There is a lot of choice when shopping for home furnishings online. This blog will help to compare your options among some of the most popular online and highstreet retailers. We will be comparing on delivery policies, customer service reviews and returns policies.

Made.com

Delivery

The cost of delivery scales with the cost of the item. For example a £29 lamp costs £3 to deliver, however a £69 lamp costs £6 for the same home delivery. For larger items such as this Barrow sofa bed the delivery charge maxes out at £39.

Score: 3/5

Returns

Made.com has what it calls “No hassle returns” if you change your mind within 14 days. This again comes with a scaling returns charge. Starting at £5 for items less than £50 and up to £44 for items costing more than £400.

Score: 3/5

Customer service

On TrustPilot.co.uk Made.com currently score ⅘ where most people seem to be happy with the products but most of the low scoring reviews are around their delivery and returns partners.

Score: 4/5

Overall

Score: 3/5

Swoon

Delivery

Similarly to Made.com delivery scales with the price of the item. A £24 Mizar lamp will cost £4 to deliver and a £69 brass plated lamp will cost £7 to deliver. The maximum charge is £40 for items over £600. So for smaller items they are slightly more than Made.com but higher cost items such as sofas they are slightly more reasonable. Fun fact: Swoon and Made.com use the same courier company (ARROWXL).

Score: 3/5

Returns

Swoon editions has a 14 day “No quibble returns” policy, which means within 14 days of the product delivery you can apply for a refund for any reason. The returns pricing is the same as the delivery charges starting at £4 and up to £40 for orders over £600. This is better than Made.com as they have a higher cost of return than they do delivery.

Score: 4/5

Customer Service

On TrustPilot.co.uk Swoon scores ⅘ with most of the complaints being around unexpected delays to delivery and customer service.

Score: 3/5

Overall

Score: 3/5

Loaf

Deliveries

Loaf have a straightforward “Fair Delivery” policy. It is not based on the cost of your order but the size of the largest item. This translates to a small item (or several small items) being delivered for £6, medium things - such as a coffee table or mirror costs £16 and large items are £30. If you are ordering one item the cost is slightly more than made and swoon but if you are ordering several items of the same size loaf could be more cost effective. Loaf uses DPD for small deliveries and Wincanton for larger ones.

Score: 4/5

Returns

The same 14 day returns window is applicable the same as other retailers. However Loaf does not charge for a courier to collect and return your product if you return the entire order.

Score: 5/5

Customer Service

Loaf also have a score of 4/5 on trustpilot. The majority of reviews are happy with the customer service and delivery, however there are some complaints of products arriving damaged.

Score: 4/5

Overall

Score: 4/5

West Elm

West Elm has a both high street and online presence so it is harder to compare to other online only or “Primarily online” retailers. For example its returns policy is more strict than other retailers which leads me to believe it may assume you started your journey in the store rather than online.

Delivery

The delivery charge scale is slightly more expensive when compared to the online only companies in this blog. They start at £8 for a cart value less than £150 and up to £59 for a cart value of more than £1200. They use a company called Wincanton for deliveries

Score: 2/5

Returns

West Elm returns policy doesn’t have any “no quibble” or “no hassle” claims and states refunds will be accepted within 30 days however the item must be “in unopened labeled packaging.”. This may be hard to achieve as many items will need to be opened before you can realise if this is indeed the item you want. West Elm also have high street stores so perhaps visit in person and decide before purchasing online. Delivery costs will not be refunded for “change of mind” returns

Score: 2/5

Customer Service

West Elm are the lowest scoring in terms of trust pilot with a score of ⅕. Most complaints seem to be around customer service after purchase and difficulty with refunds and deliveries.

Score: 1/5

Overall

Score: 2/5

Conclusion

Based on the above analysis the top online furnishings stores can be ranked as follows:

  1. Loaf
  2. Made.com
  3. Swoon
  4. West Elm

The scores were close between Made.com and Loaf but the delivery policies of Loaf will work out better for a higher amount of purchases. So as of today it took the top spot.

Another comparison article focusing just on sofa retailers will be coming soon. So check back shortly.