Monday, March 5, 2012

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How to Avoid Online Furniture Scams



4 ways not to get taken for a ride when it comes to buying furnishings online . . .

Online shopping has become the norm for folks looking for the best deal or those who prefer its privacy compared to conventional in-store shopping. Gone are the times when you would drive around town looking for the best deal on a bedroom suite. Thanks to technology, you don’t need a vehicle to drive from shop to shop, only a computer or a smartphone with wireless connection to shop till you drop!

Unfortunately, with millions of shoppers choosing to do business online, online furniture scams have become very rampant, especially when it comes to so-called discount sales that lure shopping in with promises of quality items at jaw-dropping prices. Scams occur when online dealers disappear off the face of the earth once you’ve paid, and before your furniture has been delivered.

Don’t be a story of online tragedy. Protect yourself and your hard-earned money by purchasing furniture from a reliable source. Avoid falling victim to online furniture scams by protecting yourself in the following ways:

1. Do your research -  I know online shopping is supposed to be fast and convenient, but not so fast that you (the shopper) don’t do the proper research. Seek out online furniture stores with decent online ratings and favorable reviews from other shoppers. Of course not all online reviews are legit, but you can sniff out a phony store if all the reviews are glowing (there should be a few unhappy customers). And steer clear of online stores with poor ratings and unfavorable user reviews. Learn from the mistakes of others.

2. Only shop with dealers who give contact information -  That means an email address, as well as a phone number, and a physical address. They should also have a customer service number you can call if you’re unsatisfied with the quality of the bedroom furniture that was shipped to you. Call the number provided before you buy, just to see if it’s a real customer service line and that it’s open during regular business hours.

3. Seek recommendations from trusted sources - Do you have a friend or family member who’s purchased furniture online? Well if you hear good things about the store they purchased from, seek out their advice and recommendations. Getting a recommendation from the so-called “horse’s mouth” can save you from getting ripped off and help you make a good buying decision. After all, if your friend had a good experience shopping online, you can feel pretty good your own money will be safeguarded from an unscrupulous online furniture scam if you buy from the same online vendor.

4. Get an idea of what the item's average price is - When buying furniture, a car, or a piece of jewelry online, it’s always wise to do some price comparisons first. If you’re unsure, browse through newspaper fliers and other online stores, and also ask friends for a reasonable price range for that specific item if they’ve purchased something similar. You know what the famous saying is…“if it sounds too good to be true—it probably is”.

About The Author
Gina M Casillo is a staff writer for Serenity Living Stores, your choice place to buy a Noguchi table. She enjoys decorating the bedrooms for her active twin boys and writing about home d├ęcor—especially when it comes to the spaces she’s most intimate with.