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Make Yourself at Home in the Furniture Market
From the time our hunter-gatherer ancestors learned how to settle in a single location, human beings have yearned to make their homes comfortable. We all want a living space that feels good to live in, eat in, and sleep in. That means that whether we prefer lavish decorations or minimalist arrangements, we all want our homes to have at least some furniture. If you want open your own business in this market and make the right moves, you could find eager customers flocking to you in no time.
3dcart can provide you with all the tools you need to create a successful online furniture store. Our eCommerce platform comes with a variety of features that can help you make exactly the kind of website you want. You can process orders easily, keep track of your inventory, and customize your storefront as much as you desire.
How to Sell Used Furniture Online
Maybe you’re not running a furniture business, but just trying to find a new home for some used furniture in your possession. If this describes your situation, then you can definitely find plenty of customers who will gladly buy it. Here is some advice on how to sell used furniture online.
Give People the Information They Want
If you want to appeal to potential buyers, try looking at used furniture offers from their perspective. What would you want to know about this item? What kinds of questions would you ask? You need to include the details that would most interest visitors in the item’s listing.
These may include the furniture’s age, its size, its quality, and any marks or defects it may have accrued over time. People will appreciate being told about all this up-front because they will know exactly what they’re getting into, with both the product itself and you.
Use Clear Pictures, and Use Several
With that said, people will want more than written details and descriptions about your furniture products. They also want images, so they can more easily imagine how these items will look in their home.
That’s why when you put up used furniture for sale, you should include a variety of photos for each item. They should be taken from different angles so people can see them from all sides. These pictures should serve as proof that the items exist in exactly the condition you described, which will encourage potential buyers to trust you.
Face the Truth of Your Situation
You should not kid yourself about how much you will be able to make when selling used furniture. If it is well-worn after years of regular use, it simply will not be worth as much as when it was brand-new.
With that said, you should avoid underselling the items just as much as you should avoid overselling them. Find out how much they were worth when they were new, factor in their age and any defects, and try to set a reasonable price.
How to Sell Furniture Online as a Business
While having a physical store brings its own advantages, anyone who resells furniture or makes their own can also benefit greatly from having an eCommerce website. Instead of limiting your business in a single area, you can expand your reach across great distances and gain more customers than ever. Naturally, there are some challenges involved in selling furniture online and shipping it to distant customers, but solutions exist to make it all possible.
The most important part of starting an online furniture business is to understand these challenges, and the tools and services available to help overcome them. Let's go into some detailed advice on selling furniture online as a business.
Establish relationships with furniture wholesalers
Furniture can be trickier to keep in stock than other kinds of products because of their size. If you want a large inventory for your eCommerce business, you will need to find wholesalers with access to plenty of furniture that you can buy in bulk. Conducting business online allows you to extend your reach outside of your home area, and these distributors can store your products in a variety of locations.
There are many reputable wholesalers and dropshippers out there, but there are also many scammers disguised as legitimate companies. Conduct extensive research into prospective partners and find the ones with solid reviews, prices, and quality. Dropshipping can be a boon for your business, as long as you can find the right partner for your company.
Select the Proper Shipping Channels
You will also need a way to deliver your products to your customers. However, certain types of furniture can take up a lot of space in a freight truck, and whole sets may require even more room. Customers will also expect their orders to arrive quickly and in excellent condition, which can make this even more challenging.
That is why you must choose your shipping carriers wisely. They must have the resources to transport large and heavy items across long distances, and they must commit to preserving their condition with proper packaging methods. If you find the right carriers and the right suppliers, orders can flow through smoothly and customers will be satisfied.
Get the Word Out About Your Products
There are always people looking for new furniture, and you may have exactly what they want. Despite this, they will not go for what you’re selling if they don’t even know what you have. You can use a number of marketing strategies, one by one or at the same time, to promote your products.
Having a website makes this much easier: eCommerce companies in a wide range of markets can make extensive use of email blasts and social media. Many companies in the furniture market also seek out partnerships with websites and companies in related fields, such as interior decoration, to get more exposure. Whatever you choose to do, just try to inform people that your store exists and has what they want.
Use a Flexible eCommerce Platform for Your Store
You’ll find many online store builders on the internet, but not all of them will give you access to the same tools and resources. Any business trying to create an appealing and user-friendly website should select an eCommerce platform only after rigorous research and comparison, and they should choose one that meets their specific needs.
In particular, you should find a solution that can integrate with multiple payment gateways, scores of useful apps, a variety of suppliers and carriers, and other platforms. That way, you can give yourself a wide range of options for customizing your site, while also giving customers a wide range of options for how they can interact with it. You risk limiting the growth of your business if you limit these choices, so use a platform that frees you to do what you want.
Understanding the Furniture Ecommerce Business
Main Product Categories
Furniture can refer to any item that makes a space livable, as opposed to merely decorating it. This rather broad definition gives enterprising people the opportunity to vend many different kinds of products through the same business. Here are some of the types of furniture that you could choose to sell through your online store:
Chairs and recliners
Dressers and wardrobes
Couches and futons
Dining and coffee tables
Other kinds of tables
People usually need items from each of these categories for their homes, especially if they are moving into spaces that are new and unfurnished. Making bulk purchases of items in all these categories and offering them to customers can prove quite lucrative.
