Have you shopped for furniture lately? The furniture market is a crazy overload of products. There are a bazillion online stores and many of them offer you “affordable” furniture shipped quickly to your door. You just need to take a wild guess at the quality, color and proportions. You can browse through reviews of the suckers who took the bait to evaluate whether their opinion matters. The “affordable” online merchants are rabid and once you enter their website you will be inundated with email offers and internet ads on social media.
I’ve spent countless hours perusing online furniture sites. I spend way too much time trying to find the perfect piece and even more time evaluating whether what I see is what I’ll actually get. So far, I’ve ordered a sofa table (two shelves and four legs that will be mostly hidden behind a sofa — low risk) and an area rug. The table was fine for the price and easy to put together. The rug hasn’t been shipped yet; it’s apparently coming directly from Turkey?
I’m also pursuing second hand online shopping. I really want to save money, help people get rid of unwanted stuff and keep perfectly useful items from ending up in the land fill. Easier said than done. Again, I spend inordinate amounts of time finding what I need and like. Then one has to navigate the idiosyncrasies of the people who post. I’ve encountered a couple of categories. There’s the people who just don’t respond. The item is still listed for sale, but crickets in response to my interest. Then there’s the people who don’t post a description or post an inaccurate description. I’ve found that a lot of people think their lousy photos tell everything. Do they not realize that low res photos show no detail and that colors vary wildly from one monitor to the other? 🙄 We wasted time going out of our way to look at a sideboard that looked great in the low res photo. The item was nicked, scratched and the top veneer was coming off. There are some really good sellers out there, though. We’ve purchased a dresser and counter stools at a great price from some really nice people.
One might think that going to a reputable furniture store would be the safest route to acquiring good furniture. Not so fast. We spent over five hours furniture shopping this past weekend. We started at a store where we bought our coffee table. I saw a couple of pieces on their website that looked promising. So yeah, those pieces were not in the store. We did find a piece that we liked. It was lower on our shopping priority list, but it was on sale and we decided to get it. We picked it up from the warehouse to save on delivery costs, which also meant that it came in a box and had to be assembled. We went to Gardner, MA, the self proclaimed furniture capital of Massachusetts. It was a bust. The Gardner Furniture Outlet also did not have the pieces we saw online and their selection was pretty small. We went to another store which has gorgeous furniture, but even the outlet prices were three times what we could afford. They build the furniture there and will do custom work . . . for a premium. 🤑
One of the most stressful aspects of furniture shopping for me is having to send every choice up for review to the husband, asking “do you like this?” over and over. 🤦🏻♀️ Our tastes are not that dissimilar, thank God, but since I’ve already deliberated over the selection as described above I’d rather skip this final approval step!
I have faith that we will eventually fully furnish our new home. I’d like to to be done NOW, but I’ll summon up the patience and perseverance to wait until we find what we like, can afford and will live with for a long time. In the meantime, we have some furnishings to get rid of!