You might not even think about why you should buy furniture locally, but let me tell you, after you hear my story, you will!
Buying furniture isn't something most of us do every day. Let's face it, furniture is expensive. If you're anything like my family, you get a piece or two and use them until they have to be replaced.
Well it was that time for us, time to replace our dear old living room sectional. She had given us her all, and after about 16 years, it was time to retire her. Her springs were broken resulting is saggy, uncomfortable seats. And the cushions were misshapen and going every which way.
Being the frugal shoppers that we are, of course we were going to look for the best deal we could find on a new sectional. We didn't want to finance our furniture, since I don't think that's a good idea. It seems like it always winds up taking longer than expected to pay it off. Plus we didn't want another monthly payment.
So rather than look for exactly the type of sectional we wanted, we knew we'd be shopping for something that would have to do for now. We wanted to spend about half the cost of the sectional we had our eyes on, figuring that maybe in a year or two (or three or four) we could upgrade to the nicer piece of furniture.
The Mistake We Made
Yes, we were on a budget. Yes, we were looking for a deal. And yes, we knew we wouldn't be getting exactly what we wanted, but something that would do for now.
That being said, we were still going to shell out a wad of cash for this new sectional. And when I'm the customer, you'd better believe I expect to be treated right.
We Bought Into the Hype
Low prices! Financing available! Flashy commercials! Yup, we went out of town to a furniture store that promised us the moon.
When we got there, we actually thought it was a godsend as the first sectional we came upon was on sale for exactly…you guessed it…the exact amount we had to spend! Could it be true? Had God directed us to this piece of furniture that our family would use for years to come?
That's what we thought at first anyway. We quickly made our purchase and were thrilled to learn that delivery was set up for only three days away. Oh, and did I mention that delivery was free too? It was!
If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is
You've heard the saying, right? Our new furniture looked good, was priced fair, and was coming to us in a reasonable amount of time and for free. What more could we ask for?
Uh, how about for the delivery to not be scheduled from 6-10 PM on a work and school night? Oh, and how about for the delivery driver not to call at 10:15 PM on said night to say that his truck had been broke down for THREE HOURS, and he would not be coming? And last but not least, how about for the company to actually call me the next morning and reschedule the delivery for that morning and not two more days out?
Read The Reviews
As a blogger, I should really know better. But again, I was so caught up in the hype with this out of town furniture store. And truth be told, I really didn't expect to find anything during our shopping trip. But after what I went through with this company, I've definitely learned my lesson.
I spent almost four hours on the phone with their customer service (yes I had to call them) and with the manager. Back and forth, back and forth. See, they didn't have their own delivery drives, which wasn't something I was aware of. So their entire business is resting in the hands of a trucking company that's independently owned. They don't care if they're late, or if they even show up at all. And after reading numerous reviews about bad attitudes, missed appointments and damaged furniture, I'd had enough.
I called up the manager one final time and requested a refund.
Now after my terrible experience shopping out of town, we decided to head down to one of our local furniture stores, Encore Home Furnishings, to look for a sectional. Oh, it's not that we hadn't looked locally before, mind you. In fact, the one we really wanted was local, but again, too expensive for our budget right now.
And at this particular store, we just hadn't found anything to our liking that was in our price range either. But I'm sure glad we looked again.
We found the perfect sectional! It was a tiny bit more than we were planning on spending, but after figuring out a few things, we decided we could make it work.
And while the first company couldn't deliver by 10 PM, Encore Home Furnishings delivered to my house 10 minutes after we made our purchase. Yes I said 10 MINUTES!
This is Why You Should Buy Furniture Locally
They care about the customer.
They are part of the community, as you are. They know you're not just a passing sale that will be here today and gone tomorrow. You might run into an employee (or even the owner) at the grocery store, at the park, or at an event around town. They want to make sure you are treated well, because you'll likely tell your friends, family and neighbors about your experience buying from them.
You'll get your furniture quicker.
Encore Home Furnishings has their own delivery trucks and drivers. They are in control of when you get your furniture, and trust me, they don't give you a four hour window that ends at 10 PM!
They give better deals.
Even if it eats into their profit a bit, they usually still go the extra mile to make sure they earn your business. Because they want you to become a repeat customer, not just a one-time sale.
If something goes wrong, they're easier to get a hold of.
In the unlikely event that there is a problem with the furniture or service, they are right there. You don't have to spend hours on the phone like I did with the first company, just hop in your car and go down and talk to them.
You're helping the local economy.
Shopping local means that money is being put back into the community. It means jobs for local people. It means you're helping a local small business thrive. And that means something.
Well that's my story and why I'm now convinced you should buy furniture locally. What do you think, do you shop for furniture out of town, or do you prefer to shop for furniture locally?
Oh, and a big THANK YOU to Encore Home Furnishings. You guys ROCK, and you have earned a loyal customer. Wait, make that two…I sent my mother in law down a few days later!