The beauty of shopping for furniture at a brick-and-mortar store is that you can test-drive the goods. But if you are willing to trust a manufacturer's promise that its sofas do not feel like upholstered bricks, then you might be interested in scoring a better deal shopping online directly from the maker. 

That's what a new Chicago-based company, called Waveland & Clark, is counting on. Started by Chris Min and Ryan Scarpelli, both of whom have worked for furniture importers for many years, this e-commerce site sells sofas, beds, tables, chairs, and casegoods produced at the same factories where items headed for big-name retailers are made.

The silhouettes are modern, the photography on the website is great, and the prices are fair. The 111-inch McClurg sofa, shown here, is $1,999. A similar sofa at BoConcept starts at $2,795. But, the proof is in the plop-down. Do you sink in and say, "ahh"? Or do you land with a thump and say, "nah"? 

 Waveland & Clark stands by its product, offering a free return policy within 10 days of delivery. The company picks up any rejected item and refunds the purchase price and taxes.