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If you’re thinking about purchasing furniture online, you’re in good company. Google receives over 63,000 searches per second, and significant portion of those searches contributed to a whopping $65.1 billion in online furniture sales in 2018. Low shipping rates and speedy delivery makes shopping online for home goods more convenient and affordable than ever.

However, shopping online for large home goods can be a bit nerve-wracking, since you never really know what you’re getting until the 200-pound item sits in your living room.

Luckily, with a careful eye and patience, you can find the perfect item for your home without dealing with frustrating return policies. Use the following online shopper’s guide to buy the right piece of furniture the first time:

Measure, Measure, Measure

Before you even open your laptop, take several careful measurements of the space you’ll be working with. Use painter’s tape to mark out the area where the furniture will go, or measure the furniture you currently have. Don’t forget to measure the height of window sills or end tables to make sure a couch or armchair fits the space correctly, and be sure to measure entryways if you’re buying pre-assembled furniture. You don’t want to buy a table or dresser that can’t fit through the door!

Don’t Trust the Colors in the Photos

No matter the screen quality, online images rarely reflect the true color of the furniture, which can be disastrous for your intended color scheme. In one survey, 60% of respondents said they would design their living room around a sofa. If you’re relying on a navy blue sofa to tie together other accents, and the sofa is actually royal blue, you’ll be in a design nightmare. Try holding off accent purchases until you see bigger items in-person, or make an effort to view the furniture in a brick-and-mortar store before ordering online.

Read Reviews

Though you can’t test out the comfiness of a mattress or recliner online, reviews are the next best thing. Reviews can warn you of any problems with the furniture or misrepresentations in the product description. Reviews might also give you clues to the size and quality of the item, and tell you if the item was shipped in a timely fashion. Reading through what other shoppers think is a key step to finding an item you’ll love!

Buy Sets From the Same Store

If you’re looking for groups of bedroom, kitchen, or living room furniture, consider buying the whole set from the same seller. This method ensures that wood stains, colors, and styles are cohesive. You may also be able to score a discount when purchasing grouped items, so keep an eye out for free shipping or BOGO deals.

Purchasing furniture online doesn’t have to be a scary process! With careful planning, you can find affordable furniture for any area of the house. Use the above tips and tricks to design the perfect living room, right from your living room!

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