Is Wayfair Legit? What to Know Before Shopping at Wayfair

traditional dining room set for thanksgiving
My dining room in 2019, with chairs I bought on Wayfair

Is Wayfair legit? You may be wondering this if you’ve never shopped there before …. As someone whose not only placed 19 orders with Wayfair in the last 5 years (ermm, I guess I do a lot of home projects?…)!, but also used to work at Wayfair’s corporate HQ, I know a lot about whether or not the company is trustworthy. Here’s my overview of all things Wayfair.

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Wayfair is one of the largest ecommerce sites on the internet. Their motto is “everything home” and they fulfill it.

I know a lot about the company because I used to work there! I worked as an editor at their Joss & Main brand for two years, and in that time saw the inner workings of the company.

So, if you have a question about Wayfair, I can hopefully answer it.

First and foremost…

Is Wayfair Legit?

The short answer: Yes, Wayfair is legit. I can say with certainty because I used to work there. The company is committed to offering great products and prices, and a smooth shopping experience to their customers.

I bought the front porch lights on either side of my front door from Wayfair

If you’ve never heard the backstory of of how this major home furnishings retailer got its start, let me regale you.

The co-founders of Wayfair, Steve Conine and Niraj Shah met as students at Cornell, and originally started a website called rackandstands.com, where they sold CD racks and storage (#vintage). The success of that site led them to start websites about barstools and a host of other home decor verticals. After those brands also proved successful, they consolidated the companies into a single company called CSN stores, a combination of their initials, headquartered in Boston.

(Clearly I paid attention during my company orientation day! I also went to Northeastern University in Boston, and had a number of friends who did their co-op/internship at CSN stores in the aughts, before it was renamed Wayfair.)

Once Steve and Niraj realized that CSN Stores wasn’t all that catchy of a name for a store, they decided to rebrand, and put out a challenge to employees and friends to come up with a new name for the company, and Wayfair it was.

Since then, Steve and Niraj have managed to grow the company into a beast of a brand. The people who work there are talented. Co-workers of mine went to Harvard, Cornell, Dartmouth, you name it.

While the company may be a home decor company, it’s also very much a tech company. There is a lot of effort put into creating a seamless shopping experience, easy returns, and competitive pricing.

What is Wayfair?

Wayfair is a website that sells furniture, decor, lighting and ‘all things home’ from many different home brands.

If you read Wayfair reviews online, I think there is sometimes some confusion over what Wayfair actually is and where they get the products they sell.

And by that I mean, a lot of people think Wayfair is the furniture brand as well as the furniture retailer. Something similar to Crate & Barrel, where you shop on their website and you’re buying Crate & Barrel brand products.

But Wayfair is a website that primarily sells furniture from other brands. Wayfair doesn’t actually make most of its furniture, it sources it from top home decor and furnishings manufacturers and wholesalers. It’s almost like Amazon in that way: it’s a marketplace for furniture.

Like Amazon, Wayfair does sell some of its own branded goods. They make custom upholstery, for example, which they design and produce out of a factory in North Carolina.

This is why it can be hard to look at Wayfair and answer super broad questions like “Is Wayfair Good Quality” or “Why is Wayfair so cheap?”

Still, I will do my best to answer those questions, since I know they come up often with shoppers. Sooo…

Is Wayfair Good Quality?

Wayfair reviews
A leather sofa from Four Hands I bought on Wayfair for our Vermont Cabin

‘Is Wayfair good quality’ is not as straightforward to answer as ‘is Wayfair legit,’ because whether or not Wayfair is good quality depends on what you buy. Because Wayfair is a marketplace for furniture, they carry items from both high-end and low-end brands, and everywhere in between. You can buy both super high-quality things on Wayfair, and you can also buy super budget-friendly things that may prioritize low cost over quality.

Before you make a purchase on Wayfair, look at the brand, and the item details.

Sometimes its easy to find the brand of an item because it will be listed on the item description. But, not all brands are identified on the product. In this case, click on the brand name that is listed and check out the other products being sold.

If they’re inexpensive and have bad reviews, they’re probably low quality. But if they cost a bit more and customers seem happy, the brand is probably high quality.

Some of the many high quality brands Wayfair carries include:

  • Four Hands
  • Lexington
  • Uttermost
  • Loloi Rugs
  • Regina Andrew
  • Currey & Co.

