How to choose a carpet cleaning company online

Everyone wants to get hired. It’s as simple as that: even if you were a contractor of lackluster skill, you’d still want your schedule filled to the brim with clients. So how can you, as a customer, separate good companies from bad ones? Here are some tips on how to choose a carpet cleaning company online while knowing you went with the right people.

When choosing a company to do your carpet cleaning Melbourne from Shannon Holdorf on Vimeo.

Choosing a carpet cleaning company

Tip #1: Check out their website. It sounds about as basic of an idea as you could think of, but it works nonetheless: go on their business website and explore every corner of it. Is everything slick-looking and functional or is the site struggling? How much effort a company puts into their website is often a good indicator of how seriously they take themselves.

Tip #2: Use Yelp for your benefit. Yet another item on the list of obvious entries, using Yelp to your advantage shouldn’t come as a shock. Look for any user reviews of the company and keep an eye out on the profiles of said users while there. Make sure to read any review comments as well to get the best idea of who you’re thinking of dealing with. You can also use Angie’s List or other sites if the company in question isn’t all that popular on Yelp.

Tip #3: Look for details into their method. See if the carpet cleaning company makes one or more of their cleaning techniques apparent – maybe they posted up a tutorial video or simply a write-up on how they do things. If you’re unfamiliar with the technique, don’t be afraid of Googling it and comparing the company’s knowledge and method with the results. In optimal cases, the carpet cleaning company should seem as well-versed and adept at dealing with the issue as any other resource online.

Tip #4: Look for promotions. Ascertaining the company’s credibility is a solid first step – now, you can focus on getting the best deal from them. Search online to see their advertisement and postings regarding discounts and similar deals. If they frequently give discounts and freebies, you’d do well to wait for one unless you’re in need urgent cleaning.

Tip #5: Test the waters yourself. Observing can only get you so far – nothing short of a phone call to the company’s headquarters will really clue you in on who you’re doing business with. Call the number presented on the company website and pay attention – whoever answers should be soft-spoken, outgoing and knowledgeable in various cleaning-related issues. A bad representative is representative of a bad company far too often – don’t overlook the most obvious signs and end up paying for it.

Tip #6: Speaking of pay, remember to ask about the company’s pricing during the early phone call, or even in an email query you performed on the site. A company looking to rip you off and get some extra buck will rarely provide a meaningful answer – consequently, a company worth doing business with won’t mind giving you an over-the-phone estimate. Remember that there are plenty of carpet cleaners to choose from on the web – there’s no reason to settle for a company failing some of the tests listed above.

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Tips for using Craigslist to find home furnishings

In a perfect world, most of us would always buy new and never bother with used items. Yet furniture is notably different from many other items that lose value with use: oftentimes, furnishings are sold when the owner is looking to do some interior decorating and old pieces aren’t fitting into the new picture.

This means that used furniture is often able to retain its mint condition while still being subject to the ‘instant half price’ rule of used goods. While these traits make used furniture sales a godsend when looking to redecorate without having to refinance, don’t think you can get off easy: buying anything used is never a walk in the park, and it pays to know how to navigate the field and play ball so you get the desired results.

If you’re looking for used home furnishings online, you’re no doubt checking out Craigslist and wondering how to use it to your advantage. Here are some tips to help you with this.

 Find home furnishings on Craigslist

  • Curb your enthusiasm! We know, we know: you found what you were looking for. A homeless guy once lived off of Craigslist donations alone for an entire month – this should speak enough about Craigslist’s ability to give you what you need. But do you really need that new cupboard or armchair just because it looks good (read: because someone is selling it?) Stuff you want will always be sold on Craigslist: learn how to separate the needed from the wanted.
  • Remember that appearances can deceive. That bed might look like an oasis of comfort and elegance, but do its fibers or the mattress hide a dark story? The sofa looks to be in good condition on a 640×480 picture, but what kinds of people were using it and how? Getting your stuff to look good on Craigslist isn’t hard – after all, it’s what the site is all about. As a buyer, your job is to become a pro at noticing shady business. If there are signs of photo alteration, angle shots or cherry-picked lighting, you’ll probably want to keep looking (keep in mind, though, that faults can be hidden even in high-quality photos).
  • Check the listings for your surrounding areas. It might seem like a waste of time – especially if you’re not willing or able to travel there to pick the furniture up – but there’s a multitude of reasons why surrounding listings could prove just as useful. Maybe someone nearby makes a regular commute to your city and would have no trouble delivering the furnishings to you, or maybe they simply chose the wrong area by mistake – taking the extra few seconds to browse could lead you to your dream furniture.
  • Check the seller’s profile whenever possible. Checking for past ads by the seller is a great way to find more about your potential furniture provider: if they have many different furniture listings, chances are that they’re redecorating and everything being sold is solid. If they only have one furniture listing, there could be an issue with the piece that’s prompting the sale, although there’s no way of knowing for sure – for the furnishings you really want, you’ll have no choice but to make the trip and examine the goods yourself.
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Where to find furniture deals online

When’s a good time to buy some new furniture? Whenever you can get a good deal, of course! Furniture counts among the most expensive purchases we make, which is why we’re often hesitant to buy it unless something really catches our eye. Well, what’s more eye-catching than a nice discount or another type of sweet deal? Here are some places where you can find furniture deals online on a regular basis.

