Why more people are buying garden furniture online
Article by Lazy Susan
More and more people seem to be going online to purchase their garden furniture, as they prepare for the warmer months aheadÂ… New reasearch by the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index has revealed that the web-based home and garden sector has recorded a year-on-year rise of 56% from 2009 to 2010. And surely the brief glimpse of spring that we’ve felt across the UK over past few weeks will kick start sales in 2011! In recent years there has been phenomenal growth in the patio furniture market, and at Lazy Susan we are testament to that. Our feeling is that this is primarily down to many people viewing their garden as an extension of their home. One thing is certain, nowadays the consumer is faced with much greater choice of patio products.
However, before you commit to buying garden furniture from anywhere, you need to have thought about what it is you exactly want and what type of garden furniture best suited to your outdoor space. There are a few general things which you need to consider, regardless of whether you’re buying your garden furniture from a high street shop or online, and some which are specific to internet purchases alone. As always, Lazy Susan is on hand to guide you through the do’s and don’t of purchasing garden furniture online. There are a few initial factors you need to consider before clicking the ‘Buy’ button and making your garden furniture purchase online:
Good quality garden furniture is expensive so make sure that it is going to fit the outdoor space you have available before you buy it. Measure the space you’ve got, remembering to leave enough room for people to move around, pull/push chairs out from the table and that you can easily get in and out of the house etcÂ… The last thing you need is to discover it doesn’t fit! Consider how many people you entertain regularly, the size of the area and the colour scheme of your home. Discuss this and do your research.
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for benches, tables and chairs or sun loungers, you’ve got to decide how much you can afford before you start making your purchases. Remember that, in addition to the furniture, you may also want to buy cushions, a parasol and other accessories. Generally, these are sold as extra’s and they can significantly increase your costs. Quite often retailers (Lazy Susan included) will run promotions such as ‘free cushions with this garden furniture set’ so always check before you buy, contact them via email if need be.
What can go wrong?
No item is perfect, so find out what problems you may encounter and how to fix them. For example, Iron garden furniture will rust and require repainting, its just a case of being comfortable with any future maintenance you’ll have to undertake.
How long should it last?
This can be a tough question, but you’re looking for honesty, so again speak to the seller if in doubt.
Is assembly needed?
A lot of furniture today needs some assembly, so be prepared for this. If an assembly service is offered by the supplier, this could save time and effort. At Lazy Susan we have setup a YouTube channel, published several instructional videos and these all illustrate how easy it is to assemble our products.
What is the availability?
This can be important if you need your garden furniture in time for an upcoming special function such as a party or BBQ. Is the product held in stock or on a lead time?
Cheap vs. Value
There is a difference in quality of outdoor furniture. Cheap outdoor furniture can mean the quality is a little questionable and your furniture could deteriorate faster than you would like because you have little time for maintenance. Assess your capacity and the available time you have to spend on maintenance. If you have time and inclination to add a coat of oil once/twice a year, then consider buying timber garden furniture, but if you don’t have time or simple don’t want the hassle, then consider garden furniture that needs little to no maintenance such as cast aluminium.
Check the small print
Always make sure you check warranties and the returns policy. There are many things to learn about outdoor furniture, so if in doubt, speak to someone with a thorough knowledge because it pays to ask questions. One thing at Lazy Susan we’re very proud of is that we publish contact names and contact numbers and encourage customers to pick up the phone and talk to us if they have any questions.
Advantages to buying your garden furniture online
As research has proved, more and more people are choosing to buy their garden furniture online and not without good reason I may add.
ConvenienceFor a starter, you can shop online 24 hours a day, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home and it will be delivered straight to your door. Smaller items can often be delivered free and within 24 hours if required.
PriceSecondly, prices tend to be a lot lower on the internet. It’s all to do with supply and demand to be honest with you. Selling online means we have the whole world as our market and the best way for us to compete is by offering high quality products at low prices. Even with shipping costs you’ll still tend to end up paying less than you would on the high street, although at Lazy Susan we offer free delivery within the UK so shipping is only an issues if you’re overseas.
ChoiceAnd final advantage is the choice and variety of products that you have available online is enormous. You can buy teak patio furniture, for example, that just isn’t available on the high street and this makes what you buy a little more individual.
So where do you start?
Get an idea of what you need
There are thousands of different styles and items that will fit your garden, but less is most definitely more when you’re buying garden furniture. Make a list of what you need for your outdoor space and get an idea of how much space is available. A good table and chairs are staples of garden furniture, but something a little different like a hammock or swing might also work in the space you have. Also consider who will be using the patio? If it’s simply for personal use, smaller furniture with more comfort is the obvious choice. However, if you’re looking to host guests on a regular basis, then you’re going to want tables that can accommodate more people. Keep in mind that space matters. A patio packed with chairs, tables, plants and other items will look cluttered, untidy and will detract from what would otherwise be fantastic looking garden furniture.
Search for bargains and look for quality
In the current economic climate there’s some fantastic bargains out there, so get online and search for garden furniture and see what’s available, what special offers are running. Remember, though, that cheap garden furniture comes at a price, as the material is usually more flimsy and is less able to withstand extended use and exposure to the elements. Wood lasts longer but requires greater care. Plastic is the cheap option, but you’ll probably end up having to buy extra chairs to replace the ones that break or crack with use. The key here is to not buy on impulse, but to search and invest in garden furniture that you’ll be happy with for the long term and that will make you feel comfortable when having guests over.
Different styles and materials
After finding the best bargains, it’s important to decide what ‘look’ you’d like your garden furniture to create. Colour and style are the final steps in buying a good garden furniture set. Wicker furniture looks best in black, browns and whites. With wicker you’ll create a more scenic country atmosphere; it is also more romantic. Metal can be Victorian or, with less ornate pieces, more contemporary. Plastic is more efficient, with white and beige being the more common colors. Wood produces a rustic, outdoor feel. Cedar has a different look than pine and teak . Knowing what look and feek you want to create will help you mix and match different pieces of garden furniture and accessories.
Know exactly what you’re buying and look out for any hidden costs
Once you’ve decided on the type and style of furniture you want for your patio, make sure to check the warranties and look out for any hidden costs. Check to see if the furniture is stain and water repellent; if not, buy some products to treat the pieces. If you’re buying a wood set, make sure you know how to properly care for it and do touch-ups; the same goes for metal and so on.
About the Author
Lazy Susan is a small family business that specialise exclusively in wicker, rattan and metal garden furniture, specifically cast aluminium. Visit http://www.lazysusanfurniture.co.uk to find out more and view our complete product range.
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