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      August 11, 2020

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Frontera vs Design Furnishings

To help you find the Best Outdoor Furniture, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Frontera and Design Furnishings.

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Buy Your Outdoor Furniture With DFO Home! There's nothing quite like sitting out on your patio in the evening, enjoying a cool breeze and a beautiful sunset while relaxing on comfortable, stylish furniture. Whether your style tends towards the super-casual, like hammocks and Adirondack chairs, or you prefer a sleek, modern look, having the right outdoor furniture can make all the difference between an unused patio or backyard and your own personal relaxation-and-entertainment zone.

What should you buy for your outdoor furniture? Naturally, the answer depends on what you have in mind. Are you looking for chaise lounges to put next to your pool, or a patio set for serving cocktails and appetizers? Outdoor furniture isn't limited just to seating: most retailers also carry chimineas and fire pit tables both for ambience and heating purposes, shades and curtains for privacy and protection from the sun, even swings just for the fun of it.

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2020

Outdoor Furniture Reviews

3.5 stars
Frontera

FRONTERA

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Originally begun as a retailer and mail-order catalog business, Frontera became one of the Internet's first home furnishings virtual showrooms - with a focus on traditionally-made, high-quality furniture. Their selection also includes outdoor accents, playhouses, and decor, with their signature product being the "World's Finest Rocker".

Frontera's outdoor furniture inventory consists of just under 1,000 items to choose from. Already know what you're looking for? Type it into the search box, or choose the category on the main Outdoor Furniture page. The site is easy to navigate, using the filtering options on the left-hand side of the page to narrow down your results by Material, Brand, and Price. Popular brands include Trex, Woodard, Barlow Tyrie, and Pawleys Island.

It's easy to tell at a glance which items have color options, are on sale, or have product reviews written by Frontera customers. You can also save any outdoor furniture that catches your eye to your "Idea Board", in case you want to keep them all in one place and decide later.

Although their outdoor furniture tends to be on the spendy side compared with their competitors, Frontera does offer several ways to make your purchase more affordable. If you should happen to find a lower price somewhere else, you can call or email Frontera's customer service department. As their website puts it, Frontera will "make every effort to win your business." You may want to take advantage of this; an Adirondack chair that we found on the Frontera site was selling for 33% less on several other websites!

At the time of our review, there was a pop-up offering a discount of $100 off a first purchase of $1,000 or more, in return for signing up for Frontera's email newsletter. Also, they offer a complimentary rewards program, which can earn you 3% in points on every purchase, with occasional promotions offering double points.

Finally, Frontera offers free shipping on all products within the continental US. This definitely keeps them in the running with other outdoor furniture retailers we reviewed.

How does Frontera measure up when it comes to customer satisfaction? We found it difficult to tell. For one thing, although the business has been around for 24 years, Frontera is not accredited or rated by the Better Business Bureau. Also, in trying to look at the 400+ "certified reviews" on the Frontera site, we could only see the first one - trying to scroll through the rest only scrolled the product page in the background. On the other hand, we did find several dozen very positive reviews in other places, particularly with respect to Frontera's customer service.

One caveat: Frontera's return policy is extremely strict. You must request a Return Authorization Number within seven days of delivery in order to get a refund. Items must be unused and in original condition. And, all refunds will have a 20% restocking fee deducted from the total. Also, any items that are non-stock finishes or cushions, covers, or canopies are considered made-to-order and are not returnable or eligible for exchange. For this reason, Frontera strongly recommends that customers request free stain/wood samples and/or leather/fabric swatches before making a final purchase decision.

Good selection, a low-price guarantee, and free shipping are all solid reasons for choosing to shop for outdoor furniture at Frontera. Just be careful with their return policy, especially if your order includes any items that are considered custom-made.

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3 stars
Design Furnishings

DESIGN FURNISHINGS

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Design Furnishings carries a good selection of outdoor furniture, from chaises to dining sets, accessories, and more.

Choose one of the product categories at the top of the page - Seating, Dining, Chaises, Accessories, Packages, or Clearance - to find what you need. Each category has subcategories you can use to further narrow down what Design Furnishings carries. Using the site is a little less fluid than competitor sites: there's no way to sort results by price range, color, materials, or other criteria. Instead, you can only opt to have the results displayed by name or by price. Once you do find a product that interests you, you can click on it to see a detailed description, along with tabs that provide manufacturer info, shipping details, and warranty coverage.

You'll get free shipping at Design Furnishings, as long as you live in the continental US and not in an area that is considered remote or isolated. You can find a list of "Remote Zip Codes" in the FAQ section of the site.

Another money-saver offered at Design Furnishings is the "2 for 1" promotion: many cushions are offered at two for the price of one, allowing you to change your cushion color with the seasons or simply have a backup set. Eligible products are clearly marked.

Design Furnishings' return policy is stricter than most retailers': as with most stores, you'll have to cover the return shipping costs if you send back your outdoor furniture within 30 days of receipt, but DF also charges a 15% restocking fee and will make you pay for their original cost of shipping the order to you. We also found that if you cancel your order, you'll still be charged at least 15% even if the order hasn't been prepared for shipping yet. And, if the order has already shipped, that restocking fee jumps to 25%.

Shoppers' experiences with Design Furnishings is a mixed bag. On the one hand, we found some complaints describing wicker that didn't last as long as promised, delayed shipments and unresponsive customer service representatives. But, we also found recent reviews praising the quality of the outdoor furniture as well as the helpfulness of the personal shoppers and other employees.

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Continued from above

As you think about what you need to make your ideal outdoor space, you'll want to give some consideration to what materials are used. By design, most outdoor furniture is designed to be weather-resistant, but some materials can withstand heat, cold, rain and snow easily, while others will need to be moved indoors during times of more extreme temperatures.

You may be surprised to know that buying patio furniture and other outdoor items is often easier and more affordable when you shop online. Even on large, bulky things like lounge chairs and tables, many retailers offer free shipping, saving you the hassle of having to drive around town to find what you need - and then hoping that it will fit in your car for the ride home! What should you look for when choosing an online store for your outdoor furniture? Keep these criteria in mind:

  • Selection. Does the store have a wide variety of products to choose from? Can you get items in a number of colors, materials, and styles? How many brands does the retailer carry in stock?
  • Price. Are the prices competitive with other stores? Are there any discounts or other money-saving perks like free shipping? Will the store match the price if you find your furniture somewhere else for less?
  • Return Policy. If you need to return your purchase, will the store allow it? And, if so, will you be charged a restocking fee?
  • Customer Satisfaction. How does the store measure up when it comes to keeping their shoppers happy? Is the customer service department responsive and helpful when issues arise with products or delivery?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Outdoor Furniture retailers available today. We hope these reviews help you find the right outdoor furnishings to make your space perfect!

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