Sofa Buying Guide: How to Buy a Sofa Online and Get Exactly What You Want

Article by: Vanessa Kirkland

Online shopping has never been more prevalent or convenient. You can buy just about anything with a quick keyword search and a click of your mouse. For the most part, Internet security , Where to Buy Discount Down Comforters measures and organizations such as the Better Business Bureau Online , Choosing The Right Style Of Lighting have paved the way for more consumer confidence in online , Silhouette Blinds – How Are They Different From Other Blinds? shopping. And other advantages such as selection and low prices have kept consumers flocking to their favorite online , Home Decor and Home Accents on a Budget retailers for everything from dog food , Where to Buy Discount Down Comforters to home , Decorating for Renters - Part 4: What to Buy for Your Apartment decor.

But if you're in the market for a large purchase for your home--furniture such as a sofa, for example--you might wonder if turning to the Internet , Seat Covers is such a wise idea. Guess what? It is. Simply arm yourself , Benefits of a Latex Mattress with a few shopping tips , Shedding Some Light on Lantern History and a couple of special safety , Choosing Wallpaper Borders precautions, and your online , Horizontal Blinds – Enjoy Real Wood, Vinyl, Or Aluminum shopping adventure can get you exactly the couch you're looking for--and save , Outdoor Indoor Patio Furniture you big bucks in the process.

Step 1: Decide What You Want

Maybe you're shopping for a new sofa because you're redecorating your living room. , Choosing The Right Style Of Lighting Or perhaps your comfy old couch has seen better days and you want to replace it. Either way, it's an important first step to set your priorities:

1. Set a budget. If you're planning on redecorating frequently, set a moderate budget of around $400 to $800 for a new sofa. If you're on a much tighter budget, and you're handy with a staple gun, another option is to look for a used couch you can recover. This approach can save , Oak Entertainment Centers you hundreds of dollars. On the other hand, if you plan , Modern Bedding Ideas to keep your new sofa for decades, set a more generous budget. It's not uncommon to spend $2,000 or more on a handcrafted , Modern Furniture fine leather sofa.

2. Assess your existing decor. , Adding Empire Furniture Into Your Home ating Make notes of the style of furniture , Decorating for Renters - Part 4: What to Buy for Your Apartment you're looking for. Is your living room , Home Interior Decoration For Nurseries formal or casual? Contemporary or retro? A home , Do You Have a "Master" Bedroom? You Shouldn't! Tips for Remodeling Your Bedroom with modern decor , Using Bamboo Blinds to ate Your Home needs a sofa with slim, square, clean lines and perhaps a metal , A Startling Fact about Slipcovers frame. A more traditional decorating , Help with Picking a Discount Ceiling Fan scheme might call , Oak Entertainment Centers for a curved, classic silhouette.

3. Take note of your lifestyle. Do you have children? Pets? If so, you'll need a durable upholstery fabric that's easy to clean. Leather, microfibers, and tightly-woven fabrics such as twill and denim are best for durability.

4. Take measurements. Write down the length, width, and depth of the area you're working with and keep it with you during the shopping process.

Step 2: Go Window , Outdoor Indoor Patio Furniture Shopping

With your budget, style, and measurement information , A Look at Custom Shutters in hand, as well as a pad of paper for note-taking, it's time to go shopping. Visit several local , Home Decorating – Leading the Simple Life furniture stores and browse the options you find--but remember, you're there to look, not purchase just yet.

While browsing, pay close attention to the structural details of the couches you see. Be on the lookout for signs of good craftsmanship in these major areas, and write down the brands and styles that look promising:

1. Frame construction. Whether it's wooden , Discount Dining Room Furniture or metal, , Modern Bedding Ideas the sofa's frame should be strong and solid with little flexion. To test it, lift the left front sofa leg slowly. If you can lift it more than an inch before the right leg rises off the floor, , Help with Picking a Discount Ceiling Fan the sofa has a weak frame, and it's probably not worth your money. For another test, try to wiggle a sofa arm. If it moves, that's another indicator of a weak frame. Also make note of the joinery.

2. Frame materials. In general, avoid materials that warp or crack, such as plastic, , Home Interior Decoration For Nurseries particleboard, and plywood. Opt for strong hardwoods that stand up to reupholstering--maple or oak are good choices.

