This year, college students across the country will be transitioning to off-campus housing, traversing from fully-furnished residence halls to empty apartment units. Students making this change will often rely on classified advertising websites for their furnishing needs in order to stick to their tight budget. While the listings on these websites offer savings and accessibility that are attractive to students, they also pose risks and uncertainties that all purchasers need to be aware of.
CORT, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, has assembled these top tips to help students make great choices when shopping for furniture for their new apartment this semester:
Know the brand
When purchasing furniture from a classified advertising website instead of directly from the established retailer, it can be difficult to gauge the quality of the product. For this reason, it’s important to know the brand name of the furnishings you are purchasing. Take the time to research the products you are considering and use your findings to make an informed decision. If the product is older, this will be even more critical to ensure you are buying a durable piece of furniture.
Before making any purchase from these websites, it’s imperative that you have an understanding of the quality of the product. If the seller did not provide photos of the furniture in the listing, request them. Without a visual, you will have no way to evaluate the product before seeing it in-person.
Prepare for pick-up or delivery
As you are looking over the details of the listing, take the time to confirm the pick-up or delivery policy of the seller. In most cases, the seller will not deliver the furniture, leaving the buyer responsible for pick-up. This requires time, resources and strategic planning to ensure the dimensions of your vehicle can support the size and quantity of your furnishings without causing damage. If the seller does offer delivery, be sure to inquire about the cost and what to expect.
Ask if you can return it
There are several risks involved with purchasing furniture from classified advertising websites, including the possibility of buying a low-grade product. It’s also possible that you won’t recognize an issue until you arrive home and realize it’s the wrong size or color. In most cases, the seller will not allow a product to be returned once purchased. Before buying, take a close look at the listing and ask the seller specifically if they would allow you to return the furniture if there are any issues.
Consider renting instead of buying
Furniture rental eliminates the hassle of shopping, moving and setting up the furniture, while only requiring a small monthly payment. CORT has high quality designer-selected furniture for every room, plus a full line of housewares, electronics and accessories that will make your new apartment look just like home. Everything can be done online, from ordering to scheduling delivery and set-up.
CORT is the leading provider of furniture rental in the U.S., and furnishes thousands of student apartments with everything from beds and sofas to accessories – all with affordable rental package options starting at $119 per month. To learn more about CORT’s student rental packages, visit www.cort.com/student.