As the pandemic foments and we’re all still locked inside, many people are looking around their homes with a desire for change –whether it’s a refresh, or making room for elearning, a home office, or somewhere conducive to resistance training or yoga.

Changing our living space comes with numerous benefits, in terms of our mental health, personal well-being, efficiency, and overall comfort.

When we’re all locked up in our home with others full-time, rooms can feel smaller than they are. Rearranging or replacing furniture can free up space and give occupants some peace of mind.

Buying furniture online allows us to respect our government’s lockdown orders, while converting our living spaces into our own personal paradise –if we get it right the first time.

Only in the past few years has the idea of buying furniture online become mainstream. Mistakes are often made in the process.

In this guide we’ll look at a few different ways you can ensure that your online purchases of furniture and houseware don’t lead to unmet expectations versus reality.

Measure Twice

Check the measurements of your own space, making sure that the measurements of the furniture you buy fits the room, snugly alongside your other room accents, furniture, or appliances.

Leave room for air vents, pipes, and consider lighting and how furniture purchases may create shadows or block windows.

Shop At Reputable Retailers

Find an online furniture retailer you trust. Shopping at reputable retailers is an absolute must. Amazon is often the go-to for people making online purchases, but understand that it’s more like an online mall full of different retailers who will fulfill your order. Expectations are often unmet.

To make research easier, read reviews on products your furniture retailer sells, and check them out on TrustPilot if you’re not totally sure you can trust them with your hard earned money.

Fake reviews are a burgeoning business these days, and you may want to buy direct from a manufacturer instead.

Look for Actual Photos

Fraudulent overseas retailers will often sell “knock offs”, and use photos of the original product they’re copying.

Be sure that images are legitimate, and are large enough to view the finer details of each piece of furniture.

Leave no stone unturned, and check home furnishing social media like Houzz, or take a look on Pinterest to see user-generated photos of how the final product looked in their home.

Check the Return Policy

Buying furniture online often comes with complicated return policies, and in some cases the cost of return shipping is on the customer to pay.

Before you make an online purchase, review the retailer’s return policy and seek out fine print –leave no complexity overlooked. If you are unsure of anything, look for a “live chat” widget, phone number, or contact form to ask the appropriate department to find answers.

Watch Out for Deals

There are social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest that share regular deals on furniture.

Online forums, Facebook groups, and Reddit are a great source of furniture discount information, and the Honey browser plugin can auto-fill the promo code form at checkout if you have it installed (highly recommended).

Deals are everywhere online, and at the very least, sign up for the email newsletter of your favorite online furniture retailer to get a deal directly from them. This is often the best way to save money on furniture.

Have you ever experienced buying furniture online? What was the best item you bought? Share your thoughts in the comments below.