Secrets About West Elm That Only Savvy Shoppers Know

West Elm is a well-known retailer offering furniture, housewares, and decor. According to Fox Business, West Elm is owned by Williams Sonoma. The large in-store and online housewares company created the West Elm Brand in 2002, seeking to attract those looking for sustainably produced and budget-friendly home goods.

Today, West Elm's success greatly contributes to the overall growth of profitability of Williams Sonoma. However, it was not always like this; West Elm didn't become a profitable company until 2010 when Jim Brett — the company's new president — started making impactful changes to the brand and its products.

Smartscrapers shares that there are over 100 West Elm stores across the United States. California, New York, and Florida have the greatest number of stores, representing about 30% of the total locations across the country. Even if there isn't a physical West Elm store near you, you can always shop online and have your order delivered directly to your home. However, before you start your online or in-person shopping spree, there are a few secrets about West Elm that you'll want to learn to ensure the best possible experience.

Signing up for The Key Rewards can help you save

West Elm is one of several brands under the Williams Sonoma parent company. Williams Sonoma is also the owner of Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Teen, Pottery Barn Kids, Williams Sonoma Home, and Mark & Graham. The Key Rewards Program gives members the opportunity to save when shopping with any of these brands. When you sign up to be a member of Key Rewards, you'll qualify for the Silver Rewards Category.

Silver Rewards members can earn 2% back in rewards when they shop at West Elm or any of the other Williams Sonoma brands. You'll also enjoy special member-only offers, earlier access to sales, and more. Signing up for Key Rewards is easy and free; you'll simply need to enter your name and email address on the website and create a password for your new account.

If you want to enjoy even greater benefits, consider signing up for a Key Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card. Cardholders receive 5% back in rewards when they shop at West Elm or other Williams Sonoma brands. They also earn 4% back in rewards for grocery and dining purchases, along with 1% back in rewards for any other purchases made with the card.

West Elm and Key Rewards is also offering a special offer for opening a credit card account. You can choose to receive 10% back in rewards for your first 30 days as a cardholder for all purchases made with one of Williams and Sonoma's brands. If you'd prefer, you could select 0% APR financing for 12 months.

West Elm offers free one-on-one design services

Stuck with how to decorate or layout your space? West Elm's Design Crew may be able to help you. The store offers consultations with a professional designer for free. You can request a virtual or in-store appointment to chat with a designer, share your goals for the space, and receive feedback on the best products to help you achieve those goals. After your appointment, your designer will also follow up to share additional product recommendations, color and fabric switches, mood boards, estimates, and more.

Depending on your location, you may even be able to request an at-home appointment. With this appointment, the designer will come to you to take pictures and measurements of the space and chat about what you're looking for. As with the other design consultations, the designer will still follow up with swatches, plans, product recommendations, and a price estimate after your appointment.

If you have a quick question or need more immediate answers, West Elm's website also offers a free design chat. Share your question with the expert, and you'll get a quick answer to help you complete your shopping trip.

The Design Crew Room Planner can help you choose the best furniture

Chatting with a designer can be helpful, but many of us enjoy putting our own personal touches into our homes. You may want to design your own space and hand-pick each element, but doing so without actually being able to see the items in the space can be challenging. The Design Crew Room Planner can help you make your own designs and ensure that the West Elm furniture pieces you like will look great in your space.

With the Room Planner, you'll start by creating a replica of each room by entering its dimensions. Once the room is set up, you can drag and drop West Elm furniture to see how they look in the space. In addition to West Elm furniture, you can also add pieces from Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and other Williams Sonoma brands to create your dream space. Arranging the furniture around using the tools will help you come up with an ideal layout.

Knowing when to shop can help you get the best deals

If you don't urgently need the furniture or home accessories you're interested in, it could pay off to wait a while for the best time to shop at West Elm. The chain runs sales at different times during the year, and if you can wait to buy the pieces you want, you could save some money. While the specific dates of the sales can vary from one year to the next, Money Pantry shares some of the company's common sales dates and events to help you keep your costs down.

