Shopping for furniture can be a daunting task, especially if you go into it unprepared. Make sure to do some research before heading out on your furniture buying trek. You will want to be armed with the knowledge of the brands different stores in your area carry. Also, you should take the time to look each company up on the Better Business Bureau’s website to see what rating each store has. This will give you an indication of the way these stores handle business and their customers.
Furniture stores are no different than other retailers in the fact that they are in business to make money. Some will treat customers better than others so it is your job to find a store that has positive feedback from previous or current customers. With that said, there are some ways you can protect yourself even if you have never dealt with a store in the past and can’t find enough information on them.
First, always make sure all model and fabric numbers are written on your sales form. Make sure everything is documented so that if something is ordered for you there is proof of the items you ordered. Make sure to actually see the catalog item number and double check that it is correct. I have seen unscrupulous retailers mess up, order the wrong item, and then tell the customer that was the item they ordered. The customer gives in and gets stuck with something they didn’t order. Believe me, it happens!
Next, always make sure you ask for a better deal. Sometimes you will get one, sometimes you won’t, but it never hurts to ask. Actually, the best way to approach this is to say, “I want to shop around, but if I bought this today could I get a better price?” This usually works, but not always. Another way to approach this may be to say, “I really like this piece, but I wasn’t prepared to spend this much.” The salesperson will more than likely ask you what you were prepared to spend. The best answer would be to take the sale price, cut it in half, and then multiply that times 70 per cent. That price would be what you would tell her you are willing to spend. Most stores average a 100 per cent mark up, so when you offer 70 per cent they will probably come down to a lower price than the advertised sales price.
Lastly, consider that you get what you pay for. Don’t skimp on items such as a sofa or a mattress as these will usually be heavily used items in your house. You may go to two different stores, see the almost exact same sofa, but one is twice the price of the other. There is a reason for this. If you cut the sofa in half you would see the difference in the materials used. Look at the warranty card that is on the sofa. The cheaper version will most likely have a much shorter warranty period. Do your due diligence and hopefully your home furniture buying experience will be a good one.