1. Buying stock furniture
2. Buying made to order furniture
3. Buying made to measure furniture
Very few companies are selling immediate stock items. The cost of warehousing and inventory is simply too high. Many stock items tend to be the fast moving cheaper volume items. The majority of retailers are moving towards a made to order model.
Another method is by selling display pieces. This method is usually employed by those selling teak and rustic pieces. Most of these pieces are from Indonesia and one of a kind. Prices can be pretty steep but very popular with expatriates.
Buying made to order (indent orders) and made to measure furniture is very different. The waiting time is 3 to 12 weeks. Those from America can take up to 6 months. Buying has to be planned. No impulse purchases. This method is now becoming predominant as more and more Singapore want to customize. They want to choose the color and fabric of their sofas.
Some companies stock their items overseas. This means stock items may not arrive to your home till a few weeks later. Shipping takes 5 to 10 days from China, 30 to 40 days for Europe and 40 to 50 days from the Americas.
Companies also do not ship goods until they can fill a container. Retailers hate using loose cargo to ship. Furniture can be fragile and packing them with other goods can cause severe damage. This practice will however increase delivery times.
Instant gratification is fast becoming a rare thing in furniture buying.
If you are planning for a revamp for Christmas or a festival start planning four to six months early. Take into account retailers making mistakes. Both consumers and retailers tend to make more mistakes with custom orders.