Shopping for furniture for your new dream home can (and should) be an enjoyable process. That is if you know how to find your way around right from the start!
If you are planning to order most of your furniture & home decoration items off the internet, be forewarned that the journey can turn out to be a highly frustrating affair.
Although most people today are experts when it comes to buying things online, the dizzying amount of choices as well as big differences in the way each online furniture shop operates can raise your blood pressure when you’re not careful. This is more true if you are also considering overseas sources like Taobao.
Drawing from the experiences we heard from clients and friends, here are some considerations which we hope will help you narrow down your options considerably, find exactly what you want, and hopefully also make some savings in the process!
Most online furniture & home decor shops serving the Singapore market offer a wide variety of styles to choose from. Most are eclectic and do not specialise in any particular style or design.
However, there are also a handful of furniture shops that offer more thematic selections. Castlery, for example, specialises in contemporary designs, particularly sofas and rugs. Another example is HipVan, which offers modern designs as well as a few avant-garde pieces.
If, however, you prefer to consolidate all your pieces at a company that offers a wide variety of products, then FortyTwo is a good choice. FortyTwo doesn’t have a specific niche, and instead caters to a wider market, which means that, unlike Castlery and HipVan, you can expect to find most styles and themes under one roof.
Minimum orders are another important issue to consider when buying online furniture, especially if you are considering buying direct from overseas suppliers and factories. These requirements usually require customers to purchase a minimum of 5 to 20 per item, though there may be variations depending on the type of item you wish to buy. As such, it may be a good idea to form a buying group with other new homeowners in your development or neighbourhood in order to meet the MOQ as well as to negotiate for better prices.
As for Singapore-based retailers, there are usually no MOQs. Instead, furniture shops here usually implement delivery fees below a minimum order amount.
As mentioned, Singapore online retailers usually don’t require a minimum quantity. In most operations, there is usually a minimum order amount in order to qualify for free shipping. Thus it may be more worthwhile if you can consolidate a few pieces to avoid incurring delivery charges, which can be quite exorbitant in some cases.
The equation becomes more complicated when you are buying from an overseas seller. As furniture are usually bulky, you need to take extra care in calculating shipping costs, which can be quite complex especially when it involves more than one logistics party that fulfills your order. Pay more attention to the calculations in regards to the differences between actual weight and volumetric weight, as your final shipping bill will be based on the higher of the two.
Whether you’re buying your furniture online, from a brick-and-mortar store or from an overseas seller, the most important advice we have to offer is, remember to smile and enjoy the process of building your dream home!