Bust Furniture Warranty Myths and Boost Sales


May 2018—

The average family spends $125 per month—that’s more than $1,500 a year—on home furnishings. With that kind of dough going toward making their homes beautiful, you’d think consumers would rush to protect these purchases.

But despite what seems to be an obvious need for protection, many customers still forego a warranty solution due to some common misconceptions. Here are three obstacles you may need to overcome to make the sale and help keep your customers’ purchases protected.

Myth #1: Protection plans aren’t worth the extra money.

Often true; not every extended furniture warranty solution is truly beneficial. Don’t be afraid to establish trust by explaining where protection may and may not be necessary. For example, when it comes to cosmetic issues like spills, rips, and punctures, added protection could save both time and money. But if the customer is simply concerned about manufacturer defects, they might be clear to stick with the manufacturer warranty.

And don’t rush the explanation just to get to the close. Take a more consultative approach—ask probing questions to discern your customer’s motives before pushing for the sale. Just because you understand the importance of protection, chances are they don’t. Slow down, deliver the pros and cons, and guide them to the sale.

Myth #2: I’m not a clumsy person, so I don’t need this.

To this customer we say, ‘Well, aren’t you lucky?’ It’s amazing how many random mishaps happen every day. From blunders involving kids, food, or guests, to accidental rips and spills, even the most coordinated person will likely encounter at least one furniture mishap. Ask your customers if they are prepared for the ‘what-if.’

Although this question might seem a bit invasive, giving the customer a few examples of situations in which they might need extra protection—like a cocktail party gone wrong, or a toddler that doesn’t know their own strength—can get them thinking. Also, the ease of actually using a furniture protection plan—if something happens, simply file a claim and receive a replacement—can be very attractive. Save time and money? Who doesn’t want that?

Myth #3: I automatically have protection through my home insurance.

While this may be true in some cases, home insurance still doesn’t cover everything a furniture warranty solution will. Every home insurance policy is different, but most only cover damage due to incidents like natural disasters, theft, vandalism, and house fires. But additional furniture protection covers accidents that are technically the owner’s fault—like smashed glass tabletop from an errant remote, or a gash in the couch cushion from a rogue pocketknife.

Get to the heart of the issue and explain the benefits of added protection. And know the gaps. Many home insurance providers even outline their coverage online, so having quick access to those offerings could help you talk through your customers’ coverage with them. If the customer is already protected, dive deeper into their current protection and make sure they understand what happens if they make a claim on their home insurance.

Finally, not only are warranty solutions a good safety net for consumers, they can also be a huge benefit to retailers. One of the most valuable retailer benefits of warranty solutions is that they literally cost nothing to sell. And, unlike old merchandise, protection plans don’t depreciate the longer they sit on the shelf. Because they’re an inventory item that doesn’t require physical space, they’re a high-margin upsell item with the potential to deliver large returns.

Being able to debunk common myths can come in handy when communicating with customers who are leery about furniture protection plans. But with benefits for both retailers and customers, warranty solutions are always a safe bet.

RetailerNOW is changing.

Insights Magazine will be replacing RetailerNOW as the official publication of the Home Furnishings Association. With this change, you will be able to find the same great content on the HFA website. All current members/subscribers will automatically receive the new print editions. You can continue to view content on this website until January 2020.

About the Author

Kevin Cundiff
Kevin Cundiff is VP of retail for Fortegra Financial Corporation, whose subsidiaries offer consumer protection options including warranty solutions, credit insurance, and specialty underwriting programs. He can be reached at kcundiff@fortegra.com. kcundiff@fortegra.com