There are absolutely thousands of office furniture suppliers online these days its very difficult to choose which one to go with.
So… after you’ve gone through a few thousand websites selling office furniture and finally decided which product you like the look of.
You may have noticed that the majority of office furniture websites sell the same products. This is because the majority of the larger retailers have the same suppliers. They may change the names and the pictures might be slightly different but essentially its the same items.
If you’ve never bought office furniture online before and therefore never experienced the service of a given supplier, the question of ‘whom shall I pick’ will actually go down to price.. but before you dismiss a given supplier I recommend taking a look at their online reviews. Two good websites to do this are Trust pilot and Review Centre, just put the vendors website address in the top bar and if they are listed you will be able to see their reviews. Personally I like to scroll down to the 1 star ratings and read those, if a vendor replies to a 1 star rating then you know that customer services is high on their priority list. Airing your dirty laundry is not avoidable these days and personally I love it! If you’re happy with the reviews and still can’t narrow down your purchasing decision, just give customer services a call and get a feel for;
a) how long the call took to answer
b) refund policies
c) delivery time scales
d) manufacturer warranty in years
e) what the warranty covers
Also remember if you’ve seen the same product cheaper on another website but you prefer your chosen supplier, dont be afraid to mention that you’ve found the item cheaper elsewhere and I will guarantee that 9/10 online websites will match the price just for you! If they don’t then ask to speak to a manager and they will do it for you.
Other pointers that you should judge your supplier on
What’s their correspondence like? Try sending them an email with a question on and see how long they take to reply. Don’t just email sales, also try emailing the customer services department and even the support section (if they have one). Generally online companies have great sales teams but poor after sales support (customer services). By emailing both departments you can judge how quickly they will respond in the future. Also make it your mission to post on their website if they have comments available and see if they reply. Another great tip is to check out their Facebook page, twitter account and even the newly popular Google+ page. If they aren’t pro-active in those areas what hope do they have for sustainability in the future?
Who’s the cheapest? Make sure you get a few different quotes and contact each supplier to see if they can match each others prices. I did the same thing with my Ford Fiesta and by playing advocate I got an absolutely excellent deal, in the end one of the Ford garages (Polar Ford) said snap their hands off! in respect of the deal I had been offered by Poplar Ford. The same is true with smaller purchases.
Make sure you put a price on customer service and after sales support. Let’s say you buy 50 new office chairs and after 12 months they start to rapidly deteriorate, you need to know you’re in safe hands.
Can the supplier meet your crucial time scales and dead lines? Lets say your ordering new office desks and office chairs, the last thing you need is for the products to be late causing major disruption to your office workings. Make the seller give firm promises on delivery dates and if you can, get them to agree a penalty fee if they are late.