5 Mistakes People Make Buying Furniture Online

Shopping online for furniture? Here are 5 mistakes people make buying furniture online - and how to avoid them

There has been a huge shift in the past few years towards online shopping for everything, and last year cemented this as our new reality. With social distancing, online shopping means we can get all the cool stuff delivered! Without getting COVID! Online furniture shopping has blown up, and I want to share with you 5 mistakes people make buying furniture online – and how to avoid them so you can have a kickass home you love.

Don’t make these mistakes…

  1. Not measuring your doorways
  2. Buying matching furniture sets
  3. Rushing into a purchase
  4. Ignoring online reviews
  5. Being too “safe”

Mistake #1: Not Measuring Your Doorways

It is so easy to see a furniture piece online and to assume if it fits in your room, it’s going to physically fit into your house. But please, please, measure and all openings or passageways that your new piece of furniture is going to have to pass through to get into your room! If your new furniture gets delivered and it won’t squeeze through a staircase, or it won’t make it around a corner, or it won’t go through the doorway of the room it belongs in – well, that’s a problem.

Measure any opening or clearance of that piece of furniture needs to get through in order to get in the space.

Mistake #2: Buying Matching Furniture Sets

Gone are the days where it’s cool to buy a matching sofa, loveseat, and chair set. God bless the 80s and 90s! I can remember my parents’ matching living room furniture set so clearly. It had teak wood frames with light teal velvet upholstery. And everything matched, from the sofa and chair to accent table and coffee table. I’m sure whoever sold it to them made a killer commission on selling a complete living room in one transaction.

It was definitely “the thing” to buy a matching set because it made life easy – you’d make one simple purchase where everything matched and you’d move on with your life.

If you do have one of those matching sets, just split them up and move them around your house. Put your loveseat in your bedroom, put the chair in your office – just don’t let them hang out together. A matching set doesn’t give you any room to express your personality, your style, and your unique taste.

I promise you will be happier with the end result if you spend the time to source a kickass sofa and an amazing chair on your own (or with the help of a designer).

Mistake #3: Rushing Into a Purchase

I know, we want it now. Amazon Prime can get us a couch in two days , but that doesn’t mean it’s the right piece of furniture for you. There is a huge demand for home products right now and lead times are longer than normal. I promise if you wait patiently for the right piece of furniture, you will be much happier than if you rush and settle for something less than ideal.

Custom furniture can easily be a four to six month lead time (or longer), and even ready-made furniture can be backorderd for months. I know that reality sucks, but it is worth the wait to invest in amazing furniture you love.

Mistake #4: Ignoring Online Reviews

It’s one of the most common mistakes people make buying furniture online: ignoring online reviews. When you’re buying online, you don’t have the luxury of going into a store and plunking your butt on that piece of furniture, opening the doors of an armoire, seeing how the hinges are attached on that nightstand; you really have to rely on the experiences of others.

Pay attention to what people are saying about the product itself. Are the cushions too firm? Are the seams sewn poorly? Do the legs feel rickety and weak? Listen to what people are saying about living with that piece of furniture because when shopping online you have to rely on what other people are telling you.

If the piece of furniture doesn’t sound like a good fit from a comfort and a functional standpoint for you, just move along. Don’t try to make a crappy sofa your dream sofa just because you like the price – it’s not going to work. Listen to the feedback of others. Instead of sitting on the sofa, you’ve got to read reviews and make sure that what you’re buying makes sense for you.

Mistake #5: Being Too Safe

Here’s what happens with furniture. It’s always exciting when you first get it, and you love it and it’s cool and it’s the new thing. And then as you get used to it, it begins to feel more normal to you.

If you start with an average, “safe” piece of furniture, over time, it’s gonna feel like a total snooze. If you start with the bold sofa of your dreams (the bright mustard yellow velvet sofa or the jazzy leopard print sofa you’ve been eyeing), that bold new piece feels a bit uncomfortable for a bit. And then you get used to it. And that becomes your new normal, your new baseline. You’re going to be happier splurging on something and investing in something that feels a little bit over the top at first because over time, it will settle, and it will feel normal to you.

A tamer furniture purchase will start to settle and feel reallll boring – and if you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know I am all about helping people bust out of boring homes.

So, is shopping for furniture online worth the risk?

I work frequently with clients all over the US and Canada, and the reality is that I can’t go to stores with them to check furniture pieces out in person. I want to reassure you that shopping online for furniture is totally doable, and there are ways to make sure you’re successful. You don’t have to make the same common mistakes people make buying furniture online.

Shopping online for furniture? Here are 5 mistakes people make buying furniture online - and how to avoid them