Shopping for furniture can be a time consuming, expensive process. This is particularly true for vintage pieces, which can require weeks or months of research, phone calls and visits to flea markets, auctions or antique furniture stores. Furniture is considered a “big ticket” product, and this means that preparation is essential to success.

Keep reading for a list of ten furniture shopping mistakes to avoid.

1. You Fail to Get the Proper Measurements

Prior to shopping for furniture, you will need to measure the room in which you intend to place it. Unfortunately, a number of buyers forget this step, and it results in a situation where the furniture arrives and the owner is unable to get it where they want it. In addition to measuring the room in which the furniture will reside, you must also take into account the hallways, stairs and other rooms which are connected to the room where you intend for the furniture to be placed. Even if there is enough room where you plan to place the piece, if the hallways or stairs leading to the room are too small, you won’t be able to move the furniture into position.

2. Not Paying Attention to Scale

A piece of furniture will often look great in a store where it is on display. However, it might be too large or small for the room where you intend to place it. It is very difficult for most buyers to judge the scale of a piece of furniture when they are looking at it in a store or showroom. It is best to measure the scale of the furniture to be sure it has the same dimensions as the furniture you already own.

3. Overlooking the Colour of the Furniture

Colour is one of the most crucial things to consider when you’re furniture shopping. A piece may look wonderful in the store, but when you buy it and bring it home, you may find that it is too overpowering. Additionally, if you’re shopping for furniture online, such as from House Junkie for example, it is important to remember that the colour you see on your computer screen may be different from the actual product.

4. Focusing Too Much on Fads

Furniture is similar to fashion; styles come and go. Wise buyers search for pieces which will match their homes and stand the test of time. Never buy a piece of furniture because it is part of the newest fad; buy it because it suits you.

5. Failing to Consider Who Will be Using the Furniture

Many people are so focused on the aesthetics of furniture that they fail to consider its practical use. Before you buy a piece, determine what it will be used for. Are you buying it for display? Or will your children or pets be using it? Many furniture pieces are elegant, but if people are spilling food or drinks on it, it will quickly get ruined.

6. Failing to Test Furniture Before You Buy It

You should never buy a piece of furniture until you’ve had time to test it, to determine its quality. A sofa or chair which looks stylish may be completely uncomfortable when you actually sit in it. Any furniture you buy should be relaxing and easy to use.

7. Impulse Buying

This is perhaps the greatest mistake that people make when shopping for furniture. Sometimes a buyer will find furniture with a price tag that seems like an excellent deal. Or perhaps they are in a rush to get some nice furniture in their home prior to the arrival of guests. When shopping for furniture, remember that haste makes waste.

8. Asking for Too Much Advice

This mistake may surprise some people. After all, isn’t consulting others a sign of wisdom? It is, but only when done in moderation. Getting advice from too many sources will make it more difficult to make a choice. Even worse is bringing along a group when you go shopping for furniture. Furniture sellers hate this, because they have to deal with multiple personalities. When shopping for furniture, it is best to do it either alone or with one other person.

9. Failing to Ask for Help When You Need It

This is the extreme opposite of asking for too much advice. Shopping for furniture, especially vintage or antique pieces, is a complex, time consuming process, one that can easily overwhelm those who are inexperienced.

10. Overpaying for the Furniture

This is a mistake which is commonly made by those who are buying furniture for the first time. There are a lot of ways to save big on furniture, and some of these include waiting for sales and asking for discounts. If you are buying multiple pieces, many dealers will slash the price if you ask. Never get involved with any “buy now, pay after” schemes when it comes to furniture, otherwise you will end up paying extremely high interest rates.

Shopping for furniture is a skill, and like any skill, it will take time to develop and hone it. You will make mistakes, but the important thing is that you learn from them. Avoiding the ten mistakes above will ensure that you find furniture that is appealing to you, for the best possible price.