Buyers beware – purchasing sofas from the Internet without actually sitting on them to feel the comfort and quality

This is a topic that regularly pops up in conversation with some of our customers. Buying sofas from the Internet without actually sitting on them to feel the comfort and quality. Just this week (late October 2019) we did a part-exchange on a corner sofa that one of our customers purchased directly from a website. The customer said the website looked legitimate with all the telltale trust signals.


Buying without trying

The problem wasn’t actually the buying experience. It was the quality and comfort of the corner sofa. Once the sofas were delivered to their home and they had the chance to finally sit down on it for the first time, they knew they’ve made a mistake. The corner sofa seat was very firm, almost as firm as sitting on a rock. Knowing they had made a mistake, they tried to return the corner sofas to the seller and get a refund. Surprise, surprise the website selling the sofas had very convoluted terms and conditions which basically left them unable to return the corner sofa and no refund.


Internet sharks selling crap

Sadly, we’re hearing this more often. There is a lot of sharks on the internet selling inferior quality sofas and furniture. To add to the frustration, these internet sellers are flouting distance selling regulations with their long-winded shady terms and conditions of sale.

Thankfully, we fixed up the customer with a quality corner sofa that they could try out upfront in advance. Sit on it to feel the comfort and the quality. We part-exchanged their recently purchased inferior corner sofa against a much better quality corner sofas. The other one we’ll sell on to landlords for their tenanted properties.


Fake looking leather sofas

One of the most common examples of customers buying inferior quality furniture from the internet is leather sofas at too good to be true prices. In-fact this happens far too often. A lot of younger couples and families are often tempted to buy sofas directly off the internet because the price is really attractive, and often because they are on a tight budget.

There are hundreds of internet websites selling cheap leather sofas that look the real deal. They have a great website with professional looking photography. But in reality, it is just cheap crap imported from overseas. Often is it not even real leather, its faux and bonded leather. Take our word for it they do not last very long before they become an eyesore. Faux leather dries out, cracking and peeling away from the arms and the seat. Again, believe us we see it time and time again.


Let us offer you some furniture buying advice

Firstly, let us talk about the price points of these sofas. The websites selling them put the price that seems a really attractive deal. A typical price is around £300-£400 for a full suite which they claim is leather (or mention faux in the small print). That price may seem really attractive but think about that. With an average of £1000-£2000 for a leather suite.

The £300-£400 cost surely has to have some drawbacks. They do, the quality of materials is inferior, the framework is shoddy workmanship. Even the size of the furniture is around 20% smaller than the better quality sofas.

What we are trying to say, cheaper isn’t always better. In the long run, it will cost you more money and hassle. There are plenty of sharks on the internet who will happily sell you crap passed off as decent quality. The warning signals should be in the price. If you are going to buy from them, we strongly recommend that you fully read through the terms and conditions before purchasing. Once the furniture arrives and you feel it is not for you. Sending them back and getting a full refund can be a nightmare, you’ll be lucky to get a refund.

There are 3 different types of fake leather you should keep your eye out for!

1. Faux Leather
2. Bonded Leather
3. PU Leather

If you spot any of the above warning signals on the sofas you’re considering buying, we strongly recommend that you rethink. They will not last very long, you’ll be lucky if they last 3-6 months before they peel and crack.

For fabric sofas and corner units. Look at the measurements, compare them against measurements on similar furniture on high-street chain-store websites. You’ll quickly notice the difference. They are around 20% smaller, which is fine if you are short. For an average size adult, you’ll struggle to get comfortable, they probably buckle and break under the weight of 2 adults. The fabric material will probably also easily tear and rip away from the frame.

We’re not saying this to frighten people. We are just simply trying to put out the message that you should try before you buy. If you are in the market for a new sofa or suite, go around a few furniture stores and try sitting on the sofas and chairs. Get a feel for comfort and quality. Look at the prices at both ends of the scale, get an idea of what furniture is right for you and your family. Work out how much you are prepared to spend and set a budget.


Get a great deal at Alec’s

If you do that, you are much more likely to get a sofa or suite that you love at a price that doesn’t break the bank. Here at Alec’s 3 Piece Suites we actively encourage our customers to visit a few other furniture stores to get an idea of quality and prices. Then you’ll be able gauge the quality and value for money of all the sofas, corner sofas, and suites than we sell. We’ll able to offer such a great deal because we buy in bulk directly from the furniture manufacturers rather than made to order. We pass on those savings directly to you our customers.

All our stock is the same you’ll see sold in the big high-street chain-stores like DFS, Sofology, Furniture Village, cousins furniture and many others. We buy directly from UK and Italian upholstery manufacturers. We sell brand new, ex-display and canceled orders.