Buying Furniture by Phone
Can We Buy Furniture by Phone?
My husband and I went looking for a new sofa and love seat, after six years of use by us, a non-declawed cat and a growing child. We did our research and shopped around, and ended up at a "warehouse" store. We found a set we liked and the price was half the cost of regular stores. We had to order it, because both pieces weren't in stock. But it was always on the next truck coming in on Friday or Saturday. But then it wasn't on that truck - maybe next Friday's truck...for three weeks. We have now cancelled the order. We've seen furniture sites on the internet, and may get something from one of them. Does anyone have experience with this type of buying?
Had a Good Experience
I recently had a very good experience buying new furniture (Broyhill in my case) direct from North Carolina. First, go to your local furniture store and pick out the furniture that you want (I found that most big name U.S. manufacturer's furniture is available thru this service). Be sure to get the make, model #'s and manufacturer name - the sales people should willingly give this to you if you ask for it - this info is also on brochures about the furniture that the sales people hand out. The company I used was Better Homes Discount Furniture (1-828-328-8302) because they gave me the best price at the time, but there are plenty of other companies on the web who also do this & I'd advise comparing their prices before ordering.
The main advantage in ordering furniture this way is the price - I paid $913 for the furniture + $135 shipping/delivery = $1048. At the local store, the same furniture was priced at $1446 *without* delivery. There is also an intangible advantage worth mentioning - the people who answered the phone were all pleasant & friendly and full of that classic southern hospitality, very much unlike the unpleasant pushy salespeople I've had to fend off in furniture stores locally. You also don't have to worry about them calling you forever after trying to sell furniture - the only time they initiated a call was to clarify the delivery address or to let me know that the furniture had come in to the warehouse - there were absolutely no sales calls. I bought the furniture over a year ago and they've never called to bug me to buy more either.
The disadvantages to buying this way are:
- Payment means - Most companies don't accept credit cards so you have to send a check. You send a check for 25% of the total at the time the order is placed, the remainder is paid by check when the furniture comes into their warehouse and the shipping must be paid by money order at the time it is delivered.
- Inconvenience - You have to be there when the furniture is delivered & need to have a money order ready at that time.
- Time - It took 2-3 months to get the furniture.
If the disadvantages don't bother you, this method of buying new furniture is definitely worth it.
Susanne in Florida
Search Global, Shop Local
My Father in law wanted new bedroom furniture so he looked all over the web for the "perfect set" when he found what he wanted he got a very reasonable quote. He then printed the quote & went down to a furniture store he showed the salesman (who had the exact "perfect set" in their showroom) the great quote and asked him to match the price. The salesman matched the price, and they were able to get the furniture from a local company and support the economy.
Worth the Risk?
If you're just shopping price maybe it would be worth it. I would think buying furniture is a major purchase & it would be safer to buy locally. Since I sell furniture, I have seen people surprised about how a fabric looks on the frame after they waited for it for weeks because they can't visualize what it will be like. And unless you're looking for a certain brand, style & fabric, how will you know if it's the quality you want? Even if you do shop for something specific who knows if they will stand behind their product/service if it comes in damaged? Besides, I'd think paying for shipping would be more than it's worth. It's best to deal with someone local that has a good reputation. Then you know what you're getting. Going cheap isn't always the best decision.
Savings is Significant
I bought some furniture over the phone from one of the discount stores in North Carolina back in 1995. I got the store names from a friend. First, I shopped local stores to get the manufacturer and model numbers of the pieces. Since the stores won't always share model numbers, I always ask to see their books to get measurements of pieces and also to see what matching pieces they have.
Then I called the N.C. stores. The savings more than paid for the shipping costs. The furniture was delivered sooner than they anticipated with no problems. Here are the stores that I checked out. Keep in mind, there are a LOT of stores down there. Maybe the chamber of commerce for the local towns could give you more names.
Call the stores and ask for brochures on their policy and which lines of furniture they carry. I found that they typically don't carry some of the "top-of-the-line" furniture.
Try the Net
I would suggest trying Nebraska Furniture Mart located in Omaha, Nebraska. I have heard that they deliver virtually anywhere (at a reasonable price). Their web site is NnebraskaFurnitureMart.com.
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