Which online home decor and furniture store is best? Wayfair or Overstock? I’ve spent a lot of time on both sites. Here’s a detailed breakdown comparison of both mega online retailers.
You have to admit we’re lucky. Our kids will will never know what life is like without the internet.
I love online shopping. Our family orders a ton of stuff online. It’s so much easier than driving to some mall or store battling crowds and wandering up and down aisles.
Moreover, while Amazon is the biggest online retailer in the world, it’s not the be all and end all for home and garden goods. There are a good number of other online stores that have incredible selection and prices. Two of my favorites are Wayfair and Overstock.
Both of these sites offer a huge number of products for the home. The number of sofas alone is mindboggling. The question is: which online store is better?
Of course it boils down to personal opinion, but there are differences. We compare both below.
Year founded: 2002
Founders names: Niraj Shah and Steve Conine
How it started: Niraj Shah and Steve Conine launched Wayfair as a two-person business in August 2002 right at Conine’s nursery located in Boston. Originally, the name of the store was CSN Stores, from the initials of the two founders. They first sold storage furniture and media stands before becoming suppliers of garden and patio goods a year later.
- Current CEO: Niraj Shah
- Headquarters location: 4 Copley Place, Boston, Massachusetts, US
- Countries it services: United States, Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, and Germany
- Year went public: 2002
- Stock symbol: W
- Product lines: Furniture for kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms, outdoor, and baby and kids, Rugs, Home Appliances, Décor and Pillows, Storage, and Lighting,
- Pricing: Affordable with discounts and deals daily
- Shipping policy: The company offers free shipping for all orders that go over $49, which is applicable in the continental United States. For shipping to other places and orders below $49, the flat rate is $4.99. Look for items with the free shipping label to take advantage of the offer. To keep the charges down, Wayfair will ship an item for free or charge the shipping fee for every single product. All costs will be displayed on the shopping cart page and will include ground shipping (applicable only for orders within the contiguous US). The store promises not to have handling fees and any hidden charges.
- Website quality for finding stuff: Easy searching with the help of search bars on the home page. Products are grouped according to their departments, such as kitchen and tabletop, appliances, and storage and organization
- Return policy: Refund within 30 days of delivery except for clearance items if they are not defective or damaged. Credit cards cannot be returned as well as personalized and bundled items. Some are marked as non-returnable, which means customers cannot return and get a refund. Customers can get a refund in store credit form or through the original payment used.
- Warranties: Most furniture pieces and other products have at least one year warranty. All details regarding the warranty of an item are available on the page.
- Level of product detail provided on website: Detailed with a few photos and description, along with the pricing, promotions, and shipping information.
- Approximate number of products for sale: More than seven million products.
- Approximate number of brands available: More than 8,000 suppliers.
- Other online stores it owns: Joss & Main, DwellStudio, Birch Lane, and AllModern.
- Approximate number of monthly searches for “Wayfair” in the USA: 4,370,000 | Global: 6,000,000
Pros: Thousands of brand-name furniture to choose from, with seasonal sales and daily sales that can give up to 70% discount, free shipping, offers a rewards program and advice
Cons: Some customers complain the items do not match the pictures in the product page, refunds do not include shipping fees, buying furniture requires the customer to assemble it on their own
Year founded: 1997
Founder name: Patrick M. Byrne
How it started: Patrick M. Byrne founded Overstock.com and launched it two years later. Initially, the online site sold returned and surplus merchandise from other online businesses for a fraction of the original price. It grew and now sells furniture, home décor, and other new and close-out items.
- Current CEO: Patrick Byrne
- Headquarters location: Midvale, Utah, United States
- Countries it services: United States, European countries, including France, Germany, Portugal, and Norway, Asia Pacific countries such as Australia, Georgia, Pakistan, and Japan, Middle East and African countries
- Year went public: 2002
- Stock symbol: OSTK
- Product lines: Furniture, Rugs, Bed and Bath, Décor, Kitchen, Jewelry, Outdoor, Apparel, Kids and Babies, and More
- Pricing: Some items have best price guarantees. Sales and promos are widely available.
- Shipping policy: Standard free shipping is for US orders that go over $45. Exceptions apply to Hawaii and Alaska. Canada shipping is free for orders beyond CAD 59. Expedited shipping on almost all items is offered. The store provides international shipping to more than 200 countries in the world. Standard free shipping is provided on all orders that cost more than $45 to the US except Hawaii and Alaska. International orders are not included in this promotion. Items are typically shipped within one to two days.
- Website quality for finding stuff: Keyword search is easy on the home page where customers can also find a categorized view of the products available on the site.
- Return policy: New and unopened items will be given a full refund if returned within 30 days upon delivery. Some items are marked non-returnable and products returned after 30 days will only receive partial refunds.
- Warranties: Jewelry comes with a lifetime warranty if found with manufacturer defects. Others have warranties ranging from one to five years depending on the product. The details are supplied within the product page.
- Level of product detail provided on website: Detailed with helpful information and translation of the specifications of the items. Also features available colors, promos, and the ability to share the product to social media sites.
- Approximate number of products for sale: Over 63,000 non-BMMG and more than 720,000 BMMG (Books, Music, Movies, and Interactive Games) items.
- Approximate number of brands available: More than 220 brands, along with independent or private name organizations.
- Approximate number of monthly searches for “Overstock” in the USA: 1,970,000 | Global: 2,000,000
Pros: Affordable pricing on most items, with discounts and sales, allows Bitcoin, ships to several other countries in the world
Cons: Poor customer service based on some customer reviews, international shipping issues, changes in prices stated in the description
Wayfair vs. Overstock Trends Chart
Detailed Shopping Comparison
I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time on both sites. Both have great options, especially for people searching for specific furniture brands and styles. The two online retailers have rewards for their customers that come with many perks, as well as discounts and free shipping.
