Considerations When Buying Rustic Furniture

Product Price, Shipping and Reputation are Important Factors when Choosing and Online Rustic Furniture Retailer

When purchasing rustic furniture from an online retailer there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you receive exactly what you are expecting. Most important, is to shop with a reputable company that has years of online selling and shipping experience. As we all know, you cannot judge a book by its cover, but we all do it and generally first impressions are a good sign of what's to come. A well-designed, easily navigable, and professional website are all good indicators of how much experience a retailer has selling online. These rustic furniture retailers understand the importance of making a good first impression and allocate the necessary resources to building sites that reflect the quality of their products, customer service, and delivery.

Rustic furniture comes in a variety of flavors and price points. With this in mind, it is important to make sure the furniture you are purchasing is made of solid wood construction, not particleboard with wood veneer. Genuine solid wood rustic furniture will properly age and withstand the test of time while rustic furniture made of particleboard with wood veneer tends to be not as sturdy and will not last as long. Keeping this in mind, if you see a deal that is "too good to be true," it most likely is "too good to be true."

Finally, whenever you are shopping for furniture online, you always need to keep in mind the cost of shipping the furniture in order to make sure you are getting the most for your money. Furniture shipping is usually costly. This is mainly due to the size of the items accompanied by the fact that most furniture items must ship via motor freight or home delivery service as they tend to be too large for FedEx or UPS ground services. With that in mind it might seem like a good idea to look for free shipping offers but that is not always the case. Free shipping can be deceiving and is not always the best deal. There are three primary business models for an online rustic furniture retailer for dealing with shipping costs.

Free Shipping

Many companies offer free shipping for two primary reasons:
  • In hopes that customers will either impulse purchase or think they are getting the best deal with the free shipping offer.

  • The retailer lacks the technology or has not put forth the time and effort to properly calculate accurate shipping charges.

The downside to free shipping is that shipping costs are built directly into the price of the rustic furniture and do not fluctuate with the number of items you purchase or your proximity to the retailer. For example, a $700 armoire maybe include a mark up of $150 for shipping. This is the amount the retailer determined to be the national average for shipping this item. Therefore, it does not matter if you live 100 miles or 2000 miles from the retailer you pay the same amount either way.

The bigger issue comes when you purchase multiple pieces of furniture such as purchasing a dresser and nightstands too accompany the armoire. You might actually be paying: $700 for the armoire (includes $150 for shipping) plus $750 for the dresser (includes $175 for shipping) plus $250 each for two nightstands (includes $75 each for shipping). In this example, that includes free shipping, you may actually be paying $475 in shipping fees unknowingly.

Flat Rate Shipping

Some online retailers offer flat rate shipping or tier based shipping for rustic furniture. For example, purchases up to $500 ship for $100 and orders over $500 ship for $250. Generally rustic furniture prices from these merchants tend be lower than free shipping merchants because they are charging for shipping and do not build shipping costs directly into the products individually. These retailers have determined their average shipping cost for purchases under $500 to be $100 and over $500 to be $250.

These retailers will make money on shipping of some orders and lose money on others with the hope that they will break even in the end. When purchasing rustic furniture from these merchants, you should order all of the pieces you want at one time so you do not pay for shipping on multiple orders. One problem with this model is that when your order is only $100 you end up paying $100 in shipping which is 100% of the purchase price and the customer with a $100 order ends up paying for some of the shipping for the customer with a $400 order. This model for shipping shares the same issue with the free shipping model where a customer that lives 100 miles from the retailer pays exactly the same as a customer living 2000 miles.

True Shipping

The third and final model for retailers to deal with shipping is to charge customers true shipping or the actual shipping of the items they order. True shipping does not have the drawbacks of the other models because merchants can price products as needed and then calculate shipping costs based on the items in the order. True shipping does not benefit one customer over another since you only pay for what you order and to where you live in respect to the retailer.