Where to find furniture deals online

www.overstock.com: Being one of the largest online retailers, it shouldn’t be too surprising that Overstock features nice furniture deals fairly often. The site frequently lowers prices on furnishings from many different manufacturers: from half-price sofas to heavily-discounted chair-and-table sets, there’s a little something for everyone. Just make sure the variety doesn’t get you and you end up buying stuff you don’t even need!

www.target.com: No doubt a presence during each of your shopping sprees, Target has quite a few bargains offered on the main site. Many of them revolve around every kind of furniture you could imagine: chairs, tables, closets, cupboards, beds… The site boasts a 20% discount on many specialty items, which is true enough – however, with a bit of looking around, you can find quality items discounted by up to 70%. To make the deals even sweeter, the majority of orders are eligible for free shipping that can save you as much as $40 per shipment.

www.frontgate.com: For a top seller, Frontgate boasts a surprising amount of furniture deals and discounts every day. Their website even features a ‘deal of the day’ section where you can check out what’s being offered at (supposedly) the most attractive discount. Aside from that, there are the usual deals to choose from ranging from 20-60% off for a certain amount of time to flat price reductions. Since their daily deal usually involves a 50% price reduction, the page is worth bookmarking and checking often if you have a couple extra bucks to spare for some amazing additions to your home.

www.homedepot.com: The store in your backyard offers a lot of deals on furniture for every part of the home: kitchen, living room, bedroom, garage… Home Depot features a daily deal system similar to that of Frontgate although there’s even more emphasis on overall deals that one can browse through. With free shipping on most of the larger items and frequent half-price discounts, the Depot is as likely to satisfy your shopping needs as any of its competitors.

www.amazon.com: Great deals on Amazon? Shocking as the notion is, hear us out: being the top sales site on, like, the internet, Amazon has no problem offering nice furniture up at top prices or even discounts. The former is more pronounced than the latter: on Amazon, you’ll tend to have the easiest time finding an item’s best price, and the fact that the site is very easy to use and order from also helps. Keep an eye out for all the specialty deals, too: even something as simple as searching for the word ‘off’ or ‘discount’ in the furniture category of your choice could yield interesting results.

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What to ask an oriental rug cleaner before cleaning your rugs

Cleaning Oriental rugs is a fair bit different from running a piece of cloth through the wringer. In fact, it’s one of the most complex cleaning jobs that anyone can hope for – one that requires an expert present every step of the way to avoid fabric-related casualties.

Before opting for any Oriental rug cleaner, talk to each prospect over the phone and assess their knowledge and capabilities, or even consider visiting their headquarters for a hands-on look. The cleaner should look forward to chatting with a potential customer and answering any questions they could have – if the case is different, it might be indicative of a company with poor customer handling.

What to ask an oriental rug cleaner

Here are some things you can ask your Oriental rug cleaner to see if they are really who they claim to be.

  • “Is there any risk involved for my rug?” Let’s go ahead and make this the first question on the list. More than any other item you could clean, Oriental rugs are every bit as vulnerable as they are valuable. You don’t want to work with a cleaning company that’s unable to guarantee complete safety for your rug – every cleaner worth his salt will know how to avoid accidents even when cleaning the most delicate of rugs. Of course, cleaners will always want to dismiss your concerns, which is why you will also ask…
  • “Are you insured?” Let’s face it: your Oriental rug probably can’t be replaced. That being said, you should still ensure proper compensation if something should happen to it. Before handing it over to a cleaning company, ask about their damage control and how they intend to reimburse you should things go south.
  • “Can you tell me a bit about how you would clean my rug?” Showing or even just describing your rug to the company should give them a great idea of how to clean it for best results. Don’t hesitate to ask how by looking for specific explanations of techniques while making sure nobody’s trying to confuse you with big words. Ask about a before and after, too: the cleaners should be able to tell you exactly what you can expect after minimal contact with the rug.
  • “Have you ever had an incident while cleaning?” We’re all human, and accidents happen. Even the best slip up sometimes, but do you really want the next big slip to happen on your rug? As an honest contractor, the company you’re talking to is obliged to give you the details of their past mishaps – assess them and decide whether giving your rug to these guys sounds like a good idea.
  • “How long have you been doing this, anyways?” Sometimes, the simplest questions are also the most effective. On a good day, your Oriental rug cleaner will have plenty of experience working with specialty rugs and will have been in the game for at least a good couple of years before falling on your radar. Regardless of how long they’ve been doing work, always make sure that you’re talking to someone who specializes in Oriental rugs or, at the very least, has a lot of good history with them.

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