Pricing is fluid on both sites every day. The same item can have a different price on each website. Both have a handful of consumer complaints, particularly with some products appearing differently from the picture given.
Finding what you want
Both sites are very similarly laid out making it easy to find the categories and product lines you want. Both sites load fast. Both sites offered extensive search filters for products so you can quickly drill down to find exactly what you’re looking for.
On a balance, I prefer the look and feel of the Wayfair websites. I like design and how all portals are laid out. This is a purely personal opinion. For example, on Wayfair the product information to the right of product images scroll down while the image gallery stays glued to the screen. On Overstock, you must scroll below the product image to read the product info.
Given the bigger number of products on Wayfair, the site suggests that it has more active promotions than other online retail stores, such as Overstock. Wayfair has its Daily Sales, which promise to provide up to 70% discount on select products. Overstock has a similar offer with the chance to earn up to 70% savings on home décor and furniture as well.
Overstock, however, has flash deals and clearance sales, along with the Spin to Win game that pops up when you enter the site. Wayfair, on the other hand, gives you access to its current deals in the Sales section of the website.
The two sites have a similar feel that you can easily find the latest promotions on the homepage. To see all the deals, you can head to the Sales page of each website.
Both Overstock and Wayfair offer free shipping. Wayfair requires that the customers buy at least $49 worth of products while Overstock applies the deal on orders over $45. Orders below the mentioned amounts are charged with $4.99 for Wayfair and $4.95 for Overstock. Clearly, Overstock has better pricing when it comes to shipping. Note that these offers are only available to shipping made within the contiguous United States and some products may not be eligible, such as large fixtures.
Wayfair guarantees that the products will leave their warehouse in two business days while Overstock says they ship products within one to two business days. Once again, some items are not included in the fast shipping procedure, which is why customers have to read the specific details provided for each product.
Both sites have easy to understand policies on shipping. Wayfair ships to the UK, Germany, and Canada but customers from these countries will have to go to the sites for each. Meanwhile, Overstock also ships outside the country but serves more places in the world, including Asia Pacific, Africa, and Europe. Shipping fees will be based on the destination, and the items ordered.
Overstock and Wayfair both allow returns on all items unless otherwise stated in the product page. Before ordering, it is essential that the customer reads the conditions set for the item. For instance, mattresses are often non-returnable except if the problem that the buyer experienced is because of the retailer’s error. It means damages and defects are not covered.
Wayfair also has the same policy. To return an item, the customer should print and attach the return label first before shipping the item back to get a refund. Returns are only allowed if the products are returned within 30 days of delivery, and they should be in their original packaging in condition.
Overstock also has a similar refund policy although the company allows a longer deadline of 45 days upon delivery. Wayfair will not accept returns, and no refund will be awarded for used or opened products, but Overstock will partially provide a refund. If the product is defective or the company delivered the wrong item to the customer, Overstock will refund the full amount, as well as the shipping charges.
While Wayfair guarantees that the returns process is much more comfortable, Overstock is more forgiving and allows the customers to get a refund even on opened items.
The two stores have the same prices on certain goods, but they have a few differences as well. It does appear that Wayfair has better deals when it comes to some pieces of furniture while Overstock has lower prices on rugs. For those who plan to purchase lighting and other home décor items, the results are mixed depending on the products themselves. Nevertheless, it seems that Wayfair has a bit of an advantage in the mentioned categories.
That said, these two sites are worth checking if you wish to make a significant purchase. Overstock and Wayfair carry mostly the same items but note that some may be named differently. In this case, it helps that you place the correct and precise terms when searching. You should add the specific name of the brand and not just the type of the item so you can locate and compare the identical items on the websites.
While taking in the prices of the products, also consider the shipping fee for your final purchase, which is already discussed above.
Wayfair accepts PayPal payments, along with Affirm, credit and debit cards, store credit, and gift cards. Personal checks, money orders, and cashier’s checks are also accepted. Wire transfers are allowed in the site as well, and it pays to check for promo codes that are available every day to help reduce the price of the orders. Apply the code upon checkout to get a discount.
Overstock also accepts the same methods of payment from credit cards to check or debit cards that have a Visa or MasterCard logo. Customers can also use their Overstock MasterCard, store credit card, and gift card. Overstock allows payments made through PayPal, but the company will not accept credit cards that come with a foreign billing address or those issued by an international bank. Unlike Wayfair, Overstock will not honor payments made through checks and money orders.
Buyers from other countries can pay through their MasterCard, Visa, American Express and PayPal. Overstock also accepts payments made through Bitcoin for US and international orders.
Whether you need to return an item or you want more information about a particular product or feature, customer service is an essential part of these sites. Both Overstock and Wayfair have customer assistance facilities for secure communication with their buyers. The homepage, product page, and other areas of the sites have a Contact Us button for Wayfair while Overstock has the floating chat button.
Wayfair will accept customer inquiries until midnight during weekdays while Overstock is open until 1 AM. Both sites aim to make it easier for their customers to reach out to them through phone and email, although Overstock does more with a chat feature, as well as texting, social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter), and an international customer service hotline.
Overall, I prefer Wayfair just because I find it a more pleasant online shopping experience.
But, here’s what I do when I’m actually buying stuff. I’ll research on Wayfair and before I buy any specific product, I search it in Overstock (annd other online retailers) to see if it’s cheaper elsewhere. The fact of the matter is, home furnishings and home decor pricing changes daily across tens of thousands of products. You never know which online retailer will offer it at the lowest price.
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