Pros and Cons of Buying Rugs Online
Pros (aka: Why Shopping for Rugs Online is So Great!)
When shopping at “big box” home stores like Rugs USA, Target, Amazon, Overstock, and Wayfair, you’ll find really competitive prices to start, but they also run regular promotions where you can stack discounts, coupons, and free shipping onto a single rug to bring the price down even lower.
I’ve only been to a handful of “real life” rug stores, but I can easily say that you’re unlikely find one with a comparable selection compared to what you can find online. From colors and patterns to size options deep selection only exists online.
Usually, I have a “look” in mind (e.g., blue area rug); and using online search functions (that can scour multiple sites at one time) is much quicker and easier than walking into store after store looking for a blue rug.
Man, it can be such a bummer to find a rug you love in a store like HomeGoods, but the size is completely wrong for your space. A retail store may have a rug in multiple sizes, but not every size and not every time. When shopping online, if you fall in love with a pattern you love, you will most likely be able to pick whatever size you need for your space.
One of the BEST perks of shopping for rugs online is that you don’t have to worry if it will fit in the car. Not only do online purchases come to you, but quite often, the shipping is free!
Cons (aka: Why Shopping for Rugs Online is So Hard!)
Difficult to Assess a Rug’s Looks
No matter how good the pictures are online, no matter how many reviews you read, and no matter how much you search for pictures of the rug in actual, real-life spaces, the chances of you really, really, really understanding what a rug will look and feel like until it arrives at your door is slim to none (unless you’ve seen it it person or have ordered the same rug/brand before). It is extremely difficult to discern colors from a computer screen and vague descriptions.
Difficult to Assess a Rug’s Quality
No matter how thorough the reviews are, it is very difficult to judge the rug’s quality from an online description. After all, everyone has a different definition of what “high quality,” “durable,” and “you get what you pay for” mean. No words or descriptions can replace actually seeing and touching a rug for yourself in order to determine if it will meet your own personal requirements of “quality.”
Unlikely to Find Something “Special”
When shopping “big box” online rug stores, it is unlikely you are going to find something truly special or “one of a kind.” Yes – you might find exactly what you want/need for your room, but be prepared that you might see the same rug at your neighbor’s house, on display in a department store, or all over Pinterest. That same price, accessibility and searchability that I listed earlier as “Pros” mean these rugs are widely accessible, mass produced, and definitely not unique.
Difficult to Return
So what happens when you search and search and search for a rug online, finally settle on “the one,” only for it to arrive and it’s most definitely not “the one”? While returning rugs from online retailers is not impossible, it certainly isn’t easy. Not only do you have to package it up to be shipped (again), but you have to do the hauling, loading/unloading, and (most often) pay for it to be returned. Again, it’s not impossible, but it definitely detracts from one of the convenience of ordering online in the first place.