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5 Tips for Buying Outdoor Furniture Online

Updated on July 24, 2013

Introduction

These tips are intended to provide useful information and encouragement for those who may be in need of outdoor furniture, but hesitant to buy it online.

While following these tips does not guarantee you will buy the perfect piece or have zero problems, they should help give you confidence and knowledge to be a better and smarter shopper.

So let's get straight to the 5 tips for buying outdoor or patio furniture online:

Adding furniture to an outdoor space an turn it from useless to enjoyable.
Adding furniture to an outdoor space an turn it from useless to enjoyable. | Source

1 - Watch Out for the Shipping/Handling Cost

It is always important to factor in the shipping and handling costs to the total price of the item you are purchasing.

Some online sellers will post a discounted price for an item, but then charge an obnoxiously high shipping fee.

With outdoor furniture, it may require some special shipping due to the large size of the items. It may even require multiple boxes, or other delivery methods. So read all the details.

The key is to add whatever additional costs are required to the total price and then determine if it is still a good deal.

Some online retailers, like Amazon, may offer free shipping, which should also be factored in if you are comparing prices from different websites.

In the end, be sure to check all additional fees that may be added to the price of the product.

Buying Outdoor Furniture Online

How Likely are you to Buy Outdoor Furniture Online?

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2 - Check if the Outdoor Furniture Comes Assembled

Some outdoor furniture will come fully assembled, so that all you need to do is unpack it from the box, and add it to your backyard or patio space.

Other furniture may require you to assemble it yourself, perhaps even supplying your own tools to do so.

Of course, you also have furniture in between, that only requires some minor assembly before it is ready for use.

For most people, assembling an outdoor furniture piece is relatively easy to do, and not a big deal. But if you don't have the time, or don't want to deal with the hassle, than furniture that requires assemble may not be right for you.

So read the product details of the item you are considering to see how much assembly is necessary. If no information is provided, you may want to call or email the seller for more details.

3 - Use Multiple Websites to Compare Prices

One of the great benefits about buying outdoor furniture online is that comparing prices between retailers is fast and easy. Just visit the various retailers that have the product you are shopping for and compare their prices.

If you are shopping for more specialty outdoor furniture items, this might not be possible. Some retailers sell certain products exclusively.

But, you can always look for similar furniture pieces, and then compare the prices to see if they are comparable.

Some of the online retailers you can compare would be Walmart, Home Depot, Target, Lowe's, Amazon, Sears, and Overstock.com.

Tip: As mentioned in #1, factor in shipping cost to the total cost when comparison shipping.

Imagine what a difference a sofa sectional like this one could make to your patio or porch!
Imagine what a difference a sofa sectional like this one could make to your patio or porch! | Source

4 - Read the Customer Reviews

Most retailers have a section for customers to leave product reviews. If they don't you can usually search the product name in a search engine and find reviews on other websites.

Reading the product reviews can give you a better idea about what to expect, and what other customers thought of the item.

It is important to take the reviews with a grain of salt, don't trust everything you read from a customer. You never know if one reviewer simply hates/loves the product for no reason.

The best tip is to look for themes throughout multiple product reviews. If several reviews mention the same things, whether good or bad, it is probably fairly accurate.

Amazon is an example of an online retailer that does a very good job at facilitating customer feedback and product reviews. They even have a section for questions and answers on the product pages.

Summary:

5 Tips for Buying Outdoor Furniture Online:

  1. Check Shipping Costs
  2. Is Assembly Required?
  3. Compare Prices from Different Websites
  4. Read the Reviews
  5. Check the Return Policies

With these tips you should be all set to take advantage of the myriad of options when buying outdoor furniture online.

5 - Check the Company's Return Policies

If, for some reason, you have a problem with the outdoor furniture you purchased, it is very nice to be confident in the return policy of the company you purchased from.

All of the major retailers have some sort of return policy, so take the time to check it and be aware of any costs you might have to pay, like shipping.

With this in mind, it is sometimes a little risky to buy from unknown websites or sellers who don't have much to say about return policies. So a safe bet is to stick with the major retailers like the ones mentioned above.

Outdoor furniture doesn't have to take up a lot of space, some products fold and store easily for tight spaces.
Outdoor furniture doesn't have to take up a lot of space, some products fold and store easily for tight spaces. | Source

Conclusion

While not everyone is comfortable with buying outdoor furniture online, these tips should help steer you in the right direction and open the door to thousands of options for your backyard or patio.

Adding an patio dining set or sofa can turn an unused outdoor space into an oasis for relaxing and recharging.

If you found this useful, consider sharing it with others. If you want to share your thoughts or tips, leave a comment below.


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