Dot & Bo appears to have the best encryption protection, so it’s an effective choice for the Internet-wary. Hayneedle is perfect for consumers who want the best customer service ratings and features such as 2 minute phone wait times. Urban Home works for those who live in Southern California and prefer physical location options.
Covered in this report
Get live chat service for immediate help.
256-bit military grade encryption for secure online transactions.
Best for: Those whose main concern is buying home furnishings safely online.
Get free shipping for orders that cost over $50.
Average phone-support wait time of under 2 minutes.
Best for: Customers who feel strongly about customer service quality.
Numerous physical store locations available with easy online locator.
Finance home furnishings with Crest Financial even without credit.
Best for: Those who want the option to go to a physical store in California.
It’s no longer necessary to spend all of your time looking for furnishings for your house in person. There are a variety of home furnishing sites online that can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Here are a few examples.
Dot & Bo
Dot appears to focus on home furnishings that are a bit higher end. Their site says that their designs are for “the modern lifestyle.”
- Earn $20 for Inviting Friends-You just have to enter your email address, your contacts, and then hit the orange “Send Invitations” button. If any one of your friends make a purchase, you get $20 in store credit.
- Live Chat-The orange “live chat” box midway down the right of the main page lets you ask question to associates directly. This can take a while though, and there’s not a lot of information about how long it will take.
- 30-Day Moneyback Guarantee- Most products let you return them within 30 days to get your money back if you decide you don’t like them for whatever reason.
- A- BBB Rating-Dot & Bo has an official “A-” rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau in California. This means that the company has a reasonably good track record for dealing with filed complaints, and that it’s been verified as a legit business by the BBB.
- “Verified and Secured” Under 256-bit Encryption-The site has a “Verified & Secured” rating from Starfield Technologies. This is a 245-bit level SSL encryption to keep your financial data safe. According to the site, it’s valid until January 2017.
- Multiple Payment Options-You can pay with major credit cards like MasterCard and Visa, but you can pay with PayPal directly here as well.
Hayneedle has a variety of featured brands including Finley Home, FlowWall, Gladiator, Hooker Furniture, Guidecraft, Keter, IslandBay, and KidKraft. It’s an effective choice for those looking for variety.
- Free Shipping-Hayneedle offers free shipping on most special sales or purchases over $50.
- Google Trusted Store-This rating ensures that Google offers $1000 for protection in addition to aid resolving customer service problems.
- Fast Customer Service Response-According to Stella Service, the customer response time for email is 12-24 hours, and the phone support response time is 1.5 to 2 minutes.
- Best Price Guarantee-You can call their customer care center to get the lower price if you can show them where it exists though it has to be in-stock and the exact brand and model. Clearance items don’t count.
Urban Home has a physical presence in Southern California in addition to their online presence. You can call them at 805-604-0908.
- Physical Locations in California-Click on “Find a store near you” under “Contacts” at the bottom of the page to find out how far away the nearest brick and mortar store is. They’ll give you a map so you can navigate there. Most locations are in Southern California.
- “Media Box” Sales-You can check out their frequent sales in the “Media Box” section. These include “Millions must go” sales that have sofa chairs down to $100.
- Financing Without Credit- Urban Home uses Crest Financial to give you financing on items even without a credit check. They just want you to have employment for at least 6 months, active checking account for 3 months, a clean banking history and at least $1000 per month in income.
Head to Head
Examples of home furnishing prices at Dot include a Mid-century walnut lounge chair for $354. There’s also a Paddington Deux Lounge Set for around $1000. Most of the furnishings here seem higher end.
Lounge sets at Hayneedle are largely comparable to Dot versions with many available for $1000 such as the Coral Coast South Isle Wicker Set. Some are cheaper though such as the Belham Living Rio All-Weather Set at $690. Hayneedle also has a “walnut effect” chair that’s $190. Prices seem at least a little cheaper though it really depends on which items.
The items at Urban Home look a bit more limited, but many of them are reasonable priced such as the Dawson Office Chair with Walnut that’s $200.
If you’re looking for variety, then Hayneedle appears to be an effective choice. Dot seems to have higher prices of the three, though all sites are largely comparable for the price.
One thing that’s a bit irritating about Dot & Bo is that they’re a bit aggressive about registering when you first visit the site. It’s nearly impossible to access the site without giving them an email address. But if you like the site anyway, this of course won’t be an issue. The contact page gives you an email form to fill out. It also gives you an email address and a phone number. The 1-800 number is open during business hours. You can try a live chat as well.
Hayneedle has a better BBB rating than Dot with A+ compared to Dot’s A-. This seems to indicate their customer service is better received. In addition, their rating according to Stella and Google Trusted is 4.5 stars. Stella also gives their delivery time average at 5-7 days, a less than 10 days average for processing returns, greater than “98%” on-time delivery, greater than 95% for accurate and undamaged orders, and a “good” rating for ease of returns. Hayneedle ensures internet safety with “Beyond Security” which you can check daily.
Urban Home actually won’t ship out of California. Prices for in-state deliveries are also a bit expensive. Those who live near one of their stores and who can handle delivery themselves will be the best off. If you really want to order something from them, you can get size and dimensions from the site and then use a separate shipping company if you want. Their contact options are simple with an email form or a telephone and that’s about it.
Overall, Hayneedle seems to be the site the Internet prefers the most with the best ratings from both the BBB and from Google users. Dot isn’t that far behind, however.