And lots more. I bought a Four Hands sofa for our Vermont cabin from Wayfair, and it’s honestly one of the best pieces of furniture I’ve ever purchased. (See a photo of it above!).

Why is Wayfair so Cheap?

The light fixture and wallpaper in my entryway? Another Wayfair purchase.

Wayfair isn’t cheap because they sell junky items.

Wayfair is cheap because they have a massive buying team whose sole goal is to get the biggest assortment of items at the lowest price.

There is a threshold that most manufacturers put on their products: It’s called the MAP, or minimum advertised price, and Wayfair generally tries to offer MAP or close to it on all products as often as they can. Sometimes, a retailer will also allow Wayfair to “break MAP,” AKA offer an even cheaper price, which is usually for special sales.

In addition to all that, Wayfair has a large clearance section, and sells open box items for deep discounts, too.

Why are lots of Wayfair reviews negative?

I always see lots of negative Wayfair reviews when I do a basic Google search, which is one of the reasons I wrote this positive review.

Here’s the big reason there are negative Wayfair reviews: When something goes wrong, people like to complain about it. Wayfair is not a perfect company. They probably ship the wrong item sometimes. Things get lost sometimes. Things get broken. Things look better in photos than they do IRL. It happens.

And when you’re spending a lot of money or are really excited about a purchase, it sucks when something isn’t right. When you’re pissed, it just feels good to write something about it. [See also: Yelp Reviews]

When things go right, on the other hand, we all just tend to move on with our lives without stopping to write a positive review of a company.

How is the Wayfair ordering process?

A Wayfair sofa

I might be a former employee of Wayfair, but more importantly, I’ve been a regular customer of the website for years, including both before I worked there, and since.

According to my account history, I’ve places 19 Wayfair orders since 2018. (Which is actually a lot more than I thought. Whoops.). Who knows how many orders I placed before then. I don’t think I want to know.

My orders have included everything from throw pillows, to bathroom faucets, to outdoor lighting, and wallpaper.

I tend to order home item on Wayfair for a few reasons. The first is because they usually offer free, fast shipping. The second is because the return process is easy, and the third is because I trust the company and the customer service.

Now, not every experience I have had ordering from Wayfair has been seamless, but most have. And, when things have gone awry, the customer service has been great at stepping in to help.

is wayfair legit - wayfair orders
Just a few of the Wayfair orders I’ve placed in recent months

Example A:

During Covid, I ordered a sandbox for my two boys to play in. Except 24 hours after I placed the order, I realized I’d sent it to my old condo in South Boston instead of my home in Connecticut. Big fail. So, I called the company, and they had the delivery team pick the sandbox up from my old condo and ship it to me in Connecticut, and they didn’t charge me for it even though it was my mistake.

Example B:

When we were renovating our house last year, I thought I wanted a glass, farmhouse-style door for our laundry room. So I ordered it on Wayfair. A massive, expensive door. And then I found reclaimed doors on Facebook marketplace that I liked better, and I really wanted those instead.

I called Wayfair, who told me the package had already been sent out. I asked if there was any way to stop it from coming to my house so I didn’t have to deal with the pain in the ass of lugging it to the UPS store. So, they intercepted the package and had it sent back to the warehouse before I ever got it. I did have to pay for the return cost of getting the package back to the warehouse this time, but I appreciated not having to return it myself.

Overall, I’ve found their team to be very helpful.

I hope that my Wayfair reviews help quell your fears about ordering from Wthe company. I’ve always had a great experience.. So order away, and know that if you don’t like something, you can always return it fairly hassle free.

Are Wayfair and Overstock the same company?

Nope! Wayfair and Overstock may offer similar product selections, but they are not the same company. Overstock is based in Utah, while Wayfair is based in Boston.

How does Wayfair Quality compare to IKEA?

How Wayfair quality compares to IKEA again depends on what you’re buying, since Wayfair sources its items from a lot of different manufacturers.

For the most part, Wayfair quality is better than IKEA, since many of the brands Wayfair sells are higher-end than IKEA. However, certain brands, like Sauder, tend to be closer to the IKEA-level quality.

If you want better-than-IKEA quality, look at an item’s description to find things that are made of real wood and natural materials, not particle board and foam.

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