Furniture Shopping Checklist: 10 Questions to Ask Before Buying Furniture Online

by Khent Barangas on May 27, 2024

10 Questions to Ask When Buying Furniture Online

So, you’re planning to buy new furniture and you think you just found the perfect piece online. We get it - online furniture stores (of course like Qoncept Living) offer treasure troves of finds. Plus, the convenience, variety, sales promotions, and killer discount codes, what’s not to love?

But hold on, before you click that buy button, are you sure that specific furniture is truly what you need or want? According to a 2022 study published on Statista, 81% of online shoppers who had returned a product said they did so because the item was damaged or defective. Moreover, 75% of e-commerce consumers had made a return because the item didn't fit, while 56 percent stated that the item did not match the description.

Even today, online consumers order and receive products unfit for their expectations. But the good news is: you can avoid these by simply asking the right questions to the seller. It also helps you identify which sellers or stores to trust.

In this furniture buying guide, we’ll be giving you a checklist of questions that you should ask the store (and yourself) to avoid any online furniture shopping mishaps. Here are the 10 questions to ask before buying furniture online.

1. Will the Furniture Fit in My Room?

Furniture Proportion to the room

One of the essential information you should consider before buying furniture online is the dimension. Having a clear picture of where it will go helps you narrow down your choices.

Ask the seller for the measurements: the size, length, and height of the furniture. Then, decide if it's ideal for your designated area. Your goal is to find a piece that is proportional to your space. This means it shouldn't be too bulky and make the room crowded, but also not too small that it leaves the room feeling hollow and uninviting.

2. What Are the Materials Used?

Materials for Furniture

Your prospective furniture fits your room. The next step is to understand its features, quality, and longevity. The best way to do this is to ask about the materials used in the furniture.

Knowing the materials will help you understand if the price is right for the piece. For example, plywood furniture might be more affordable but may not last for a generation. Conversely, solid hardwood furniture can be costly but makes a perfect heirloom or durable statement piece.

More importantly, keep an eye on those potentially toxic materials used in furniture. These include formaldehyde, Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), flame retardants, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), benzene, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), methylene chloride, and perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs).

3. Is the Furniture kid-friendly/pet-friendly?

kid-friendly and pet-friendly furniture

Imagine buying a beautiful white sofa online. It looks perfect in your living room, but weeks later, you find out that your loving kids spilled juice on it. Unfortunately, it’s not the worst part, you just discovered the sofa material isn't washable. Yikes!

You could’ve avoided this situation if you had just asked about the furniture's kid and pet friendliness.

Safety is another concern. Some furniture pieces come with small parts and detachable pieces that are dangerous for children. By knowing if furniture is suited for your lifestyle, you can avoid the stress and hassle of buying something that doesn't meet your needs.

4. Is the Furniture Customizable? If Yes, Does It Cost Extra?

Found the perfect furniture online, but it doesn't quite fit your space? Or maybe it doesn't match your décor and theme? Don't lose hope yet. Some online furniture stores offer customization services that allow you to tailor the piece to your preferred style. They may not advertise this on their website or Shopee and Lazada stores. So, you need to ask.

However, customization often comes with an extra fee. Be sure to ask the store or seller about customization costs upfront to manage your budget expectations.

5. How Much Weight Can It Hold?

Sofa carrying weight

This is an important question, especially if you are buying a sofa, bedframe, and organizer. Knowing the weight capacity helps you ensure the furniture can handle its intended use. For instance, a family sofa should ideally have a higher weight capacity than a single-person accent chair.

Here, our keyword is “durability”. And if you're looking for a shelving unit that can handle all your kitchen essentials, consider the Qoncept Woody Shelf. Made from solid wood with metal support, Woody can easily hold a weight capacity of 15 to 20 kg. Plus, its minimalist design complements any room.

6. What is the Care and Maintenance Required?

Running furniture maintenance

You should not forget to ask maintenance-related questions, especially if you’re buying valuable furniture. You should know how to keep your furniture looking new for years. Every piece of furniture has its own maintenance and ongoing care procedure.

For example, some common cleaning products can be detrimental. While ammonia might be a go-to for general cleaning, it can be harsh on wood finishes. Similarly, excessive water exposure can damage wood, even though water seems harmless.

So, before you buy furniture online, be sure to inquire about the recommended cleaning. Ask about the suggested cleaning products, the right cleaning frequency, and any specific polishing needs.

7. Is the Seller Reputable?

When you're buying furniture online, make sure that you're dealing with a legitimate shop or seller. To know if the seller is reputable, here are some key questions to ask yourself:

    • Has the shop been operating for less than a year?
    • Does the shop lack a professional website?
    • Is the website not encrypted (missing https:// and padlock symbol)?
    • Does the shop not display contact information and address?
    • Does the seller take days to respond to your inquiries?
    • Are the customer reviews mostly negative?
    • Does the shop use only a not well-known payment method?
    • Does the website lack any trust badges from recognized organizations? (for example, Shopee's most preferred badge)

If the majority of your answer is ‘yes’ to these questions, then that can be a red flag. Proceed with caution. We also recommend looking for complaints about the seller’s furniture products on social media and forums, before making a purchase.

8. What is Their Return Policy?

Online Store Return Policy

A legitimate and reliable online furniture shop offers a money-back guarantee and return policy. If this isn't visible on the seller's website, be sure to inquire about it. The return policy may contain long and detailed texts, but take the time to read it thoroughly.

Look for crucial information for returns, such as the eligibility period, return location, and the process itself.

9. What are The Delivery Costs?

Furniture Shipping

For well-known marketplaces like Shopee and Lazada, the information about delivery costs is readily available. However, if you’re buying from social platforms, be sure to ask about the shipping fee before buying the furniture.

Since furniture is usually shipped using trucks and large vehicles, most online furniture retailers will charge for shipping. The amount varies depending on the weight, size, and location. Be sure to inquire about the delivery cost to avoid any surprises.

10. Will They Bring the Furniture Inside the House and Assemble It?

Packing and Assembling of Furniture

Since large furniture can be difficult to bring inside, some retailers offer to send their own teams to help customers. They may even assemble the furniture in your chosen room.

However, this service may not be free. Some companies would charge an hourly rate for the assembly of furniture. This can be very costly. So, ask if the assembling of furniture is free of charge.

Let's say, the company does charge a fee for assembly, and you'd prefer to do it yourself, be sure to ask about the manual and any online installation videos. Regardless of how confident you are with your assembly skills, having these resources on hand can prevent future headaches.

Simplified Online Furniture Buying at Qoncept Living

We understand how tricky it is to buy furniture online. This is why, we make sure that our team is available to answer your questions, whether you’re buying items on our website, Shopee, or Lazada store. Just reach out! We're happy to assist you!

You can also visit our FAQ page for a smoother shopping experience. It's packed with helpful information to guide you through every step of the online furniture-buying process.


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