Five Qualities That Set Local Furniture Stores Apart from Online Retailers

Today’s consumers have many options when it comes to buying new furniture. While online retailers may seem like an easy alternative to in-person shopping, local furniture stores offer several unparalleled advantages.

Read on for a roundup of five benefits of shopping local for new outdoor dining sets, deep seating, pool tables, fire pits, and other furniture for your home or patio.

1. The Option to “Try Before You Buy”

When you buy something online, you see exactly what the retailer wants you to see. This gives you a very narrow sense of what a product is actually like. Think of it this way: Can you really determine if a chair, sofa, stool, or pillow is comfortable if you haven’t actually sat on it? Can you really envision how a pool table will look in your game room if you haven’t seen it with your own eyes?

Meanwhile, when you buy locally, you have the opportunity to see and feel items for yourself. You also have direct access to the store’s sales team, who can answer any specific questions you might have about a product or highlight features you might not otherwise notice. Don’t see something you love? A salesperson may be able to help you find something similar or work with you to customize a product to your liking.

2. Avoidance of Misleading Customer Reviews

Today’s consumers rely heavily on feedback from their peers. But what if this feedback isn’t authentic? Unfortunately, deceptive online reviews are a growing problem. According to Saoud Khalifah, founder of Fakespot, a site that identifies fake reviews, “Companies constantly plant positive reviews of their own products and sully competitors’ products with negative reviews.” The best way to avoid falling victim to this pitfall is to shop in person to experience products for yourself and make the most informed purchasing decisions.

3. Reasonable Shipping

Shopping online can come with hidden costs, including sky-high shipping. Of course, there’s also the environmental toll that global shipping takes on the planet. When you buy local, you keep shipping costs low while also minimizing your carbon footprint. Plus, if you have special shipping needs, such as “white glove” delivery, a local furniture store is more likely to be able to accommodate your preferences.

4. Available, Accessible, and Understandable Customization Options

Most online furniture is cookie-cutter: You see something you like online, click a few buttons, and it’s on its way to you. While this may be convenient, it also falls short if you’re looking for something truly distinctive. This is especially important when you’re decorating your living space, which is an expression of your personal taste and style. When you shop at a local furniture store, however, you gain access to a whole new world of customization options.

Even if an online furniture store does offer customization, it can be hard to grasp the full extent of offerings on your own. But when you walk into a retail furniture store, trained professionals are waiting to walk you through all of your choices. The result? A unique final product that is exactly what you want.

5. Access to Design Services and More

Industry professionals have a deep understanding of the art and craft of interior and exterior design. As such, they can offer shoppers helpful advice and suggestions. Whether you have a specific question or are looking for more general guidance, you won’t always find it online. Conversely, brick-and-mortar furniture stores are staffed with professionals who are present for the sole purpose of helping shoppers.

If you’ve been thinking of improving your porch, patio, pool area, or other space, Porch & Patio can help. We invite you to visit our Connecticut patio furniture showroom to browse our extensive selection of outdoor furniture and more. Or, reach out to our team today for assistance in finding the perfect piece!

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