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Bedroom Furniture Buying Guide

Bedroom furniture can be purchased just about anywhere these days -- from high-end retailers, manufacturers, interior designers, discount retailers, online furniture stores, and even neighborhood warehouse discounters. Unfortunately, quality and pricing varies tremendously, so one must be careful when shopping for bedroom furnishings.

Before making a large bedroom set purchase, perform some simple consumer research. Local retailers can be a source of information and allow you to “touch and feel” what you’ll be buying. However, be prepared to contend with pushy or uninformed salesman. In a recent survey conducted by furnishings insiders, consumers rated furniture shopping as the second most frustrating shopping experience -- second only to car shopping.

To avoid the harassment and lack of knowledge at local outlets, many furniture shoppers are performing their own due diligence at home and at work by shopping for discount bedroom furniture via the Web. Consumers, armed with an Internet connection and an Internet browser, are using the Web for furniture buying research and price shopping. Though the media is quick to recount horror stories of customers who shopped online only to end up swindled, the truth is there are now many online bedroom stores that are trustworthy, and many more that offer better service, quality, and pricing than their local counterparts.

Why can good deals on furniture be found online? Two reasons: overhead and volume. The typical furniture retailer spends a large portion of their operating budget on retail floor space. Depending on the size and location of the showroom and its aesthetics, this expense can be sizable. In many instances, the will make up this expense by charging inflated retail prices. In some high-end showrooms, margins for the retailer can be in excess of 1000% (yes, that’s right, 10 times the dealer’s cost). Needless to say, cataloguers and Internet furniture stores avoid this expense – since their showroom is the catalog or web site itself. Typically, they pass this savings on to their customers.

To complicate matters for the local furniture retailer, the amount of shoppers any one store will receive is constrained geographically -- meaning, only customers local to the showroom can shop at the location. Since retailers receive scaled pricing from manufacturers based on their volume, the local store, unless it’s tied to a large chain, is unlikely to receive the discounted volume pricing from manufacturers. In the end, the consumers end up paying the mark-up on the manufacturer’s already inflated pricing.

Not to say that every bedroom furniture store on the Web offers great deals, quality, amazing customer service, and is trustworthy. As with many consumer products, there are good deals to be had online, just be wary of whom you’re buying from and the quality you’ll be receiving. When ordering online, be sure that the bedroom store has its contact information listed including a phone number. Also, research the retailer’s ability to service its customers. Typically, an online retailer will provide references of happy customers. Be sure to verify these, especially if they're provided by an independent 3rd party. Lastly, if you’re concerned of the retailer’s trustworthiness be sure contact them and speak with someone directly. Ask some questions, and if you don’t like the answers, or concerned about representative's lack of knowledge, don't be afraid to take your business elsewhere.

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