Buying home furniture is a very personal matter. Everyone has their own style, their own preferences and their own needs, many of which have nothing at all to do with fashion, fads or fantasy. Luckily, buying furniture is made ten times easier by having online access to hundreds, even thousands, of different chain stores, specialist manufacturers and unique suppliers around the world.
One thing that cannot be denied when shopping for furniture is that quality rules all. From delicate-looking antiques to robust rustic furniture, you want to know that what you buy is going to survive being slept on, sat on, eaten off, lounged about in, played on and around by the kids and occasionally hosting an overnight guest or two, and do the job well for several years.
Amish furniture is renowned for not only its robustness, strength and quality, but also its attractive, classic looks that can create a comfortable, elegant and homey atmosphere. But how do you know if you’re getting what you really want? How do you go about shopping for Amish furniture online? Here are fifteen quick tips to help you shop.
- Research the vendor
It’s easy enough to research your vendor by visiting their about page and finding out about their history. Read up on where they come from, how their furniture is made, what motivates them – everything you need to know about the company.
- Read the FAQs and don’t be afraid to ask questions
Most websites gave an FAQ section, where most of your questions should be answered – plus a few you didn’t know to ask! Read through them and, if you still have questions, go right ahead and call them, send an email or fill in the contact form. A reputable dealer or manufacturer will get back to you as soon as possible with an answer.
- Read external reviews
There’s no shortage of websites that offer external, unbiased reviews of vendors by former customers. While a lot of companies will allow customers to post testimonials, good or bad, on their own sites, it’s always a good idea to check out other sources.
- Compare costs
Take the time to shop around and compare costs from a couple of different suppliers. While you’re at it, compare everything! From styles to types of wood, from finish options to delivery options, see where you’ll be getting the most value – remember, cheapest is not always best, but you also don’t want to overpay.
- Check the returns policy
Returns and cancellations vary from vendor to vendor. Bear in mind that it’s easier for a chain store to resell stock that’s been returned than it is for a custom-manufacturer with tailor-made options, so their policies may differ. Make sure their policy is fair and is something you are happy to agree to.
- Check the location and shipping options
Whether they’re a purely online supplier or have a showroom, location will make a difference to shipping times and costs. Depending on the shipping options available, you may be better off finding a vendor closer to home. Then again, if they’re on the other side of the country, but have a reasonable delivery policy, that may work for you, too. While you’re at it, read through the terms and conditions, too!
- Online security
- Read descriptions and options carefully
The last thing you want is to order a table based on the photograph and end up with something different because you didn’t check the description carefully or select the right. For example, if you order a table that includes extensions to make it seat up to fourteen people, but don’t select the right number of extensions or the right table top size, you could end up with a too-small table.
- Measure before buying
Related to point 8, make sure you have carefully measured the space where you want to place your furniture before placing your order. Custom-made furniture often has various options you can choose in terms of size and those details should be right there in the description or the option selections.
- Research the finish, wood, stain and upholstery options
Especially when it comes to custom furniture, there may be various different types of wood, finish, upholstery and stains to choose from to make your furniture unique. Research the different options available to you and, if the vendor provides the option, get some samples to check that it’s right – remember, images online can look very different to real life and you don’t want to be disappointed because your choice didn’t turn out how you thought it would.
- Check manufacture times
All furniture takes time to manufacture, and good quality furniture can take a little longer, so check the estimated time of manufacture and delivery before placing your order. We don’t recommend basing your decision on who gets it to you fastest, but it’s always useful to know when to expect your furniture.
- Check the website’s care instructions
Buying good quality, custom-made furniture is going to involve some cleaning and care effort on your part, so it’s always a good idea to know what you’re getting into. If the manufacturer offers it, check out their care and cleaning sections to know how to look after your Amish furniture in the future. They may even provide specialist products.
- Check the variety and range
Depending on the manufacturer, they may have a small range or a much larger one. Make sure that their ranges extend across various pieces of furniture, though, to make sure you will be able to add on at a later stage without clashing styles.
- Check for specials
Traditionally, the post-holiday season is the time to look for sales, specials and other offers. However, vendors may have other reasons to give specials at other times of the year, like celebrating their birthday, or a spring cleaning sale. The best thing to do is to subscribe to their newsletter or follow them on social media to get notifications of sales and deals.
- Read their blog
Many companies offer blogs on their websites nowadays, so take the time to read through theirs. You may get a whole lot of helpful advice on choosing, caring for, and laying out your furniture.