Tips For Getting the Best Deals When Furniture Shopping

Are you thinking about purchasing new furniture for your home? Whether you're looking for a comfortable couch or a formal dining table, keep these tips in mind.

Buying new furniture is about more than just finding the perfect piece to complement your decor. Whether you’re looking for a big-ticket item like a sofa or you’re just trying to find an end table, it’s worthwhile to find the best deal that fits your budget.

When a Bargain Loses You Money

First, let’s talk about cheap furniture. There’s no shame in buying inexpensive, flatpack pieces if that’s what works with your budget and lifestyle. However, be aware that these pieces may not last you as long as a higher-quality item. Bookcases are a great example. Cheap ones will get the job done, but they’re typically made from MDF or particleboard, which is both heavier and less durable than real wood.

Couple In New Home Putting Together Self Assembly Furniture
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If you plan to move or you simply live in a home that’s hard on furniture, inexpensive furniture may end up costing you more in the long run when it breaks.

Read More: Budgeting Tips for Your Next IKEA Trip

Have the Right Mindset

Have you heard the expression that you “catch more flies with honey than vinegar”? Always be polite and friendly with salespeople, store owners, and individual sellers at yard or estate sales. You’re not guaranteed to get a better deal that way, but you’re a lot more likely to score a discount if you are nice about it.

Another helpful mindset is being realistic about what you need. Sure, you might want a $3,000 leather couch. But do you actually have the money to buy it without going into debt? Will it suit your lifestyle? Is it way too big for your living space?

Factor in Extra Costs

When setting the budget for your purchase, don’t just think about the ticket price of the item. Beyond paying sales tax, you’ll need to know exactly how much any add-on services will cost. For example, if you want a finish or fabric other than the standard stock, that will cost extra.

You’ll also need to consider the cost of getting the item home. If it’s something that can fit in your car, great! Otherwise, you may need to call in a favor from a friend with a truck or rent one yourself. Many stores also offer delivery and installation for a fee.

Refinish, Reupholster, Repair

My favorite way to get the best deals on furniture is to shop secondhand. It’s possible to find amazing pieces at a fraction of the cost compared to new. In fact, the only thing I prefer not to buy secondhand is a mattress.

When shopping for furniture at yard sales, estate sales, or thrift stores, keep an open mind. An item might have a dated color scheme or need a minor repair. If the savings offset the cost of refinishing, reupholstering, or repairing the piece, then it’s still a bargain!

Why You Should Shop Local

Salesman explaining to woman customer at furniture store
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Local furniture stores often have better prices than national chains. Not only that, but they have more flexibility to cut you a great deal. You can also develop a relationship with the store, which helps if you want to negotiate a price. They may also offer less expensive delivery and installation than their Big Box competitors.

Time It Right to Save Big

January and July are the best months to buy furniture. Why? Because that’s when most retailers will be changing out their inventory for a new season of styles. They’re eager to get last season’s models out the door and will often hold huge sales. We’re talking up to 60 percent off at some retailers.

Holiday weekends can also be a good bet. Many furniture stores run major sales on three-day weekends, such as Memorial Day and Labor Day. Just be sure to check prices before that weekend to make sure the discount is really as good as they claim.

Buy Direct From the Manufacturer

Buying furniture straight from the manufacturer can often save a surprising amount of money. Even if you don’t live near the main warehouse, look for factory outlets for your favorite brands. If you have your heart set on a particular manufacturer, you can also contact them about shipping costs. You might still come out ahead thanks to their low prices!

Their Loss, Your Gain

Overstock sales, warehouses sales, and–sadly–going-out-of-business sales can be your best friend when searching for a deal. When retailers need to move a high volume of furniture in a hurry, you can often get great deals. You can sign up for emails at your favorite retailers to get a head’s up when they’ll be having a stockroom sale.

Young couple selecting together sofa in furniture store to furnish home
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In addition, try asking about floor models and even factory seconds. A tiny dent or nick could save you big bucks!

Don’t Make These Mistakes Online

Shopping online is convenient… but there are some downsides, too. When you’re buying furniture online, measure your space and compare it to the retailer’s dimensions instead of relying on the photos. You should also check to see how much shipping will be and compare it to local prices.

The biggest issue with shopping online is that you won’t really know what you are getting until it arrives. The color might be different than you expected, or the upholstery might not be as nice as you hoped. While you can usually return items, make sure that you’ve read their return policies before you buy. Some retailers will charge for return shipping and even restocking fees.

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