3. Upholstery. First, make sure the fabric is pulled taut on the body of the couch and on each cushion and that all the seams line up. This is especially important for fabrics with patterns and stripes, since you'll want the patterns to meet correctly across the entire sofa. Also, if you're in the market for a fabric upholstery, you need to know how the material scores in terms of fire safety. , Indoor – Enhance The Dιcor Of Your Home To find this information, , Chairs - History Part I look for a tag from the Upholstered Furniture , Contemporary Living Room Action Council (UFAC). If you need a seriously durable surface, a smart choice is leather. There are many grades of leather to choose from--the firmer, less expensive grades actually withstand more wear and tear than the pricey, buttery-soft grades.

4. Cushions. The material your cushions are stuffed with is just as important as the upholstery. For comfort and durability, opt for blown fiber, fiberfill, or polyurethane foam with a density of at least 1.8 pounds per cubic feet. These options are reasonably priced and last longer than the most expensive fill material--down. Down filling tends to lose its shape and firmness over time. A great option that uses the best of both worlds is a cushion with down and feathers wrapped around a firm foam core.

5. Springs. , Using Mirrors To Open Up A Home There are two options for the support system in your couch: Eight-way hand-tied springs , Decorative Fireplace - Where The Family Meets and sinuous springs. , Help with Picking a Discount Ceiling Fan Hand-tied springs , Seat Covers are found on the most expensive sofas, and provide the most consistently even foundation. But preassembled or sinuous coils that are attached to the frame can be just as comfortable and can save , Retro Decorating For The Basement you tons of cash. Just ensure that the coils are numerous and tightly packed together and that the spring , Home Decorating – Leading the Simple Life action is quite firm.

Step 3: Make Your Online , Pictures Need Placing With Care if They Are to Look Their Best and Enhance Your Home Purchase

Now that you've done your research, taken notes, and made a list of all the brands and styles you like, it's time to surf the Web. , Corner Baker's Rack: Create Extra Storage Space and Style Go to your favorite search, for example--and type the name of each sofa you're interested in. The more specific your keywords, the better results you'll get. As you make your way through each of the listings, be on the lookout for the best prices from the most reputable online , Entertainment Center Plans merchants.

Keep the following shopping tips, , Bathroom Mirrors compiled from the Better Business Bureau and the National Cyber Security , Loft Beds Alliance, in mind:

1. Check out unfamiliar sellers. Research the companies with the Better Business Bureau. If you're using an auction web , Using Mirrors To Open Up A Home site, check the seller's feedback information , Help with Picking a Discount Ceiling Fan and ratings to ensure it's a legitimate merchant. It's important that you get the actual name and physical address of the merchant. This information , Easy Dining Room Makeover will make it easier to research the merchant with consumer protection agencies.

2. Note delivery costs, schedule, and method posted by each seller. You can sometimes find merchants who offer free shipping, which can save , Horizontal Blinds – Enjoy Real Wood, Vinyl, Or Aluminum you a bundle. But be sure you read their delivery policies carefully: Do they offer a delivery window? A "white glove" policy? In-house or curbside delivery?

3. Make safe , Butt Ugly Decor payments. First, never make a payment through an unsecured payment screen. When you get to the screen on which you're entering payment information, , Benefits of a Latex Mattress the first part of the Web , Home Decorating – Leading the Simple Life site address should change , Horizontal Blinds – Enjoy Real Wood, Vinyl, Or Aluminum to "shttp" or "https," which lets you know that the information , Discount Dining Room Furniture is encrypted. Some browsers also display icons, usually at the bottom of the window, , Seat Covers that indicate an encrypted screen. Never enter personal information , Rustic Decor Is Not Just For Cabins! into a pop-up window. , Indoor – Enhance The Dιcor Of Your Home Also, it's always best to pay with a credit card, because federal law allows you to dispute the charges if you don't get what you were expecting. Don't forget to check your credit card statements carefully for overcharges or unauthorized charges.

4. Keep all documentation related to your purchase. Print an order confirmation and keep all packing slips and invoices once your sofa arrives.

5. Beware of unsolicited e-mails and phone calls , New Home Furniture - Choose Carefully claiming that there's some sort of problem with your order. If you're ever requested to provide any information , Easy Dining Room Makeover this way, it's your queue that you're dealing with a scammer.
About the Author

Vanessa Kirkland is freelance writer whose articles offer consumer advice , Bathroom Mirrors and decorating tips , Discount Dining Room Furniture for home , Outdoor Indoor Patio Furniture furniture including sofas, futons, and coffee tables.

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