We live in a world where we can buy anything and everything online. From clothing to groceries, furniture is now a category we can add to the list.
But while purchasing a pair of shoes is easy, ordering a large piece of furniture via the internet can feel stressful and overwhelming. After all, you can’t just drop a sofa in the mail if it doesn’t fit or look the way you hoped.
While buying a sofa online might seem terribly risky, it can actually be a simple and easy – even great – experience! Here are five tried and true tips – gleaned from our real-life experience – to help make buying a sofa online as comfortable as lounging on one.
1. Shop for What Makes You Comfortable
Are you inclined to recline? Find a sofa that supports the way you like to lounge.
Would you believe us if we told you that you can determine if a sofa is comfy online? Although nothing quite compares to the real life test drive, there are key factors that can help you to gauge a sofa’s comfiness via cyberspace.
Do you want a sofa where you can sit cross-legged and enjoy all the poor-posture slouching you want? Look for an option with a greater seat depth. Do you like to lean back against your sofa’s armrest and stretch out? Be sure to pay attention to the arm height to ensure maximum comfort.
Think about how you really use your sofa and look for the factors that will make it most comfortable for you. Check out this helpful video for a break-down of all your need-to-know sofa stats.
2. Read the Reviews
You are not blazing this trail alone!
The next best thing to sitting on a sofa is reading reviews by other people who have sat on that sofa. Just a few of the many things you can learn from the reviews are the quality of the piece, how comfortable it is, and if it looks the same in real life as it’s pictured online.
There’s no telling how much time, money, and energy you can save by reading product reviews.
3. Get Acquainted With the Return & Exchange Policies
Your last line of defense when buying furniture, online or in-store.
Before buying a sofa online, make sure you can answer the question “If I hate it, how easily can I return it?”
Many furniture retailers have strict return and exchange policies, so it’s important to do your research. For big-ticket items, like a sofa, some retailers require you to ship the piece back yourself and then pour salt in the wound with a hefty restocking fee.
It’s no surprise then that many people keep furniture they don’t even like simply to avoid the hassle of returning it.
Here’s the good news – many retailers have super generous return policies so you can avoid this sofa-sized headache. Do your research first, then shop confidently.
4. But First, Swatches
Test drive the material before you commit.
Many retailers offer to send you fabric swatches for a small charge or even for free! This is a great way to test drive the fabric you’ll be lounging on, so take full advantage.
Don’t be afraid to get handsy with your swatches and see how they hold up to everyday wear and tear. Spill some wine on them to gauge how easily they stain. Wipe down the fabric to see how easy it is to clean. Even rub them on your pets to see if their fur clings to the fabric.
5. Visualize It
Make sure it looks good and fits in your space.
We recently came across an article online that recommended reconstructing your potential new sofa out of cardboard boxes in order to “get a sense for how it will look and feel in the space.”
Our first thought was, who has that many spare boxes lying around? And our second thought was, It’s 2018 – surely there must be a better way.
All jokes aside, before you buy a sofa online or at all, make sure you know how it will look and fit in your space. You can use the magical 3D visualization powers of Modsy to try your sofa on in a digital version of your actual room, or you can bust out the measuring tape and compare the dimensions of your new sofa against another piece of furniture.
Whichever method works for you, avoid having to return your new sofa (even though you thoroughly researched the return policy like a pro) because it doesn’t fit or look good with your wall color/rug/coffee table…
Can cardboard boxes do that?
Are you in the market for a new sofa? Snag yourself a Modsy design package and try on all your favorite options in a life-like version of your living room. Not sure where to even start looking? Our designers can help recommend sofas based on your style and budget.