About a year ago we decided our living room furniture was on its last legs. It had been a cheap sectional set, and it was badly in need of replacement. We had never tried buying furniture online before, except for small items such as TV stands or footstools. With the trend toward lower prices on the Internet, and looking at a retail price of $4000 or so for a decent set, we decided to try the Web. A little searching found something that really suited us, with delivery and assembly for reasonable prices, and satisfaction guaranteed as well. They even sent swatches for free.
Well, the sectional not only met our expectations, it surpassed them. In fact, it didn't need assembly at all except for screwing on the legs. This is unlike the cheap furniture that you might buy at Ikea (or even, as a friend has told us, Sears) which must be completely assembled at home - and which acts that way after you do so. We have been absolutely satisfied.
It seems we are not alone.
That we're all surprisingly
happy with the 3-D results of our two-dimensional shopping excursions
sends furniture dealers a major message: They're convincing us that we
no longer need to touch and try big, high-ticket items before buying.
"We're getting better and
better from the amount of data out there at figuring out what works,"
said Sev Ritchie, president of multiretailer platform FurnitureFan.com.
"And usually what we find is that the most popular product on the
Web site is the most popular product on the floor. Seasonally, that's
entertainment centers and living room pieces right now, and as we go
into fall, it's beds and bedroom sets. 1800mattress.com sells a great
deal of mattresses, sight unseen, delivered to your door."
And, as with us, sectionals have proved extremely popular. Would we recommend this type of buying to everyone? No, not everyone. If you know exactly what you want, you are a good candidate. And if you find a good store with good policies and good prices, there is no reason to not give it a try.