Things to Consider Before Using Wayfair
Two years ago we moved to an area with better schools, which inevitably meant more expensive housing. That required us to downsize, which inevitably meant smaller bedrooms for the kids. For months, I was unsure about what to do with their cluttered rooms. Trips to furniture stores didn't help. Because the rooms were small, I decided that under-the-bed storage was a good solution. If the kids could store all of their clothing in drawers underneath their beds, there was no need for a dresser taking up space in their room. I visited multiple furniture stores and either didn't find what I wanted or what I did find gave me sticker shock. I had heard about Wayfair, the online furniture store, but had been reluctant to go that route. Finally, unable to find what I wanted at a price I could afford, I decided to give them a try.
Benefits of Using Wayfair
The great thing about Wayfair is that you'll find more furniture options and more pricing options than you'll find in most furniture stores. I searched "beds with storage" and found multiple options. Many came in more than one color. I settled on two "Allenville Storage Platform Beds" in Espresso and Walnut. I bought a queen and full size bed for $835 including taxes. Shipping was free. I also got one year financing.
Instead of a bedside table, I bought a tall 11.6 inches by 11.6 inches shelving unit to put by the beds. Each shelf cost $26. I also bought new desks and chairs. Those came out to $300. We kept the kids' existing bookshelves. I bought new mattresses at Sit n Sleep. For about $2500 we were able to provide both kids with new furniture and now their rooms look tidy and spacious.
That's a big positive when it comes to Wayfair. You are more likely to find what you need at prices you can afford. So here's some of what you can expect if you decide to buy furniture online.
Obviously if you buy online, your furniture will come in multiple pieces, which have to be put together by you. Wayfair does offer assembly as well (powered by handy.com). The cost varies by item. If you do decide to put everything together yourself, here is what to expect.
Each bed we bought came in five heavy boxes. Two beds meant a total of ten boxes. UPS delivered the ten boxes over about five days, so we had giant boxes stored inside our doorway and in our downstairs office as we waited for all the pieces to show up. Because the boxes were heavy, I opened them downstairs and made multiple trips upstairs with various parts of whatever I was building.
The furniture for the most part doesn't come with written instructions. The instructions largely consist of pictures showing how each piece goes together. When I built our full bed for example, I started first with the headboard. Before putting anything together, I verified that I had all the required hardware. Each box actually came with spares and lack of hardware was never an issue. I then studied the assembly instructions and connected each part on paper to each item I had laid out on the floor. Once I was confident I understood the instructions I put everything together. It was surprisingly easy. Each bed took about two hours to assemble.
When Things Go Wrong
When I was putting together the beds, everything was problem free until I got to the storage drawers for the Queen bed. The front of the first drawer was defective with misaligned parts, so I couldn't use it. The second drawer would not align to screw the pieces together for reasons I could never figure out. After carefully studying the problem for about ten minutes, I decided to try a workaround, which fortunately did work. So I was able to get one drawer built.
I still had a defective drawer front to deal with. Because I was assembling the drawer in the evening, it was too late to call Wayfair. So, I tried to request a replacement online. I filled in the form and hit submit. It took me to the login screen. I don't know why the submission didn't go through but I decided I would just call the following morning. When I called, an automated message informed me that they were experiencing high call volume, so I expected a long wait. But I immediately got through to someone who was very helpful. I told her what part I needed and she told me they would send it out. However, I called on a Friday. She told me the piece would likely ship on Tuesday. which it did. But I didn't receive it until the following Monday. So I had to wait eleven days to receive the replacement piece. I didn't have to ship back the defective piece.
Thankfully I wasn't in any hurry to put the drawer together. I had one drawer and I had put the kid's old dressers into their closets to use as storage for things they don't use often. So my older child was able to use her dresser, even though it was awkward to access, until I was able to get the second drawer assembled. But if you're buying furniture that you need to put together in a hurry, like if you're building a bed for a guest, you may not be able to get it assembled in time if something does go wrong. Two out of the eight items I ordered were either damaged or defective. And for both it took several days to get replacements. When considering Wayfair, take into account how much time you need for shipping of the original item and add a couple of weeks to that in the event you need a replacement part.
Your furniture will come in lots of large boxes, so you'll have lots of boxes to dispose of. It took me weeks to get rid of all the boxes. I cut up enough each week to fill the recycling bin, and leave enough space for other recyclables. Your trash disposal company may offer a bulk pickup of all the boxes if you call them and arrange it in advance.
One thing I can't comment on is quality. The furniture I bought looks nice and is sturdy but I don't know how long it will last. I expect my kids will live at home until they graduate from college. That's thirteen years from now for my youngest. Hopefully the furniture will last that long.