Consumer Reports survey offers good news about furniture deliveries

YONKERS, N.Y. — A new survey from Consumer Reports reveals that only a small minority of furniture recipients have a negative experience during the delivery process.

According to the survey, only 6% of those who purchased furniture in a retail location and 10% of those who bought furniture online received an item that had been damaged or was missing parts. Also, 6% of purchasers experienced a delay in delivery.

Consumer Reports reached out to more than 38,000 of its members who had furniture delivered over the past few months for the survey.

Another encouraging statistic is that most of the Consumer Reports members surveyed did not return their home furnishings purchases, whether bought in-store or online. And, when they did, the most common reason was that the item had arrived damaged or with missing parts. Only a small minority of purchasers returned items because the quality, comfort or color wasn’t as expected or because the item did not fit in their home.

As the pandemic has led more people to purchase home furnishings items online, free shipping became a major plus for online retailers. In fact, 41% of furniture buyers surveyed by Consumer Reports said that free shipping or delivery is one of the main reasons they purchased furniture online.

The survey revealed that return policies and fees vary depending on the retailer. Some retailers will accept returns outside their normal window in exchange for store credit. Customers also may be charged a restocking fee for returns, which normally is between 10% and 20% of the product’s price.

For customers who purchase furniture online, if the items arrive damaged or with missing parts, they don’t have to pay for return shipping, although they will need to repack the item and take it to a shipping facility.

Consumer Reports suggests online furniture shoppers request free wood or fabric samples before purchasing the item so they can assess the quality of the material. And, CR also advised shoppers to read customer reviews from verified customers and pay attention to all specific details offered about the item before purchasing.

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