Have you ever heard the saying “keeping up with the Joneses”? This cliché refers to the idea of buying things for the sake of having them, not for the purchase itself. The end result of hasty buying and looking for appearance over function can be expensive, wasteful, and frustrating.
When we get a home with a space for outdoor furniture, be it a patio, a backyard, or a balcony, we’re generally very excited for the new possibilities.
We look at the space and see assorted ideas: pool parties with friends, a barbecue where we can debut our newest masterpiece from the grill, or a place for the kids to run and play. It’s no surprise that we immediately want to decorate our new space and fill it with beautiful pieces of furniture, or assemble exquisite outdoor furniture sets. There are so many options for you to choose from: material, style, size, and price, that it’s easy to get lost in the details. Many shoppers begin to lose vision of the forest for the trees; the big picture is lost for all the small choices. When looking at the many variables, you must always remember to consider the vendor of your purchases. Are they trustworthy? Do they have a good reputation? Will you be struck with a terrible case of buyer’s remorse? Every large purchase comes with an element of risk that must be handled carefully. If you treat picking up your outdoor patio furniture like a military operation, where you focus on getting in and out as quickly as possible, you risk having serious problems with your furniture down the line that can hit you in your wallet and cause chaos. You might be dealing with issues that can plague you for weeks or months: broken furniture, warranties that the vendor refuses to honour, or cheap materials that break under normal use. Before you know it, your dream set has turned into a nightmare. When you visit an outdoor furniture outlet, you may want to take some precautions and do your due diligence in researching the merchant. The alternative can be too expensive, time consuming, and frustrating to take the risk.
What Could Go Wrong?
When you buy your furniture in a hurry, you risk running into problems and suffering many drawbacks. These include, but are not limited to:
- Spending more money than the furniture you purchased warrants.
- Buying from a vendor who will not honour warranties or agreements.
- Buying furniture that is going to break or become uncomfortable within weeks or months.
- Having to deal with a vendor with terrible customer service, leading to long times playing ‘phone tag’ or sending e-mails that go unanswered.
In the face of such aggravating, expensive, and avoidable problems, it’s important to do some research and make sure you don’t become a victim of scams or substandard products. Make sure you go to an outdoor furniture outlet that you can trust. If you’re not sure where to start on your due diligence, here are some crucial steps.
Check and see if your friends or family have dealt with or heard about this outlet before. People remember bad shopping decisions very clearly; many people will hold a grudge against a company that has done them wrong in the past and will share the news in a heartbeat. If you have friends or family who are experienced with buying outdoor furniture, ask them where they purchased their goods and what they thought of the experience. What did they like? What did they dislike? Is there anything they regretted? Have they had any issues? Having these answers will be valuable for understanding the character and reputation of the outlet you plan to visit.
Check the Web
If you don’t have anyone in your social circle who can answer your questions, don’t panic: Just go online. There are multiple ways that the Internet can give you an idea of your vendor and what problems you have a chance of encountering. Start by searching Twitter and Facebook; these are popular social networks where people will air their grievances or show their appreciation to companies they’ve just dealt with. Search for the names of the outdoor patio furniture stores you plan to visit, and see what people have to say. You might be surprised at their online reception and reputation.
If you can’t find much dirt on Facebook or Twitter, it might be time to check a review site. Some sites aggregate reviews together to create a ranking or a grade. Yelp and the Better Business Bureau are two examples of sites that collect complaints about companies. Keep an eye out for patterns: maybe this company has a history of selling defective products or awful customer service. If it’s happened to other consumers, it can happen to you too. Outdoor furniture is a fairly high end product, so you want to go into the transaction as prepared as possible; the risk of losing money on poor goods is far too high.Trust your gut during the research process. If a complaint seems damning, then avoid the vendor. Don’t throw money at someone who you don’t trust or respect.
For people who plan to visit an outdoor furniture outlet, there are more concerns to deal with than which material lasts the best and what size table to pick out. Many outlets and vendors deal with unsavoury behaviour, and no one wants to fall victim to these schemes and scams. Take the time to do your due diligence first. The stakes are high, and you have a lot to lose. Talk to your friends and family, look online, and do some research on your vendor before you make a large purchase. If you spend time on the research then you’ll likely come out ahead and be much happier with your purchase. You deserve to end up with an outdoor set you love!