Online furniture reviews very often do not give a complete picture of the product or manufacturer. If you read them carefully you will find out that they are not really reviews of the furniture itself, but complaints about other aspects of the buying process. They are often complaints about retailers, and in that case, you should be wary of buying from the same sellers.
You are correct that those who have a complaint are usually more likely to write. Satisfied consumers are too busy enjoying their purchase to bother writing about it. But to get good information you have to learn to sift through the information that is posted.
Why You Can Disregard Complaints About Customer Service
Very often you will also find that the reviewers are really not talking about the manufacturer at all. They are talking about their shopping experience while buying a manufacturer's product. If you go through furniture customer reviews, you will find that most customers are complaining about bad customer service, a rude salesperson, botched up delivery dates, botched up deliveries where the furniture is delivered in a damaged state, or the delivery people causing damage the customer's property. If you think about it, this is a review of the retailer from whom they bought their furniture, and not so much about the manufacturer.
Know That Brand Stores are Not Necessarily Owned By Manufacturers
Here is something that most furniture shoppers do not seem to realize: a brand store is not necessarily owned by the manufacturer of the brand. For instance, Ashley Home Stores are independent franchises, and not owned by Ashley Furniture itself. However, they will carry Ashley furniture exclusively. A dissatisfied customer is often actually dissatisfied with how that particular franchised store handles her order, and not the furniture itself.
Ignore Dissatisfaction with Custom Orders
Dissatisfaction with custom furniture orders may also lead to negative reviews, but again it is the retail operation which did not do their job well. They either messed up the order or did not bother to properly inform the customer. This often happens with upholstered furniture where the customer may unknowingly order a fabric that is no longer available. It is the job of the furniture store to inform the customer about the availability of upholstery fabrics, or finishes in the case of case goods.
Whose Fault is it When the Furniture Arrives Damaged?
Sometimes the much-awaited furniture arrives in a damaged state. Anyone would be upset when this happens. This may well be the fault of the delivery people who damaged the furniture in loading or unloading. It is also possible that the furniture was damaged in transit from the manufacturing site. There is a possibility of this happening especially if it was made overseas and shipped from there.
What Does it Mean When There is Bad Furniture from Reputable Manufacturers
Badly made wood furniture is furniture that jiggles, has jagged edges or where the finish has not been applied well. In the case of upholstered furniture, the seams may be giving out, or the patterns are not correctly aligned. The cushions are not resilient, or in the case of motion furniture, the mechanism does not operate smoothly.
When these things happen, you would definitely call them manufacturing defects. When you read customer reviews, this is the aspect that you should be paying attention to more than anything else. If you consistently come across reports that mention these faults then you may worry.
However, you have to remember that out of millions of pieces manufactured and sold, there are bound to be some pieces that are faulty. Any good furniture store will exchange that furniture for you, and that is why you should always learn about the return or exchange policy of the furniture store before you buy.
What is a Helpful Review?
A helpful furniture review will inform you what kind of furniture you can expect to find, including style, quality, and price points. It will also mention where a manufacturer stands in relation to others making the same kind of furniture. With that knowledge, look for reputable dealers, whether you're heading for a brick and mortar store or buying online. You will find as a general rule that you get what you pay for and that it is always best to judge for quality yourself.