5 Tips For Online Furniture Shopping

Are you asking how you can decorate your new space during this covid-19 pandemic? The time has come; you are finally getting into a new place to call home, a place to make exactly your own, when the unbelievable happens. You can not go furniture shopping! No browsing, testing out mattresses like they do in the movies, and definitely no carrying around colour swatches from store to store to see if the piece you love will match your walls. It is all cancelled! The upside? Remember – this is 2020, and everything your heart desires (for the most part) can be purchased online and delivered right to your door!

With what feels like a million options, where do you start? Here are five things to keep in mind while bringing your new pad to life in these wild times.

#1 – Stay Safe

First and foremost, no matter what store or business you are ordering from, make sure that they have an updated memo on their website regarding their specific pandemic protocol. How are they staffing their warehouses? What are the sanitation procedures? Are employees wearing gloves or other PPE? The vast majority of furniture retailers have halted in-home unboxing and/or assembly services; and for good reason. One step further, most of them won’t be bringing your new gear into your place either. This means you might need to do some extra planning in regards to where you are comfortable picking up the baton from your shipment team. Being organized in the best of times can alleviate a lot of moving stress, let alone during the madness of COVID-19. If you are in a townhouse or condominium, does your alleyway have access? Clear the lobby and apply to have solo admittance to the elevators if you reside in an apartment. House? Vacate the driveway and weigh the pros and cons of garage versus front door entry. Sounds basic, but you can’t go wrong with having an action plan on delivery day to keep you and your home as safe as possible.

Decorate during a Pandemic

#2 – Just Say NO To Crazy Delivery Charges

IKEA, beloved Swedish furniture makers for the everyman, is currently charging a flat rate of $59 for shipping, no matter what you buy, in most major markets. When you are already making a hefty online purchase, or on the flip side, just need one lamp to complete your perfect room, the last thing that is going to fly is an overpriced delivery fee. The good news is, many tried and true companies are not charging an arm and a leg to get your purchases to their forever home!

*When you spend $250 or more, Ashley Home Store is now offering free delivery to your door/lobby/alleyway. https://ashleyhomestore.ca/pages/delivery

*Keep your eyes peeled (or join their email list) for The Brick and their pop-up nighttime ‘After Hours Sale’. During these random promotions, you can purchase anything and everything with a shipping and handling fee of exactly $0. https://www.thebrick.com/

*Order more than $498 from Leon’s and you will qualify for free delivery. https://www.leons.ca/pages/free-local-delivery

*Buying $75 worth of goods from Wayfair means you will not pay one extra cent to have them dropped off at your door.

*Stocking up on smaller items to solidify your domestication? Just add any item over $49 to your cart at Bed Bath&Beyond and the standard shipping costs are on them. https://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca/store/static/ShippingPolicies

When all else fails, reach out to the customer service department at your store of choice and see what they will offer you, or if they have any promotions coming up. Without brick and mortar sales, market competition is even more fierce – make that work to your advantage. Pro tip: if you don’t qualify for a certain free promotion, find out if the store is open for curbside pickup, many are! Many companies are trying to help you decorate your new space during this covid-19 pandemic as much as possible!

#3 – Try Your New Mattress Out At Home

Even before the world as we knew it turned upside down, testing out several floor model mattresses, while wearing street clothes and shoes, was going the way of the dodo. Why not find out if a mattress is right for you with a brand new, freshly wrapped version, one that has not had numerous people you do not know lying all over it? These brands (among many others) will let you do just that, in the comfort of your own home!

*Endy – the 100 night trial. Get snuggled up and cozy for over 3 months while you determine if this bed is for keeps. Canadian made, free delivery, and no signature required when it gets dropped off, making for a completely contactless transaction. A pandemic triple threat. https://ca.endy.com/

*Also a bed in a box, Casper offers a 100 night risk free trial as well and currently has every model on sale, for what they say is an indefinite period of time. Even better? In the spirit of community and gratitude, Casper is offering a special 20% discount to all healthcare professionals. Free delivery, no contact required. https://casper.com/ca/en/

*Sleep Country has relaxed its commitment free exchange policy for the current climate. Now when purchasing a mattress, you may trial it at home and your 100 day window to swap it for another model will not begin until after stores have reopened. They’re also offering 15% off sitewide and free shipping. https://www.sleepcountry.ca/home

#4 – Double And Triple Check Return Policies

A definite downside to furnishing your new stomping grounds digitally is hating whatever you bought. Before hitting complete purchase, do a quick review of the retailers return policy. It’s likely they have made recent amendments to how this facet of shopping with them works. Do you need to keep the packaging? Will they pick an item up from you or would you have to bring it to the post office yourself? Are you responsible for shipping costs? What is their guarantee (if any) of delivering goods in mint condition? A powerful consumer resource is checking out the buyer review comments on the items you are interested in. We suggest doing this on the actual site you will purchase from and in a separate Google search. If someone has had a poor experience with the quality of an item or an overall customer service interaction, these forums are where you will learn about it. Still can’t find a clear answer? Contact the retailer directly and hear from the horse’s mouth how they are processing returns/exchanges right now.

If it seems overwhelming, remember you get to spend your money wherever you want to. Collecting pieces to make your house a home should be mostly fun, not add more anxiety.

#5 – Where You Can, Try To Keep It Local

There has probably never been a more popular or tempting time to order from Amazon and online retail giants like them. Easy, one stop shopping, no doubt. However, keep in mind that many items coming from the USA or overseas are taking substantially longer to ship than they normally would. Large companies are prioritizing orders and like you, are adapting to a new reality. Also, returns (see above) can cause even more headaches if you add an international element. If you have the means, flexibility, ability, etc. to support a locally owned company while decking out your new digs, do it! While you support a business within your community, you have peace of mind knowing something was handmade close to home. Oftentimes this also increases your ability to have unique, customized, and long lasting furniture. Not sure where to start looking? Visit market websites and their vendors social media profiles or try your city’s chamber of commerce information page. And in the age of marketing from every angle, reputation and word of mouth still work best of all – ask your friends and family if they have any recommendations! Keep it local and support your local businesses to decorate your new space during this Covid-19 pandemic!

TIP BONUS ROUND ON HOW TO DECORATE YOUR SPACE DURING THIS COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Do your research! When you are bored, out of sorts, needing some comfort or all of the above, online impulse shopping can feel really good. Nonetheless, having patience when decorating your new home will pay off, if you can create rooms you love and feel good about everything in them. Check Instagram and Facebook for discount codes, compare pricing and warranties, and sign up for emails from retailers to receive notice on upcoming promotions. And inarguably more important than anything else: ALWAYS check measurements of the item you want to buy with your actual space and entryways. Nothing hurts worse or bursts a bubble faster, than realizing your freshly delivered couch won’t fit through the door.