If you use furniture grade fittings, you will notice that the fittings are nice and white and glossy, whereas your pipe is dull and tan/yellowish. The yellowing is cause by UV breakdown in the PVC, and normally happens outside due to interaction with the sun, but can also be caused by the fluorescent lights in most stores.
You can make standard PVC pretty by ‘glossing’ it. This takes away the dullness and makes it match the glossiness of the furniture grade fittings. It does not help with the yellowing however. You need to read my section on ‘Painting’ PVC pipe to make it match the pure white color.
There are two methods to ‘gloss-ify’ the pipe:
Liquid Tire Shine: This is the best method. This lasts for months (if untouched). All you do is spray some liquid tire shine (use the liquid in a spray bottle, not the spray can) onto a paper towel and apply it to the PVC pipe. Voila! Super shiny! The problem with this method is that is makes it INCREDIBLY slippery and very unsafe if climbed on or used as any type of foothold. But it looks great!
Mineral Oil: You can, with a paper towel, apply mineral oil to PVC pipe to give it some shine. The problem with this method is that it only lasts until the mineral oil evaporates, and depending upon your humidity could be a month, or could be a couple of hours.