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Educational Consumer Tips

Buying Furniture

Author: Rachel Gelb
Category: Retail

Furniture is an essential part of every home. Therefore, it is important to feel comfortable with every piece purchased and brought into your home. The process of buying furniture does not have to be stressful. By researching and preparing, furniture shopping can be a pleasant experience for you and your family.   

Tips For Buying Furniture:

Decide What is Needed.  Figure out what pieces need to be purchased or replaced and consider the desired use of the furniture. Is the piece going to be used long-term or short-term? Consider if the item is going to be used mostly by children or adults. These components contribute to what material, type and construction of furniture should be purchased.

Make a Floor Plan.  When shopping for furniture, it is important to measure the space of the room and the surrounding objects. Bring a sketch of your floor plan and a tape measure while shopping to easily measure and decide if a piece of furniture is the correct size. It is also important to measure any doors or hallways that the new piece is required to travel through.

Set a Budget.  Come up with an overall budget as well as a budget for each individual piece. A larger budget is needed for items that are more durable, higher quality, and are going to be used long-term.  When considering prices, factor in tax, delivery charge, and the amount of each payment.

Research Different Materials.  The two major types of furniture are upholstered and case goods.  Upholstered furniture consists of items like sofas that are cushions covered in various fabrics. When buying an upholstered good, there should be enough padding that the frame should not be felt if the arm is clutched. Case goods include items such as tables and cabinets that are not upholstered. Both types of furniture can be constructed out of many different types of wood.

Go Shopping.  There are many different locations to purchase furniture. There are specialty furniture stores, department stores and online stores. Before purchasing from one store, shop around and ask family and friends for guidance. Look for clearances or sales in the spring and fall. There are also often deals for purchasing the display item or “as is” items.

Check the Businesses’ Credibility.  Make sure the business is accredited and in good standing with your Better Business Bureau before buying. A good business strives to satisfy customers with their goods and their shopping experience.

Carefully Look at the Label.  The Federal Trade Commision states that manufacturers must put every material used to make the piece on the label to inform buyers if other materials were used to give the illusion of leather or wood. Knowing the material of the item will allow buyers to know what can and cannot be used to clean the specific surface.

Ask About the Warranty and the Return Policy.  It is important to inquire about the warranty to know exactly what the business will take care of if there is an issue. Learn the businesses’ return policy in case the piece of furniture is no longer desired after it was delivered.

About the Author: Rachel Gelb is Communications and Marketing Manager for BBB serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont. Find Rachel on Google +.

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