Here's a scenario, you see something you like online, maybe it's a new sofa or a new bed. You order the item right away but when you receive it, it's not the quality you expected. When you're buying new furniture for your home, you want to get something that will last you for more than several years and you want it to fit your space. Quality is important, especially when buying large furniture pieces. In addition to quality, you'll also want something that is the right size and color for your space and there will be a lot of things your average furniture company won't tell you about their products. This quick guide will give you the right questions to ask in order to protect yourself from being tricked by misleading information. Ask yourself these questions when searching for new products or brands.
1. What is it made of?
The first (and by far the most important) question to ask when buying new furniture is "What is it made of?" Whether you're looking for something to last a year or 10 years, it's important to know what kind of material the furniture is made with. If you're looking for a sofa or a bed that's going to last you several years, you'll want it to have a sturdy, long-lasting foundation. Look for items made of solid wood, these will last longer than items made of manufactured wood. This website offers a helpful guide to furniture wood by breaking down the pros and cons of each type.
When asking what it's made of, it's also important to ask what kind of fabric the item is made of as well. While more natural materials are recommended for a long-lasting foundation, you'll want synthetic materials for a longer lasting fabric. By far, the longest lasting fabric will be a tightly woven microfiber. Fabrics made with polyester and other synthetic materials tend to be stronger, snag less, and wear out a lot slower than natural materials. For a complete guide on the pros and cons of various fabric types, you can check out this article. The article provides a helpful guide to which type of material might be best for you.
If you're looking for a specific feel or texture it is always important to contact the seller and see if they provide swatch samples. Our website offers swatch samples at $5 with that $5 going towards your purchase if you decide to use that color.
2. Will it fit?
The second question you should always ask is "Will it fit?" Before buying new furniture, make sure to measure your available space and find items that will fit in that space. Always look for the dimensions of a product (usually provided on the product's page). If a website doesn't provide sufficient product-sizing information, give them a call! It never hurts to double check, even if you're mostly sure it will fit. If you can't get a hold of the company and still are not sure if the item will fit, it might be best not to purchase that item. You don't want to spend thousands of dollars on a new item only for it to not fit in your home! Keep in mind as well that when purchasing large furniture pieces, such as sofas or beds, there is almost always a restocking fee and return shipping. To avoid having to pay those, it's best to play it safe and only go with items that have readily available product dimensions.
3. How is it made?
This question is important to ask in order to find out the amount of effort put into quality control for the item. Is this made by hand or is it machine made? Most companies will have a quality control department so this question is typically more of a personal preference. While the quality may not differ as much between hand-crafted and machine-crafted items, it feels better knowing your items were hand-crafted with care. Typically this information can be found on a website's FAQ or About Us page. To find out how our products are made, give our About Us page a view!
4. Do they manufacture the products themselves?
While this question may not always lead to answers relative to quality, it's important to know how much of the item-making process the brand has a hand in. For the highest quality assurance, you'll want to find brands that manufacture their own products. This also makes it easier when asking questions about the products themselves. Brands that manufacture their own products will be able to provide more in-depth responses than brands that do not. Look out for brands that mention third-party manufacturers, as they may not care as much about quality. Brands that manufacture their own products tend to put more effort into providing the highest quality furniture. We (Jennifer Taylor Home) design and manufacture all of our own products.
5. Where are their products manufactured?
If the brand uses a third-party manufacturer it's important to ask where the products are manufactured. Manufacturing items might be cheaper in certain countries and the brand may choose to outsource their product manufacturing to a third-party company to save money. However, this may not always lead to high-quality items. Brands will typically state where their products are manufactured. If it's not readily available, contact the brand to find out and ask them more about their third-party manufacturers. Make sure the third-party company the brand is working with is a trustworthy company.
6. What's their customer service like?
This is an important question to ask because it will help you find out the difficulty you might have to go through if you happen to have any issues with your order in the future. Give the company a call during their normal business hours (most companies will provide their business hours and contact information at the bottom of their website or on a contact information page). Ask them a few questions you might have about the item or their return policy. While most companies already provide this information on their website, it's nice to have the assurance that there is a real person willing to help you with any issues you may have.
7. Read the reviews.
If you're still unsure about the item or just want other experiences and opinions of it, check out the item's reviews. Seeing how other people feel about the item is always helpful. Not all items have reviews, which is why you should always ask yourself the above mentioned questions