Q: I hear lots of stores claiming that one should buy a swing set only after they've seen it in person. What are your thoughts on this? I'd so much rather just browse the internet and buy online, but I also want to make sure I'm getting a solid, strong set. Thanking you in advance.
- Ashley M., Richmond, VA
A: Thank you for asking – in this era of online shopping, it’s important to understand what you're getting yourself into when making a large purchase without first test-driving the item, so to speak.
Seeing is Understanding
Let’s be honest, there are lots of options when it comes to swing sets. And seeing a bunch of swing sets set up in a showroom is a great way to learn about all the various options. But every manufacturer makes their swing sets differently so be prepared for the salesman to convince you that their swing sets are the safest, most durable, and have the best bells and whistles.
It’s always best to keep an open mind, and learn the most you can by asking lots of questions.
Remember, showroom swing sets are usually more expensive than online swing sets because the showroom has higher costs, the biggest of which is the retail store you’re standing in. So, what we recommend is to shop around in person, learn the most you can, and rank your preferences and priorities while looking at the sets in front of you. Then head home to research an online reputable retailer that can offer you the same options you saw in person (most of them will). Then you can safely purchase when it’s convenient for you, saving you a trip back to the showroom.
Your Little Monkeys on the Monkey Bars
And here’s a tip. You might want to bring your little kiddos to the showroom with you. Think of this as a little insurance policy for their happiness. Although most kids will be happy with any playset, so long as it's got cool accessories and is the right size to appeal to their age, some kids have strong opinions. So we’d recommend bringing them into a showroom (or to a neighbor's house or a playground) so they can express which elements of a playset capture them most.
Let them loose among the display sets so they can explore – leaving you to pay attention to where they return again and again. Those are the elements you’ll want to include in the configuration of your own playset, assuming you have the requisite space. Then head online and find a playset that matches their specifications.
Talking to the Professionals
Whether you buy your swing set in person or online, there's one thing that should be of utmost importance, and that is the accessibility of the professionals. The peace of mind factor should not be underestimated – when you make a large purchase like this, you'll need to make sure you're receiving a sense of professionalism and a crystal clear understanding of the quality of the swing sets you're interested in.
Grab your free copy of The Ultimate Swing Set Guide for Parents to help you make an informed choice about your outdoor playground.
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