Buying Furniture Online

Have you had good experiences buying furniture online?

Before our last move, we had a huge garage sale and got rid of some bedroom furniture we didn’t feel would fit into our new home. We sold a four poster double bed and some bulky dressers and made plans to replace them with bunk beds with built in drawers.

We did a lot of searching online and found some very reasonably priced bunkbeds with drawers, just like we had in mind! We looked at the photos, read the customer reviews, and the product description and felt like we were making a good purchase.  They were described as being “perfect for college dorms” because they were designed to hold up to 200 pounds.

All of our children are on the small side, and we figured a college dorm would put the beds through tough endurance testing, so we expected them to be sturdy and well made.

We placed our order and waited with anticipation for the beds to arrive.

And then they did.

We were less than impressed with the quality upon first sight, and then when our oldest girl climbed onto the top bunk and we immediately heard a couple of the slats crack from her 92 lb. weight, we were full of buyer’s remorse.

We had just spent a LOT of money (to us) on furniture that we hoped would last for years and we were already regretting that we hadn’t looked it over in person before purchasing it.

We contacted the company, and they sent us a replacement set of slats which were of exactly the same quality as the first set.

Not only were the slats substandard, but the built in drawers soon began to fall apart.

We’ve accepted the fact that we wasted a good deal of money on what amounts to junk, but we are NOT happy about it! One thing we have learned from this experience is that it is best to buy furniture (or other expensive purchases) in person, after looking it over and checking workmanship carefully.

What about you? Have you had positive or negative experiences making major purchases online?

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Comments

  1. We haven’t bought funiture online, simply because of where we live, the shipping charges are outrageous! If I ever do consider it, after reading your story, I’ll think twice:) So Thanks;)

  2. We bought a little extra kitchen cabinet online (its stand alone) and couldn’t be happier with the price, the quality of the wood etc. I’m sorry you had a bad experience! When we needed bunkbeds I put my call out to the universe :) and within a week I was offered exactly what I wanted for free! Very cool!

  3. Have you ever looked at http://knockoffwood.blogspot.com/? They have super-easy plans for quality furniture that is designed after top-quality stores. (Like Pottery Barn of The Land of Nod) Here’s a link to a set of bunk beds- my husband is going to make these for our boys. Let me know what you think! http://knockoffwood.blogspot.com/search/label/bunk%20bed

  4. I was going to suggest the same as Kate, I love Knock Off Wood’s site. I have a wish list a mile long!! I have not made a purchase like that before, I am one who usually has to see things like that in person before I buy online. I usually save the online things on smaller items.

  5. We own our own furniture business, and this isn’t an advertisement for us, because it’s high-end and I know you’re looking for reasonably priced! HOWEVER, one big reason we started the business many years ago is because we saw how long cheap furniture lasts – about long enough till the next garage sale comes around. It really pays to buy solid wood furniture – but you have to be cautious, because some places are dishonest and use plywood/particle board in unseen places but still call it solid wood. If you’re going to use them for many years (think about the # of grandkids you’ll have…) it’s worth it to spend a little bit more, rather than repairing or replacing every few years.

    The twin/double bunkbeds my husband has built for our kids (2 sets) are solid and heavy and withstand a lot of weight and punishment.

  6. When we moved into our house 6 1/2 years ago, we bought our girls bunk beds from a place off e-bay. When they arrived, 1 of the boxes was beat up and some pieces were cracked. This, of course, was FedEx’s fault. We contacted the company and was sent a whole new bed at their expense.

    However, about 6 months later, the flats under the bed began to crack. Our eldest was only 5 at that time. Within a year, the head board was also cracked. Unfortunately, the bed was made out of “garbage wood’ and didn’t hold up at all. My husband then made them bunk beds out of 2×4′s, 2×8′s and 4×6′s. Those beasts are going to last!

    The moral of the story is we will never buy furniture on-line again!

  7. We bought some leaning bookshelves from Walmart that had great reviews and have turned out to be less than ideal. They’re sagging under the weight of our books, and I try not to lean on the desk part of it because the creaking makes me nervous.

    On the other hand, we bought a wooden microwave cart from Home Depot online that I couldn’t be happier with. Well, I wouldn’t mind the drawer sliding a little better, but I sure don’t worry about the piece falling apart.

    Next time we move, I wonder if I really want to take all of our furniture with us… the Walmart bookshelves will be the first to go, but I just can’t decide if it will be worth spending money to move our futon when I’d LOVE to replace it with a real couch anyway…

  8. Connie, This makes me feel sick for your situation. I know I would be madder than mad….in a nice Christian way!!:) If I were you I would try for a refund and send it back because it will continue to bother you., and poorly made furniture does not last. If the slats are breaking under a 92 lb weight…last I heard kids only eat and eat and eat so that means they are only getting heavier. I would not sleep at night knowing the child on the top bunk may unexpectedly join the child in the bottom bunk! I strongly suggest returning it, cutting your losses in paying the shipping and chalk it up to a lesson learned!!
    Love your post and I’m praying for you. Let us know what happens.

  9. I’m really cautious and don’t buy much furniture online simply because I worry about the quality – particularly with large items or things my younger children would be using. However, I’ve had two awesome experiences with Overstock.com. I got a GORGEOUS Victorian looking headboard/footboard for my teen daughter. I had seen the same one on other websites but ended up getting it at half the price – it’s lovely & sturdy ! I also got two amazing, hand carved end tables (they open and have storage inside! SCORE!) from Overstock and they have held up really well over the past four years. We also got a bench and mantle set from Pottery Barn (used gift cards) and, of course, their quality is wonderful. I’m so sorry to hear about your bad experience. :(

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  1. [...] bunk beds with drawers built in, only we didn’t plan on buying pieces of junk that were being passed off on line as actual “furniture”. The drawers, which I won’t be showing you are falling apart and falling out of their places, [...]

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