Furniture stores offer so many varieties of sofas these days that buying a sofa is no longer a simple task of walking in, picking out what you like, and having it delivered the next day. Now there are so many attempts to be creative and to satisfy every taste that finding a simple, plain, aptly colored sofa has become like finding that very important receipt in the trash. Nearly impossible when it really counts.

When I went to buy my own sofa, I found that if I wanted bright orange, I was fine. However, the smaller, suede, greenish gray sofa we ended up with came from three solid days of being pounced upon by furniture sales people, rejecting offers of credit that would allow them to sell me more than I really wanted, and wading through the sea of black leather or orange upholstered furniture that seems to be either really popular or really easy to stock right now.

The most difficult aspect of buying a sofa, besides finding one that suits your taste, is dealing with furniture store representatives. In all fairness, most work on either mostly commission or entirely on commission, and since furniture is not an everyday purchase, furniture sales people really do have to work very hard for their money. However, that doesn’t make it any less annoying when you are simply trying to gather your information, look around, and speak frankly with the significant individual who accompanied you on your journey. You are constantly interrupted by “Do you have any questions?” Of course, no matter how many time you say, “No, thank you. I’m fine,” thirty seconds later there’s someone else (or the same person) assaulting you with the knowledge of their presence once again.

In my experience, the easiest way to deal with a sales person who is being overly aggressive (which is very common when purchasing any type of furniture) is to acknowledge the first individual who assaults you. Explain that you’re fine, and then explain that if you have any interest or questions you will seek them and only them out. This lets them know that you not only understand their predicament, but that you respect their hierarchy as the first person to assault you. From then on, you can simply respond to the rest of the blood hounds that someone is already helping you. If they persist, you get to correct their behavior as unethical. Politely.

Now that the blood hounds are off your back, you have a chance to look around. The sofa you are looking for should grab your eye, draw you to it, and make you want to sit in it. Sit in normal positions. Lounge. Sitting there all prim and proper and wound up tighter than a rubber band will not give you an accurate idea of how the sofa will feel in your home. Will the cushions slide out from under you when you shift position? Will you be able to lie back and watch a movie in comfort? You are about to spend, most likely, upwards of $700 to $1500 for the right to watch a movie in comfort. Don’t be self conscious about trying the sofa out a bit before deciding on it.

Of course, it goes without saying that you need to take measurements before you leave the house, although I forgot to remind myself of this simple task before heading out. Don’t forget to take measurements of every doorway, staircase, or other tight spot that the sofa might have to traverse in order to come live in your home. Leave at least an inch and a half for finger and wiggle room in your measurements, and take the same tape measure with you when you go furniture shopping.

Buying a sofa online is a tricky task. It’s more about luck rather than skill. When you purchase furniture online, you are unable to determine its actual softness, the dynamics of how if feels under you, and even be assured that the condition it is represented is the actual condition of the furniture. Some people get really lucky, and other people end up with a half assembled, rock hard settee that can barely support them for tea time and a biscuit.

If you choose to make a purchase like this online, make sure you clearly understand the company’s return policy. If they are not willing to help you get this significant piece of furniture out of your home, then chances are you will be stuck with it regardless of how you feel about it.

During your buying a sofa excursion, never let anyone talk you into something you don’t really want. While it can be a fatiguing experience to find the exact right sofa for you, selling out because you are tired and the sales woman is really nice and highly persistent is still a regrettable choice. If your new sofa doesn’t thrill you, it isn’t going to thrill you any more once it becomes part of your home. Stick to your guns, take your time, and wait for the perfect sofa to catch your eye.

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