5 Things to Look for in a Furniture Dealer
Purchasing furniture for your space can be a daunting task if you're unprepared. Which is why I want to give you my 5 key things to look for in a reputable furniture dealer today that will assist you in making your decision on who you want to work with. This is a precursor to my upcoming free webinar that you can learn more about here. In it I will show you how you can sign up for my online design course titled Off the Shelf that will teach you everything I've learned in my years as a commercial interior designer and what all goes into designing functional and beautiful Libraries. If you're getting ready to start a renovation, new build or just want to spruce up your outdated Library, this free webinar is definitely something you shouldn't miss. So let's jump right in and get started on my 5 things to look for in a furniture dealer!
#1 - PLAIN OLD KOW HOW
Your furniture dealer should know all the ins and outs of their product lines and even the basics of product lines they don't necessarily carry. They should know which manufacturers maintain a reputation of quality. They should also be able to tell you which brands are going to fall apart on you and which ones are worth the extra cost. There are a TON of manufacturers out there. Even I don't know them all and am constantly relying on my favorite and most trusted reps to educate me on which lines are worth my time and which ones I should avoid at all costs. It's easy to get caught up in a really low number on a piece of furniture and miss the actual quality of it. Talk to your dealer and ask lots of questions before you buy.
#2 - ABLE TO WORK WITHIN YOUR BUDGET
A good furniture dealer will be able to take your style preferences and your budget and set you in the right direction of where you want to be when it comes to making your final purchase. They cannot work miracles, meaning you just can't get a Herman Miller chair on a Cherryman budget. So you have to be realistic. BUT, they can make sure you get the best possible quality for your budget without specifying low-quality pieces that will fall apart in a year or so. Be up front with your furniture dealer from the start so that they aren't wasting your time or theirs trying to put together a furniture package that you won't be able to afford.
#3 - PARAMOUNT INSTALLERS
Installation is EVERYTHING in this business!! I'm not kidding. I've been known to overlook a hiccup or two on the part of the dealer if I know how fantastic their install team is. You prefer a company that has their own in-house team, but most importantly you're looking for an installation team that will show up on time, put together your furniture with quality and attention to detail and be willing to make anything right when something goes awry. And that's just going to happen. So don't lose your mind when it does. I teach this over and over in my Off the Shelf Online Design Course and it really is important to keep calm and work directly with your install team and project manager to get things smoothed out as quickly and painlessly as possible
#4 - WARRANTIES ARE A MUST
When you reach out to different dealers to decide which one you want to work with, one of the major things to consider is their furniture warranties. It seems like a strong warranty would be a no brainer, but you would be surprised at how many companies skimp on this. Make sure you compare company warranty to company warranty. You want a strong warranty with plenty of years guaranteed on their products. You can safely assume that if the warranty is weak, so is the product it's representing.
#5 - COMPATIBILITY
Honestly, just go with your gut. If you are interviewing furniture dealers and you find one in particular that you feel most comfortable with, then that's a good sign that they're a great fit for your team and your project. If you talk to one that makes your skin bristle or you just don't get a great vibe from them when you chat, that's probably an excellent red flag to stay away. This may not always be the case of course. It could be that the person you're chatting with is just having an off day. So make sure you consult the previous things in this blog post to make your final decision. And most importantly insist on references! There's no better judge of a furniture dealer's qualifications than consistent word of mouth from happy customers.
Working with a furniture dealer doesn't have to be mentally draining or intimidating. You now have my 5 top things to look for when hiring a furniture dealer. So take a deep breath, ask all the right questions and know that you've got this.