Important things to consider when buying furniture

Function. Safety. Quality.

Tip 1. How is it made?

Do some research into where the piece of furniture is made. Ask what type of materials and components are used in its construction.

Avoid products that might contain harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde or fire retardants. These substances have historically been common in furniture construction and are highly dangerous.

Fire retardants are often in upholstery foam. Formaldehyde can be found in wood glue. It’s not possible to completely avoid contact with these chemicals, however, making more informed purchases might lessen your exposure from off gassing.

Decide whether the product is suitable for your lifestyle and budget and be wary of being talked into anything that you do not need or want.

Some chemical treatments used in soft furnishings or coatings used in timber or composite products may react with medications when you come into regular contact with them.

Furniture Complaints endorses Australian made products over imports, and buying solid wood over composite wood construction wherever possible.

Tip 2. Is the product functional and fit-for-purpose?

Start with function. A product that fits your ergonomic or functional needs should outweigh what it looks like in the space. Review all of the uses for a particular furniture piece and make sure that it incorporates your preferences.

Make sure you convey your requirements to the salesperson. Never purchase products that are not fit for YOUR particular purpose.

Do not buy furniture designed for commercial use and apply it in domestic environments and visa a versa for example do not buy top heavy office furniture for your home that may topple and crush a child.

Tip 3. Ask the right questions

What should you ask before you buy a piece of furniture? You need to know exactly what you’re getting when you commit to your purchase.

Ask “How long is the warranty?” And “what parts are covered?” Why do I need an extended warranty?”  “What is not already covered by the Australian Consumer Guarantee?”

Ask the salesperson if they, or their employer receives commission, finder fees or incentives for pushing this particular product.

Ask about the ‘Standards’ that are being met by the product, for example, safety, testing, certifications, etc

Ask about any warning labeling, country of origin or legal compliance requirements that accompany the product.

“Can I have it in writing?” Once you’ve asked the questions, get the answers in writing in case there are problems later on.

If in doubt, DON’T BUY IT.

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