Buying online is growing rapidly. I buy many things online myself, but there are some things I would never buy online, especially big ticket items like furniture. Here are several things to think about if you are considering buying office furniture online:

1) Freight. Heavy items like office furniture will almost always have to ship motor carrier ( tractor and trailer freight). Its usually too big or heavy for UPS. Most motor carriers require a loading dock and most drivers will not unload your product.

2) Damages. Most manufacturers and distributors ship FOB factory. This means you take ownership when the freight company picks it up. Any damages in transit are between you and the freight company. Good luck on filing any freight claims.

3) Assembly. Most furniture these days requires some type of assembly, some more than others. It’s not rocket science, but it’s not as easy as many think either. Besides, what is your time and back worth?

4) Quality. We’ve all heard the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, but with today’s technology, it’s easy to enhance online pictures to make something more attractive than it is in real life. Unless you are buying something you have seen and used before, you really can’t tell how well something is made without touching and seeing it.

5) Commercial Grade. Places like Ikea and Pottery Barn offer visually appealing furniture options, but it is mostly residential grade. It won’t hold up as long as commercial grade furniture. File drawers usually have plastic rollers whereas commercial grade file drawers have steel suspension arms. Once you load your file drawer , it can be quite difficult to open with cheap plastic rollers.