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Should You Buy a Bed Online or at a Local Shop?

Getting the best price for the highest quality bed or other furniture is most important. Tips on how to get a great bed deal online or at a brick-and-mortar shop.

Wouldn’t it be more practical to go to a local furniture shop to buy a bed, even if you need a bed base only without a mattress? Sure, but what if your tastes gravitate toward the African safari look? Or a French Mediterranean style bed is more your style. The Internet fills that niche market. And sometimes web prices are better than at your local shop.

Follow these tips for successful online bed and furniture shopping:

Consider the transport costs. Sometimes the cost to ship a large item like a bed is almost as much as the item is worth. In that case, you would be better off scouring your local furniture and speciality shops. Check your local paper for sales and close-outs. If you have your eye on a particular piece, ask the salesperson to contact you if it goes on sale. Buy off-season for things like lawn furniture and holiday-themed items. Shop at warehouse shops.

How long will it take for the furniture to arrive? Make sure you get an estimated delivery time before you place the order. It could take as long as 30 days to arrive, if not longer. And get the phone number or e-mail address for the transport company. Stay on top of them and make sure they alert you to any delays.

Does it come fully assembled? If you don’t know the difference between a spanner and a screwdriver, leave the assembly to someone else. If you don’t know someone who is handy, consider the cost of hiring a professional. And what might seem like simple instructions, which should only take an hour, could turn into an all-day job.

What are the return policies? Sometimes if you’re unhappy with the furniture, you can return it at a local shop. Argos has a bigger selection of furniture online than at many of their shops. And if you are not satisfied once the item arrives, just take it back to the closest retail location. Be wary of non-refundable sales, no matter how good the deal is. Don’t ever pay by bank transfer, as your credit card company will often back you up if there is a dispute.

Price furniture at local shops first. Then if you find a piece you are interested in, write down the model number. Do a web search and see if you can get a better deal online. If shipping is expensive, the website may have a brick-and-mortar shop that is within a day’s drive. Figure the price of gas compared to the shipping costs. Also, if you try out a couch or bed in a shop, you’ll find out how comfortable it is. The worst thing would be to have a piece of furniture arrive that you won’t ever use.

And lastly, check for online coupons. You can often find good deals on sites like Groupon.

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