Have you ever gone online to research the price, looking for a better deal?
We all have, and for good reason; there is so much information right at our fingertips. Who wouldn’t check for a deal? I certainly do!
I learned something recently about ordering furniture online. I noticed “Free Shipping” offered from many of these online furniture stores, and I wondered how they could do that when I know about all the underlying costs.
Turns out it isn’t really free.
When you order furniture off the internet, it automatically comes with free shipping. Woohoo!! But what do you really get?
You get something called Curbside Delivery.
That sounds good, but here’s what that means in reality:
Who places the order? You.
Do you know who you are ordering from? I certainly hope so.
Who tracks the order? You.
What if you aren’t home? Is my furniture just dumped out there for everyone to see? It’s delivered to the curbside or your driveway.
Could someone just take it? That’s always a risk.
How do I know when it’s going to show up? You don’t always know.
Truck drivers are quite busy these days, they aren’t going to wait around for you. They may not even call ahead of time, or arrive on the day you thought.
Who uncrates it? You.
Who checks it for shipping damage (oh no! the truck driver is already gone). So... who makes a damage claim? You. Good luck working with the freight company if it’s a shipping claim.
Who assembles it? Dig out the tool bag!
Who steams out the wrinkles and inspects for defects? Definitely not the internet company.
Who makes a manufacturing defect claim? Bet you know the answer.
How does it get into the house and put into the right spot? That’s your problem to solve.
Who takes the crating and packaging to the dump? You get to do that, too.
When you work with an interior designer, there is a line item for shipping, receiving and installation. Here’s what that means:
Who takes the time to place the order? Your designer.
Where does the furniture go? It goes to the receiving warehouse where there is always someone available to accept the delivery.
Who uncrates it? The receiver.
Who checks it for shipping damage, takes photos, and can even take care of minor repairs right on the spot? The receiver (our superheroes).
Who assembles it? No need to lift a finger.
Who makes a damage claim? Your designer.
Who makes a manufacturing defect claim? Your designer.
Who steams out the wrinkles and checks for defects? This is known as deluxing, and it happens at the receiver.
How do I know when it’s going to show up to my house? We schedule delivery for a mutually accepted time.
How does it get into the house and put into the right spot? The designer works with the receiver to deliver it exactly where it belongs. And then your designer might even style it with accessories to look picture perfect.
Who takes the crating and packaging to the dump? You do not have to worry about any of this, it’s all part of the shipping, receiving and delivery service.
You might have the option of upgrading that Free Delivery to White Glove Delivery from the internet company, and you even get some of the same services that are offered by a designer - but not all of them. You are still the one driving the ordering process and tracking it, no deluxing or minor repairs will happen, no installation styling.
When you are comparing prices, know what you are really getting.
And understand that nobody is trying to gouge you with fees, but that there is a tangible benefit and infinitely less hassle for you when you know how to correctly compare costs.