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Pros Help Make Big-Ticket Buying Easier

By SHELLEY

HANSON

Staff Writer

WHEELING — Buying a big-ticket item, such as sofa, bedroom suite or even a fireplace can be fun for some and daunting for others — all the more reason to have a professional salesperson who can help one through the process.

Christian Miller, manager and vice president of Chris Miller Furniture, 1122 Market St., Wheeling, said his sales staff guides customers through the process in a one-on-one manner, from picking the furniture, fabrics and accessories to go along with it.

It helps, he noted, when you have sales people who are experienced.

“We have very little turnaround as far as employment. We’ve had sales staff with us, some for 20 years or even longer,” he said.

Many longtime, repeat customers will even seek out their favorite salesperson to deal with.

The shop also helps its customers coordinate matching lamps, pictures and other accessories to decorate one’s home. Though its does not sell pre-made curtains, Chris Miller does sell fabrics by the yard that people can purchase and have made into curtians elsewhere.

“We have very courteous staff that works for the needs of the customer. A lot of people come in and don’t know what they want — or they think they do,” Miller said.

For example, people want to purchase a large sectional sofa for their living room, but may also actually have room enough for a regular-size couch.

“Some people are looking for comfort. Some want looks. We have to combine those things,” he added.

The Ohio Valley is home to several other longtime furniture dealers including Wilson Furniture in Bridgeport, Carolina Furniture in Martins Ferry, Ferguson’s House of Furniture in Wintersville, Wayside Furniture in New Martinsville, Value City Furniture in St. Clairsville and more.

When it comes to buying specialty items, such as a fireplace, it also helps to be able to discuss it with a professional salesperson. One specialty shop — Fireplaces ‘N’ Fixins, 1211 S. Zane Highway, Martins Ferry — can help customers choose from a variety of heating stoves to suit one’s home. It offers fireplaces that run on electric, gas, wood or pellets, along with outdoor fireplaces or grills.

According to the company’s website, known as the “House of Fire,” Fireplaces ‘N’ Fixins was founded in 1977 and began with a simple idea: “Keep folks warm and service what is sold to keep the customers coming back.”

“We’ve grown considerably over the years, but our mission is still the same–to offer the best hearth products on the market so that our customers can have a comfortable, cozy home,” the website states.

Cody Saltkield, sales supervisor, said the process begins with determining what a customer’s needs and wants are regarding a fireplace.

“The main thing is finding something they like the look of and updating them on it. Even the fireplace industry changes as much as the cellphone industry does,” he said. “When I work with somebody it’s a very detailed process — we’re making this your fireplace from top to bottom.”

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