furniture. Most sites list out their taxes in their About page or shopping cart, so check it out before buying anything.
2. Wait for holiday and clearance sales
You will find lots of sales around the holidays. So if you can afford to wait, you may as well wait till the holidays, where you will be able to save a lot. There’s even the possibility of the website putting the piece on clearance.
This is why experts suggest going shopping in January or July, where you can get the best deals. This is when most furniture manufacturers send new shipments to stores in February and August. Online retailers need space to accommodate the new shipment and so have to put all their old stock and models on sale a month earlier.
3. Look for coupons
Giving out coupons is one of the marketing techniques websites use to get people to come to their website. You also save lots of money through the special deals and discounts the site offers if you manage to get your hands on some of them.
The best way to do this is by signing up for the site’s company mailing list. Some sites send you a coupon just for signing up to the site. You’ll then receive periodical coupons and links to sales and clearance deals.
With many sites collecting coupons and special deals from online retailers, you may be lucky enough to find some coupon and promo codes if you hunt around. This way you can still take advantage of discounts if you don’t receive any deals in your inbox.
There are also some good coupon sites worth visiting like Dealcatcher and Coupon Craze. If you are lucky, there may be a coupon that will save you money. Don’t panic or worry if some coupons don’t work because of a minimum requirement or a site error. Just keep trying and soon you’ll find a coupon that works with your shopping cart.
4. Shipping options
It’s not enough to just check the product’s price. With furniture coming in various sizes, you will have to choose the appropriate shipping option for your piece of furniture. This is especially important for bulky pieces requiring special delivery and attention.
There are usually three different shipping levels for large items where is a bit expensive but does offer great services. Stores having offline outlets offer a fourth site-to-store shipping option where you can ask them to send the furniture box to the store, and you can personally pick it up when it arrives. This may take a little longer than usual, but you won’t be charged any shipping fees.
There are also stores offering free shipping deals either as a promotional tool or through the year. Just remember that though there’s free shipping, you still have to bear state tax and furniture costs.
5. Doorstep delivery
You can have the furniture delivered to your front door or the apartment building’s first floor. While this saves money, you still have to carry the piece inside. And if it's something big, you may have to hire someone to do it for you.
6. Inside delivery
In case of an inside delivery, the furniture is carried into your home. This is more expensive than front door delivery but at least you don’t have to worry about carrying the box inside. However, the delivery personnel or driver will not help you set up the furniture.
7. White gloves or complete delivery
This is a full package delivery deal where the delivery driver carries the box inside and also unpacks and sets up your furniture. Though expensive, this is a good option if you can’t assemble the untrue on your own.
Some people charge as much as $100 for a white glove delivery. You can save a little money here by having your neighbor or friend or local movers come over to help you assemble your furniture instead of paying extra for it.
8. Store pickup
There are some offline stores that let you pick up your choose furniture from the store. This is a free service where you place an online order and your product is shipped to the store nearest to you. However, based on the size and weight of the furniture, you may need to hire a truck and helpers to shift it to your home.
All this proves that you can indeed save money buying furniture online. However, it’s possible only if you spend some time on research, and not buy from the first site you visit.
You basically have to look out for scams, find a secure site, look for good deals, choose an affordable shipping option and remember to not just depend on photos to make a purchase. Check and compare rates, reviews and also look for other photos of the same product on Google.