Online Furniture Shopping? Here are the 5 Biggest Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Oh, what a friend we had in Wi-Fi!


Locked down at home during the pandemic, Wi-Fi enabled us to stream movies, zoom into meetings, join virtual parties and, perhaps most dangerously, shop endlessly online. Yes, shopping was therapeutic, but it also generated a lot of questionable purchases especially when it came to furniture.


Snuggled up on the couch with all that unspent money saved for trips and events canceled when the world shut down, homeowners sought comfort in feathering their nests. When the furniture arrived on the front porch, many discovered the hazards of impulsive buying.


Here are the top five mistakes they made:


  1. Desks were critical once kids were attending virtual classes and parents were working from home. Now, two years later, some desks have proven to be as sturdy as a cardboard box in a rainstorm. The drawers won’t close. The sides are wobbly. You should have bought quality, that is, wood not particleboard because working from home looks like a lasting thing. 
  2. You bought too much furniture. Bored and eager to update your home, you kept searching and buying and, predictably, after a glass of wine, you forgot what you bought. Now, the furniture you ordered is landing on your front porch. Oops! You picked up a set of bar stools last month at FCG, but you forgot to cancel your order at Pottery Barn. Option: keep the set you like and consign the other.
  3. Sure, that sectional looked good on the laptop screen, but it just arrived and it doesn’t look right in the room. Worse yet, it’s uncomfortable. The fabric is scratchy. The seats are too deep. You feel like a five-year-old with your legs swinging in mid-air. Buying furniture without seeing it in person is full of peril.
  4. That sideboard looked so stylish in the photo online. You measured quickly to see if it would fit, but once it arrived and was assembled the scale was off. In your large dining room, it looks like a piece of dollhouse furniture, small and inconsequential. Scale is the most difficult aspect of decorating. Shopping online is a risky undertaking when you’re buying statement pieces for your home.
  5. Everything looked so good on the website. But as the furniture arrived, piece by piece, you realized you’d acquired a mishmash. The finishes are different. The fabrics don’t blend. Your home now looks like a collage torn out of catalogs from West Elm, Pottery Barn, and Crate & Barrel. Details matter immensely in design. Shopping across manufacturers makes it devilishly hard to achieve a pleasing flow. The result can be a house that looks like a furniture clearance center of random pieces.

We all made mistakes during the pandemic. Here’s some practical advice: shop at FCG. You’ll have the opportunity to sit on that sectional and run your hand across the fabric. You’ll see the scale of that sideboard next to one of our dining sets and you’ll know whether it will work for you. And, if asked, our talented salespeople will offer good counsel.


Our furniture is not only top quality but also a bargain compared to the prices online. Best of all, you won’t wait all those anxious months for delivery. Shop one or all of our three stores this weekend!

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