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Thursday, March 30th
The best way to describe the experience when shopping at Barstool Direct is this: "Just when you think it can't get any worse... it does." We've evaluated this retailer several times over the years, hoping to see some improvements - because, really, with a name like "Barstool Direct" , you would think it would offer a superlative selection at the very least, and maybe even excellent service with a strong focus on this particular type of furniture. Unfortunately, that's not even remotely the case.
Your order will likely come from overseas
When you first land on the site, it already starts out a little sketchy: you see at the very top that you'll get free shipping on everything... buuuuut, you should also expect a "potential port container delay" . That's your first clue that anything you order is not coming from a warehouse in the US or Canada. Barstool Direct is a subsidiary of Peazz, whose stores also include Home Goods Center, TSC (Home, Toys, Pets), the intriguingly-named Puppet Hut, and more - and from what we can tell, all of those companies ship their products from China.
Lots of "sold out" items
Your next clue will be when you scroll down to see some of the featured barstool selections and see that almost half of them are already designated as "sold out" . That tracks with what we've found each time we've tried to shop using the Barstool Direct site. You might have better luck if you use the dropdowns at the top of the site to shop by counter or bar heights or by material/design (wooden, metal, backless).
Some high-end barstools on offer
Just for fun, we clicked on the "Over $400" category to see what Barstool Direct carries. Most items were - you guessed it - sold out, or they consisted of an entire table-and-chairs set. But, in the Counter Stools section, we did spot the Zuo Modern Latte Bar Chair in bright orange and chrome: a set of two was priced at $878.75, a 17% discount from the advertised retail price of $1,054.50. And, in the Bar Stools section, there were several Stone County Ironworks designs for over $1000 each, all with more than 10 chairs available in the inventory.
Information is hit-or-miss
So, let's say you find something on Barstool Direct that is exactly what you have in mind, and you're lucky enough that it's in stock. What can you expect next? There's a decent amount of information on most product pages: multiple views of the barstools, dimensions and weight, and so on. You might get a laugh out of the site's "Frequently Bought Together" recommendations: somehow, we don't think people are exactly stocking up on barstools and buying stainless steel counter chairs along with wood swivel stools and walnut-toned bar chairs, but okay. And, in theory, customers can leave reviews or put something in the Q&A, but we didn't see any barstools that had either of those.
Orders may never arrive
Now the "fun" part: each piece of furniture has an estimated arrival date, and on many of the barstools we checked out, we were told we could get them within two weeks. Fantastic! However, in reality, Barstool Direct has a beyond-bad reputation when it comes to delivering customer orders. It's so bad, in fact, that the Better Business Bureau gives Peazz (the parent company) an "F" rating, issuing alerts for both the retailer's licensing (or lack thereof) and "patterns of complaint" among the 80+ filed there in the last three years. Here's what the BBB says: "Customers have made a purchase and never received the items ordered... and are also experiencing communication issues with the company." Those issues include Peazz' failure to respond to refund requests for those undelivered items - and they haven't responded to the BBB's requests for follow-ups on complaints either.
Avoid this store
Barstool Direct talks a good game, with a "Price Beat Guarantee" and supposedly a 30-day return policy with no restocking fees, on top of free shipping on all orders. Sadly, "talk" is all that is when the retailer goes completely silent as orders go undelivered and customers can't get their money back without filing a credit card dispute. No thank you! We can't think of a single reason why you'd want to spend your time or risk your money here.
Maybe you've just moved into a new home and you'd like to add some seating at the kitchen counter. Or, you could just be making your current home-sweet-home look a little more on-trend with a fun bar in the basement and you need the perfect place to sit while you watch the big game and have some drinks. Either way, with a variety of styles, materials, and heights available, there is a perfect barstool out there for everyone.
The first consideration is usually height. The most common barstool types are counter height and bar height stools. Counter height stools are typically 24 to 27 inches in height and are designed for use at kitchen counters or islands. Bar height stools, on the other hand, are taller and range from 28 to 32 inches in height. These stools are designed for use at a bar or a pub table.
It's important to measure the height of your bar or counter before purchasing barstools to make sure you get ones that will fit and be comfortable too. And, keep in mind that many retailers will refer to "barstools" as an all-encompassing term for both counter- and bar-height seating (that's also the approach that we've taken in our review).
What would you like your seating to be made of? Barstools can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, plastic, and upholstered fabrics. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, wooden barstools offer a classic and timeless look, while metal barstools are durable and easy to clean. Plastic barstools are lightweight and easy to move, while upholstered barstools offer comfort and style.
Speaking of style, yours is unique and your barstools should match it. Barstools can range from traditional to contemporary, and everything in between. Some barstools feature a backrest, while others are backless. Ditto that for armrests. Consider if you'd prefer barstools with adjustable height and swivel capabilities, as these features can make the seats more versatile and comfortable. Overall, the style and design of the barstool should complement the existing decor of the space where you plan to use them.
So, where should you start shopping? There are lots of online retailers where you can get barstools, and here are some criteria you can use to decide which stores to browse first:
To help you get that new look for the seating in your kitchen, rec room, or other space, Top Consumer Reviews has ranked and evaluated the best online stores for buying barstools. Happy shopping!
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