I will begin by emphatically stating that the first goal of purchasing for your new home or remodel is to shop locally. Not the big boxes, we will get there, but the smaller, typically family held retail outlets. K’s Lighting, Reva’s Floor Decor, Prescott True Value, Waters Garden Center, just to name a few. So before you jump online, make a phone call to our local folks and see how they might help you first.
If you can’t find what you want locally, then going online has both its advantages as well as disadvantages.
Online is easy, convenient, and quick. No long drives, no standing and waiting for sales people. The product selection alternatives are dang near limitless. Really. There are millions of different products to choose from encompassing all facets of your new home or remodeling needs.
Product lead times can virtually disappear as most sites will provide two-day delivery.
You will be using the internet. AKA the information highway. Everything you put out there will be, well, out there. Websites must be secure, (more on that below). That is to say you need to do your homework. There are evil people on the internet trolling for weaknesses in websites to glean your purchasing data.
Be clear on return and damaged goods replacement policies. Most reputable companies will include a return label in the package from the git-go.
I interviewed our internal purchasing guru Dee to help with this next section. So here are some steps she recommends you to take to make sure your buying online experience is a good one.
Did I mention Research?
Since you don’t have to drive anywhere and can shop in your PJ’s, and you don’t have to shower, put on makeup or shave, take the time those tasks might take and do the research. The best way to do the research is by reading the posted reviews on various websites about the products you are interested in and the website itself. If more than 3% of the reviews are negative, leave the site and move on. There are plenty out there.
Something to look for is if the website is secure. Typically, you will see a padlock icon in the web address.
Buy from well known manufacturers. Brand names are a good thing. You can determine a product’s quality from the name most of the time.
So here are some reputable sites:
Amazon, usually our go to site. Prime is worth it. This usually pays for the annual fee after the first two deliveries, which are free. 90% of what we look for can be found here and delivery is typically two days. Also, Amazon tends to vet its third-party sellers, and guarantees a return and refund policy.
Another for us is Build.com. We get a professional discount that you may not be eligible for, but they are sound and great to work with.
eBay, we have had great results here as well. You can buy things here, not just bid on them.
Finally, Big Box store’s direct online sales vary greatly. We use these only as a last resort usually.
So, there are some suggestions for your online shopping.
Oh, last thing, did I mention doing the research?