5 Worst Things to Buy From Wayfair
The online retailer may be an easy and affordable resource for some home items—but not all.
Whether you're undertaking a major redecorating project or looking to furnish a brand-new house, Wayfair has become a go-to shopping option for furniture and home goods. For many, the website's relatively low prices and wide selection are a big draw—not to mention the convenience of skipping stressful showroom visits. However, some argue that certain items available for purchase in the online retailer's inventory aren't worth picking up at all. Read on for the worst things to buy from Wayfair, according to experts.
New KitchenAid items
Thanks to their reliability and high performance, KitchenAid appliances have been an iconic culinary fixture for decades. But if you're hoping to get your hands on one of your own, it might be best to time your purchase accordingly or shop around.
"These small appliances are definitely good choices in general, but the problem is that Wayfair doesn't offer any real discounts on these picks," says Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com. "If you want a KitchenAid stand mixer, you're going to find the same regular prices here that you will at other retailers."
In some cases, she says it's possible to purchase an open-box stand mixer for $90 off—which is a great option if you need one and can't wait for a big sale. "But that doesn't mean it's the best deal," she warns. "Typically, we'll see better offers for these items brand-new on sale around Black Friday and other major holidays, so if you can wait, you'll find better deals around those times."
Artificial Christmas trees
Gift shopping during the holiday season can already be enough of a drain on your budget without having to worry about overpriced decorations. So if you're looking for the best deal on an artificial Christmas tree, Wayfair might not be the place to shop, Samantha Landau, consumer expert at TopCashback, tells Best Life.
"A six-foot tree with lighting retails at Wayfair for $220.99," she says. (At the time of publication, this item was on sale for $139.99.) "However, Amazon sells a similar product—the Yaheetech six-foot pre-lit tree—for $69.99," she notes. "And best of all, Amazon's version is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars with reviewers noting the value and accessibility of the product."
Sometimes, the low pricing on Wayfair furniture items can make it almost impossible to pass up. But Ramhold warns that if your selection is made with cheaper materials like medium-density fiberboard (MDF), it might not survive the delivery to your home.
"There's no guarantee, and items can certainly make it unscathed, but if you're on the fence about something, you may be better off going to your local Walmart for a similar piece at a similar price point and hauling it home yourself to avoid potential damage in transit," suggests Ramhold.
However, she still notes that many of their pieces may be made of cheaper materials—which is why it's often best to at least look for designs that seem more stable than others. "That means you may want to avoid things like hutch desks or pieces with very thin legs, as those may be more liable to break during transit," she says.
RELATED: 27 Things You Should Never Buy at Target.
Food storage containers
Having a kitchen stocked with food storage containers should be essential for any household, helping keep items fresher for longer and reducing the likelihood of pest problems. But before you organize your pantry and fridge, consider shopping somewhere other than Wayfair.
"Wayfair sells a 12-pack of food storage containers by Glasslock for $118.99," Landau says. (It's worth noting that when Best Life checked these prices, the Wayfair option had dropped down to $75, on sale for $59.) "But Amazon has a similar product with a similar locking function for $49.99," she adds. (The Amazon option was on sale for $28.99.)
Outfitting your kitchen with custom cabinets is often a costly move. But before you get tempted by the seemingly great deals for them on Wayfair, there are a few things to keep in mind.
"You'll likely want to talk to someone in person about your custom cabinets, so relying on an online service entirely might not be the smoothest experience," says Ramhold. "For instance, if you need help with measurements, you may be eligible for a free in-home consultant to do just that, but it's not a guarantee. It'll be based on your zip code, and there's a chance that they may choose the consultant, rather than letting you do so—and that puts you at their mercy."
A similar issue can arise when it comes to cabinet installation. "If you used the 'free' measuring services and finalized your custom design, Wayfair says it'll connect you with a licensed professional to start the process. But it's unclear whether or not you can choose the installer or if you'll once again be left with the one that Wayfair chooses," Ramhold says.
Even if you can choose from a selection of Wayfair pros, you might be putting yourself in a tough spot because you could still be limiting your options. "It's better to shop around in your area to find local consultants to do the job than trying to complete the process online," she suggests.
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