Furniture is an essential part of a home, but shopping for furniture can be stressful if you’re not familiar with what you’re buying and who you’re buying from. With proper research, furniture shopping can be fun for you and your family.
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BBB offers these tips to help with your furniture purchase:
Decide what you need before you shop. Figure out what pieces of furniture you need. Consider what you will be using the furniture for and who will be using it most. Will the piece be placed inside or outside? Do you have kids or pets that will be using it? Once deciding what you need, research different materials to determine what is best for you.
Measure and make a floor plan. Bring it with you along with a tape measure to easily measure furniture you’re considering to see if it is the correct size. It is also important to measure any doors or hallways the new piece is required to get through.
Set a budget. Be sure your budget includes total costs, including taxes, delivery charges, interest, etc.
Research different materials. There are two major types of furniture: upholstered and case goods. Upholstered goods consist of things like couches and chairs covered in fabric. When choosing an upholstered good, consider your lifestyle and colors. Also, test the cushions and check the springs. Case goods consist of tables, cabinets and shelves. Be sure to check: what type of wood it’s made from, do drawers and doors open and shut completely, and if the wood is joined at ends and corners, etc.
Head out and go shopping. There are many different places to purchase furniture. Specialty furniture stores, department stores and online stores are just a few options. Before purchasing any furniture, shop around, ask friends and family members for recommendations and visit bbb.org for a full list of BBB Accredited furniture businesses and Business Profiles on ones you’re considering or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.
Read labels. The Federal Trade Commission requires manufacturers to put every material used in the making of the piece on the label to inform buyers if it contains any toxic, flame-retardant chemicals. It also requires the label to state where it was made and the manufacturers registry number.
Ask about the warranty and return policies. Understand if you’re buying the furniture with a warranty or if you are purchasing the furniture “as-is.” Ask about the warranty start and end dates and always be sure to get a copy of it in writing. Understand the stores return policy and know exactly what the business will do if there is an issue.
John North is president of the Dayton Better Business Bureau.