Buying furniture - make sure you can get it in!

Buying furniture has always been somewhat tricky. Buying sofa beds is even more so because of their weight (around 100kg). Choice has good information on buying sofa beds but it didn’t quite prepare me for the challenges.
The end of financial year sales were on so I went to Freedom Furniture, a store that I had had good experiences with previously. I ordered a sofa bed which appeared to meet my needs and budget very well. It didn’t look so big in the showroom but the delivery people could not get it into the door of my apartment. So it was returned to stock and I had done my $99 delivery fee. It turns out that Freedom use a contract delivery company, Unitrans in NSW, who are not allowed to unbox the furniture until it is inside the customer’s premises. The store’s website indicates the assembled dimensions of the sofa bed as well as the dimensions of the box. Missing, are the dimensions of the unassembled item that will enable a competent furniture removalist to get it in the door. Legs may not be attached and cushions can certainly be taken off reducing the overall size.
I opted for a smaller sofa bed, but, in its box, it would still not get in the door. The store uses another local delivery service who are competent furniture removalists who will unbox it and get it into the room where I want it.
However, I will have to wait 16-20 weeks for the sofa to be manufactured and shipped from the country of origin.
Buying online is simply not an option. You have to measure your entrance door and go to the store and take your own measurements of the unassembled item. Then you need to evaluate, yourself, whether the item can be moved to its eventual position in your house.
Overall, I am happy with the way that the store staff dealt with my problem. It would be better if furniture retailers anticipated the problems that their customers will face.


A neighbour who owns a 2 story town house found similar with a standard lounge suite. Being an older design the stairs to the upper level kitchen and lounge included a right angled landing half way opening at the top to a narrow hallway side on.

Ultimately it was a multi person and ladder operation to the upper level balcony. It’s not unique, as those living near low rise apartments can attest to. Furniture being moved in or out with a crane to a balcony being one solution. Perhaps not a Freedom purchase?

IKEA offer a wide range of solutions, self inflicted mostly.


Yes, I wondered if IKEA would have offered a better solution. But, once assembled, their option would have needed to be taken apart if I ever moved out! That may have worked - or not!

Furniture yup measure twice! Same for refrigerators and door openings and internal door ways! Was such a pain when looking at a 2nd refrigerator :sweat_smile:


I tried to purchase some furniture from Fantastic Furniture when I moved house. A new queen size bed for the master bedroom and a new recliner for the lounge room. There was no issue with getting it in the house… except that despite what the website was saying, the delivery company (again, an outside company) refused to bring the goods inside the front door! They blamed ‘Covid’ for their refusal to do what they were contracted to do. I had to have a fight with them and their boss over the phone to get them to bring the recliner (in its very large box) into the loungeroom, but I was left to bring the bed and mattress in a box in by myself. The galling part was that the bed was to go into the very first room of the house! Oh… and at the time I was aged 63 and was left to do this alone.

I managed to bring in the bedhead, the frame, the slats and put them all into the bedroom (I had removed my single bed to a back room in preparation for the delivery) without too much difficulty. The problem was getting the mattress into the house. It was one of those Mattress in a Box things, with a handle on the top and two wheels on the bottom so you can tilt it to move it around. Except it didn’t want to come up over the lip of the front doorstep. So I did what anyone would do… give it a bit of a tug on the handle to try to get it up over the lip. Well, the handle came off in my hand, the sudden release of energy caused by my whole body to slam into the wall of the walkin robe with juts out into the hallway, and then I slid down the wall onto the tile floor. As that happened, because there was now nothing holding up the box… it slammed down sandwiching my left foot between it and the tile floor. I knew immediately it wasn’t good.

I can’t get up at the best of times (too many encounters with ‘homicidal footpaths’ in the past have damaged my knees), so I knew I would need help to get up. I had to phone the ambulance (I was lucky to have my mobile in my jeans pocket) and managed to get my foot out from under the box and moved it around to use the tiles as a sort of reverse cold compress on my now very painful foot. I was lucky I didn’t lose consciousness at all.

I was taken to hospital where it was discovered I had broken my left foot and the outer ankle bone. I was on crutches for a week, and in a moon boot for 8 weeks. My neighbour was very kind to come and bring me home from the hospital and put my old recliner back into its original position and moved the large box into a corner of the lounge. I slept in that recliner for over a week because… I didn’t have a bed in which to sleep because I had this delivery.

I contacted the local Fantastic Furniture and said I no longer wanted the furniture because of what had happened. The furniture would be a constant reminder of my broken foot and ankle and so my relationship with the furniture was now soured. I was happy to pay the delivery fee and a small restocking fee, but they were very good and completely refunded me the entire amount - including the delivery fee. They sent a different set of delivery men, who had no issue coming into the house to collect the furniture a few days after the failed ‘delivery’.

I finally did get a new bed for the master bedroom… I got a Koala queen size bed and mattress. And I managed to assemble the bed by myself (I was aged 64 by then). I found the assembly of the Koala bed very simple. I am looking for a new lounge… and will probably go with them again. Disassembling the bed shouldn’t be an issue if I ever move (but I’m not planning on doing that).


The other important part of the story was that the sofa bed and its replacement were both on an end-of-financial-year sale. It was June 30, and I still hadn’t had confirmation of my change in order - and the prices would return to normal on July 1. I rang the store and received the confirmation. But the price was two hundred dollars above the advertised price plus an extra delivery fee. I made sure I saved the web page showing the advertised price. Apparently it was a technical issue where the sales system had not been updated correctly to match the advertisement. The staff were very good and corrected the error. However, if I had not been observant and assertive, I would have ended up out of pocket.

1 Like