Blinded by the Flash

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I’ve heard many concerns regarding flash-sale websites. These websites offer limited time deals on big ticket items like furniture. I have seen the evolution of these sites and based on my experience in the industry, I believe that there is much to be concerned about regarding the quality and investment of purchasing furniture through these channels.

At Selden’s, we pride ourselves on our commitment to our customers and the community. As a family man, I understand the importance of finding the best value and I’m troubled by the ethics of websites that seem to be taking advantage of people. I wanted to address the concerns I have with these websites and what it means for consumers and their communities.

Shopping Experience

Flash-sale websites are primarily “members only”, but gaining membership requires signing up with an email address or link to your social media account. Consumers can’t see the product without committing to a daily flow of email and social media updates. Sales offered on the site typically last between 24 and 72 hours with a very short time limit on your shopping cart, pushing consumers to make quick decisions on items that require a great deal of thought. These products could be missing important information about specifications and style, which are incredibly important when you can’t touch or try out the furniture before buying. A beautiful chair online may not fit within your comfort preferences when you finally sit down.

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Selden’s designers selecting fabrics to help customers personalize their furniture.
Photo Credit: Phototainment

Product

The real cost on these websites may be hidden in inflated shipping fees and loss of warranties. Discounted products can have shipping fees ranging from 50% to over 100% of the cost. For example, a $250 coffee table could have $200 shipping fees attached to it. Manufacturers will also void the warranty if the product is not sold through the proper channels and guidelines. Warranties are invaluable when it comes to furniture – an expensive piece of furniture can become worthless when damaged out of warranty.

Delivery

Consumers can wait weeks and even months to receive the product they were rushed into ordering. Delivery methods may not include white glove delivery or explain delivery options clearly.

To better understand, here are three types of furniture delivery services:

  • Curbside Delivery: The delivery driver will unload the package outside your home. There is no specific place they must leave it. Product may be left on the curb, sidewalk, or sometimes outside your front door. It is the cheapest option, but the most inconvenient for consumers.
  • Threshold Delivery: The delivery company will bring the product inside the main entrance of your home, set up and trash removal is not included.
  • White Glove Delivery: An enhanced delivery service that provides insured and skilled professionals to set up the product in your home according to your preferences. White Glove Delivery also includes removal of debris. It is the most expensive method, but the most beneficial and safe.

Many flash-sale sites only offer curbside delivery and often customers receive damaged product or find themselves struggling to find the time to receive deliveries and need help setting up the product in their home.

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Selden’s frequently hosts events to unite the community and unveil new collections.
Photo Credit: Phototainment

Customer Service

Flash-sale sites are known to have poor customer service. Most enraged customers turn to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to air grievances when the company won’t respond to them through traditional methods. Complaints include slow shipping, damaged product, and communication issues.

One of the greatest values of making a purchase through a brick and mortar store like Selden’s is the relationship you build with the staff over time. At Selden’s, we have a great interior design team that can come to your home and help you pick the best pieces to create an ideal setting. You can communicate one-on-one to find the best solution at the best price and receive consistent service every visit, which is a very beneficial investment.

Selden's frequently hosts events to unite the community and unveil new collections.  Photo Credit: Phototainment
Selden’s frequently hosts events to unite the community and unveil new collections.
Photo Credit: Phototainment

Community Support

Your personal investment will reach much further than your home when supporting local retailers. Not only will you receive quality service and personal attention, but the money you spend will go back into your local community. Local retailers like Selden’s employ families and pay taxes. The revenue earned is also recycled back into the local economy, helping the community thrive.

Ultimately, the Choice is Yours

A price savvy consumer knows the true value of their purchase. They look beyond the initial price tag to reveal the underlying cost. Traditional stores like ours may appear to have more expensive options, but online retailers like flash-sale websites offer discounted luxury items with budget service. Every purchase is an informed decision and consumers must arm themselves with the knowledge to know the choice to best suit their needs.

At Selden’s, furniture is not only our business, but our passion. We know you’re looking for the best product at the best prices and we’re happy to assist you with all your needs and concerns. You can visit our showroom, meet our team, and find what best suits your comfort and design preferences.

2 thoughts on “Blinded by the Flash

  1. We just love our new Tommy Bahama dining room set! We get so many compliments on how beautiful it is! The customer service at Seldens is the best. Could not be happier and love supporting our local community instead of ordering online.

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