Accessories for Furniture
In addition to the furniture itself, you could also offer accessories that can improve people’s experiences in using these items. Examples may include seating cushion sets, swivel casters and glides for moving heavier pieces around, and different kinds of legs for sofas or tables.
Of course, all these items need maintenance and, when needed, repairs in order to remain useful and usable. This is an industry in itself, and one that you could easily join while also being in the furniture business. In addition to retailing the furniture itself, your store could also offer replacement parts for the pieces that make up the furniture.
Successful Stores Selling Furniture Online
Online Furniture Sellers Thriving on 3dcart
Offering Furniture Financing in Your Website
Furniture can represent a significant financial endeavor for many people. This can be the case for purchases of sets as well as for purchases of single large products, such as a sofa or a bed. Moreover, expenses can especially accumulate for people moving into a new house or apartment with little previous furnishing, because they often need to buy many pieces of furniture in a short period just to make their home livable.
Many furniture stores understand that as a result of all this, people may be reluctant to spend thousands of dollars all at once. That is why in addition to full up-front payments, they also offer alternative plans for payment in regular installments over time. That way, people can own the furniture immediately and pay what they can until the cost is completely covered. Financing payment solutions encourage people to make larger purchases, which can increase your average order value by as much as 120%.
3dcart allows you to provide multiple flexible payment options so your customers can choose the plans that work best for them. Look into our integrated eCommerce payment gateways today and see which ones work best for you.
Freight & LTL for Furniture Delivery
Unlike many other products sold over the internet, furniture is not usually shipped through regular mail. If the item’s size and weight is large enough, it will more likely be shipped by freight. As a result, furniture retailers will need to connect with shipping companies and organizations that can give their products sufficient space in their transportation vehicles.
More specifically, you will likely need to rely on a type of freight shipping known as “less than truckload,” or LTL shipping. This refers to items that are too big for regular mail shipping but too small to take up an entire trailer. Luckily for businesses, most carriers will allow them to not pay for the entire trailer — just the amount of space they require. This removes one more headache from the process of delivering furniture to customers.
Online Store Themes for Selling Furniture
Create Your Own Furniture Website with These Exciting Templates
As you could guess from the name, this free furniture ecommerce theme is specifically designed with furniture retailers in mind. Interior design philosophy inspired the layout, which is neat and sophisticated, yet calm and cozy. The homepage’s carousel shows off the different kinds of products you offer, and the “Browse by Price” option on the sidebar helps visitors easily find something they can afford.
Burg’s design is simplistic and clean, allowing websites to present information in a straightforward manner. You can customize the carousel and banners on your homepage to promote new products and sales events. Underneath them, the featured products section gives you more space to showcase the most appealing items your store has in stock. Combine these elements wisely to demonstrate the variety in your inventory.
How to Get Your Online Furniture Business Started
After you get everything in order, all you have left to do is to create a fully-functioning online store. Shift4Shop can give you all the tools you need to set up a thriving eCommerce website. With our solution, you can connect to reliable freight shippers, automate various processes, accept many different payment providers, and more. Best yet, you can have it all for free with no monthly fee — all you need to do is activate Shift4 Payments. Shift4 Payments sets up in minutes and allows you to accept credit cards and several alternate payment methods, and you can expand your store with different options like PayPal as well.
3dcart includes everything you need to sell online
By selling furniture online, you’ve got a great opportunity to cross-sell and upsell customers. You can sell furniture accessories on your online store, like throw pillows for couches or wood varnish for dining room tables, and market them to customers as the perfect add-on to their order. You can also upsell furniture by selling a warranty that protects the product for a specific amount of time, or by adding options to your products that are more expensive (leather upholstery rather than fabric, for example).
How do I use freight shipping for furniture?
In order to ship furniture, you’ll need to rely on a type of freight shipping called LTL shipping. There’s a wide variety of LTL shipping providers that you can integrate your online store with to get your products to your customers. With 3dcart, you can connect with freight shippers like SAIA LTL Freight, ReTrans Freight, and many more.
Should I sell furniture on marketplaces like Amazon?
You can definitely sell your furniture on online marketplaces, such as Amazon, to expand your market and reach new customers. For furniture sales, Houzz is one of the best online marketplaces that specializes in architecture, interior design, home improvement and more. However, it’s still a good idea to have your own online store as your main base of operations; simply integrate all of your marketplace sales using omni-channel functionality found in your eCommerce platform.
What kind of furniture can I dropship?
The type of furniture you dropship depends on what you want to sell, and where you want to procure products from. For example, if you’re mainly shipping smaller pieces of furniture and interior decorating accessories, than you can dropship with suppliers from overseas like AliExpress with little worry about fulfillment. However, if you’re interested in selling larger furniture, it’s wiser to look for dropshipping suppliers within your own country to ensure the proper delivery of your products.