Towards the beginning of the year, typically in January, West Elm holds their "White Sale." Customers can save on items like towels and linens during this sale. Sales are also generally held around major holidays, such as President's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

Along with these savings events, West Elm tends to run a different special each month. For example, one month you could find discounts on furniture, while the next month decor items could be marked down. Checking back on the website regularly — or signing up to receive emails about special promotions and sales — can help you spot the best deals.

West Elm has a local-made program

As shared earlier, when he took over as president, Jim Brett helped turn West Elm into a much more profitable and successful company. One way improved the product selection available through West Elm turning to local craftsmen. According to Fast Company, West Elm, under Jim Brett, made a big change in 2013. The company committed to working with local artisans to source and sell $35 million in handmade goods over the two years that followed.

Today, West Elm's partnership with local artists and craftsmen continues. When you visit the Collaborations page on the website, you can see an overview of the different local artists that they work with. Clicking on a particular artisan's name will give you information about the company's location and the types of products they offer. You can also shop their products through West Elm on this page, or follow the link to visit their main website.

West Elm offers open box deals

Savvy shoppers love finding the best deals. The West Elm outlet is certainly a section of the website you'll want to visit if you're looking to save money. Here, you'll find some open-box deals. These open-box deals for furniture and decor items in the outlet are pieces that have been purchased and returned by another customer.

All sales are final for open-box deals, but these little-known West Elm secrets represent an opportunity to receive a deep discount. Many of the products currently on the outlet page are discounted by 50% or more. While open-box items may not be in perfect condition — some may have scratches, light wear, or parts that require some tightening — they represent a nice opportunity to save money.

When you're shopping on the outlet site, you can scroll through all the deals to see if anything catches your eye. Or, if you're looking for something in particular, take advantage of the sorting and filtering options that West Elm offers. You can filter by category (such as furniture, outdoor, garden, etc.), by product type (chair, sofa, curtains, etc.), room, material, color, and more.

Business owners can save 20% on West End furniture for their offices

Are you a business owner looking to furnish your offices? If so, you may be interested in joining the West Elm Business to Business program. As a member of this program, you'll receive a range of perks, including discounts of at least 20% on purchases. There are no minimum quantities, so whether you're looking to outfit a multi-floor office space or only have a few employees under you, you'll be able to purchase as much or as little as you need.

West Elm Business to Business members also receive dedicated support from a West Elm team member for your project. Your contact can provide you with quotes for an order, offer information about the different products that are available, support you in placing the order, and arrange for installation and delivery once everything is ready. Some of the different furniture items you can choose from include office chairs, desks, and storage pieces.

West Elm dealt with serious furniture shipping delays during the pandemic

Furniture delays were very common during the earlier days of the pandemic. According to Vox, with more and more consumers looking to outfit their homes and make them more comfortable during quarantines, along with supply chain issues that impacted the availability of parts and materials, several furniture manufacturers were experiencing long delays. However, West Elm products seemed to be even more impacted by delays than some other manufacturers.

As Vox shares, several consumers waited months — sometimes six or more months — for their pieces to arrive. In addition to the long wait times for the furniture pieces they wanted, and often really needed, several West Elm customers also complained about poor communication from the company about the status of their order. Some said that they tried contacting West Elm via phone or email numerous times to no avail. If they did get through to talk to someone, the information received was not always accurate, or they would need to escalate the call to a manager to get any sort of real answers.

If you need something quickly, check out the in-stock and ready to ship items

While West Elm may not be facing the excessive shipping and delivery delays they were earlier in the pandemic, many of their pieces are made to order and can still take a month or more to be delivered. However, you can avoid these potential production delays by focusing your search on items that are ready to ship. When you hover over "Furniture" on the West Elm website, clicking on "In Stock & Quick Ship Furniture" will take you to a page of pieces that can be delivered in a more timely manner. Quick Ship items are available for delivery within 1 to 5 weeks.

Many home goods and decor items are also available to be picked up in-store. If you have a West Elm nearby, you could save the hassle of waiting for a shipment to arrive by checking to see if in-store pickup is an option. Some of the Quick Ship furniture pieces may also be available at your local store for pickup, but any of the made-to-order pieces will need to be shipped and delivered.