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5 tips to Increase Trust with Online Shoppers

Do your customer’s think you’re trustworthy? Do online reviews really make a difference? Let me get to the point, with an emphatic yes.

Consumers absolutely use reviews as part of their online research efforts–and the quality of the reviews materially impacts businesses.

Just consider:

  • 89% of consumers viewed online sources of product and service reviews as trustworthy–and another 80% have changed their minds about a purchase based solely on the negative reviews they read.
  • In 2011, 85% of those surveyed said they’d be more likely to purchase if they could find additional recommendations online.

For some businesses, online interaction is the last in a long list of pressing items.

For others, reviews are like heading to the dentist for a root canal: You’re filled with dread when you think of them. Whatever the reason, what you don’t know will kill you, so start with a quick, do-it-yourself audit. First, ask yourself where you would search if you were looking for your product. Check the usual search engines, blogs, online review and industry-specific sites. Remember: Losing revenue, customers, or even your business is much worse than the pain of reading negative commentary.

It’s also important to remember that fake reviews–of all three types–exist in abundance.

Competitors may pose like a disgruntled customer. A business might try to plant glowing reviews. This is why more has to be done to help consumers get smart about assessing online reviews–and why you, as a business owner, have to pay close attention to what’s going on Web-wise and the actions you need to take.

It’s likely that every business will, at some point, get a few negative reviews–in fact, a couple of these in a large sea of good ones is often convincing evidence that on the whole, your review rating can be trusted. People generally understand that everyone makes missteps from time to time–and they are forgiving. Maybe your front-office person had a bad day. A shipment is late. Quality assurance missed something. But just like real life, it’s all in how quickly, sincerely, and effectively you work to resolve the issue.

The Home Furnishings Association webinar on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 from 11:00am – 12:00pm PDT will give you 5 tips to Increase Trust with Online Shoppers.

In this webinar, we will provide you with tips to do just that. Experts from Podium will walk you through five proven tips from our customers that will help you become the most trusted business in your area.

Key takeaways include:

  • Why online reviews are important
  • Which online review sites deliver the most value
  • How to build an online review presence on the sites that matter most

Register HERE

State of California Raises Furniture Licensing Fees

The Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation (Bureau) will be raising fees on nine license types effective December 1, 2016. All fees due on/after this date will be assessed using the matrix below.

The last time the Bureau raised fees was 2002. This change is necessary to align the Bureau’s fees with current operational costs. For information regarding this and other regulatory action, please refer to the Bureau’s Website

Furniture/Bedding Importer $750 $750 $100 $225
Furniture/Bedding Manufacturer $750 $750 $100 $225
Furniture/Bedding Wholesaler $625 $625 $100 $187.50
Furniture Retailer $140 $140 $28 $42
Bedding Retailer $140 $140 $28 $42
Furniture/Bedding Retailer $280 $280 $56 $84
Custom Upholsterer $420 $420 $84 $126
Sanitizer $420 $420 $84 $126
Supply Dealer $625 $625 $100 $187.50

The Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation
(916) 999-2041 or email at
On the Web at


HFA Calls for 2017 Board Nominations

The Home Furnishings Association (HFA) is calling on members to make recommendations for the 2017 HFA Board of Directors. Submit nominations (including your contact information) to HFA’s CEO, Sharron Bradley at by August 29, 2017.

The HFA depends on strong, quality leadership. The Board of Directors is a vital part of the progress and growth of the association. Any member can recommend quality members they feel would represent HFA and the furniture industry in a professional manner. Members may also nominate themselves.

HFA Board Membership Benefits:
· Being the first to find out about new industry information, hear about new trends, and learn how government regulations will affect business.
· Learning new management and people skills by working with other successful industry leaders.
· Exchanging ideas and networking with the most successful retailers in the home furnishings industry.
· Establishing long-term friendships with industry peers.
· Becoming known and highly regarded by home furnishings industry retailers, vendors, manufacturers and government agencies.
· Giving back to the industry by helping HFA create new programs and services that will help other home furnishing businesses.

HFA Board Member Obligations:
· Serve a three-year term beginning January 1, 2017 and ending December 31, 2020.
· Attend two board meetings per year (two-day meetings); the Spring Board meeting is just prior to HFA’s annual conference; the Fall Board meeting is in September, October or November.
· Directors also sit on at least one of the Association’s seven collaborative teams and provide ideas and expertise to the teams for the purpose of helping the industry in general, and more specifically, members of HFA. (Meetings are held during the Board meeting and in between meetings via conference call.)
· Network with fellow Directors.

HFA Launches Buying Group Program at Las Vegas Market

Roseville, CA (July 29, 2016)
The Home Furnishings Association (HFA) will launch the HFA Buying Source, a buying group program, during the Las Vegas Furniture Market. HFA Buying Source gives members access to pricing discounts, rebates and term concessions through a program that is included in the HFA membership at no additional cost.
Marty Cramer, HFA executive committee chairman and owner of Cramer’s Home Furnishings, Ellensburg, Wash. said board members are always looking for ways to make membership more valuable. “The new HFA Buying Source program does just that in a very powerful way. It helps members be more competitive and will significantly increase their bottom line.”
HFA Buying Source, managed by AVB Inc., gives members instant access to the buying power of the collective group and helps members become more profitable and competitive in the marketplace.
“In analyzing the HFA membership, we discovered a large number of members did not belong to a buying group for varying reasons,” said Jeff Child, HFA president and president of RC Willey, Salt Lake City, Utah. “The HFA Buying Source has no upfront costs and will be good for retailers of all sizes. The Association is always looking for new and exciting opportunities to help its members be more profitable.”
Retailers can learn more about the HFA Buying Source program during the Las Vegas Market, July 31 – August 3, by visiting the HFA’s Retailer Resource Center, B1050. Visit or contact an HFA membership representative at 800.422.3778 for more information on this or other membership programs and services.

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