Furniture Buying Guide
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Published by TOP4 Team
Next to our vehicle and house, furniture is probably one of the biggest expenses we have and is one set of items most of us would love to get at lower costs. The question is: how do you do that? How do you save money when you are purchasing furniture?
Buying furniture for your house doesn't have to be a nightmare or extremely high cost. Read these tips before you go to nearest furniture retailer and you will save your money and time.
1. Before you go to furniture shopping, decide right away the minimum of what you need to purchase for each room in your home. A detailed list of items will be helpful. Also, add sizes, color and style preferences to the list. If you have a spouse or roommate(s), make sure you make these choices together.
2. Come up with a budget. Decide on what you are willing to spend and don't go over that amount. It may mean making more than one trip to look for sales and such, but in the end it will be worth it as you won't have spent more than you can afford to.
3. Shop at furniture wholesalers, liquidation and discount stores. Doing this will save you a lot of money. While there are sometimes minor flaws on these pieces, they are often flaws that anyone will not even notice.
4. Shop at thrift stores. Here is a surprising fact: people get rid of high quality furniture all the time. Some storage places will clear out high quality items from their storage areas that have been left behind by people who did not keep up their fees, or others decide they have to have new furniture every couple of years, even though there is hardly any wear and tear on their older furniture. Whatever the reason, you can often find bargains on nearly new furniture at second-hand stores.
5. Buy your furniture from a furniture warehouse where the sales clerks are paid on a commission. Sometimes you can bargain with the clerk and find out that if you purchase more than one piece of furniture you can get a better and bigger discount.
6. Shop for furniture at the end of the month. Many retail companies that sell furniture operate on a month-to-month basis. They make decisions about which furniture lines they are going to keep, and which they are going to close out. Sometimes you can get a really good discount if they only have one of a furniture item, and want to get it out of the store quickly so they can replace it with a newer, higher cost item.
7. Some large furniture warehouses offer you a discount when you apply for their in-house credit card. Take advantage of this if you can, apply for the card, get your discount and then pay off the card right away with the money you were going to use to buy furniture anyway. This way you accrue no interest, and you lose no money.
8. Buy furniture on sale. The biggest times for sales for furniture are January and July, so if you begin shopping around those times, you can get some great bargains.
9. Purchase your deck and outdoor furniture in August. By the time August rolls around, most people are not looking to purchase outdoor furniture because Fall, and the colder weather is just around the corner. If you purchase your outdoor furniture at this time when stores are discounting it, you'll have new furniture for the following Summer when others are shopping for it and paying the higher prices.
Beside these tips, there are also many common mistakes that many buyers made when they select furniture. You don’t want the same mistakes happen to you. Try at least to read and avoid these following mistakes:
1. Forget to measure your new furniture
Always measure the room ahead before buying to see if your new furniture will fit on it. You will be amazed at the number of furniture purchases that never make it into a home because the buyer neglected to measure the furniture or forgot to consider hallways, elevators, doors and stairs.
2. Ignoring the scale
A sofa that looks perfectly fine in the store might look too big in your room, or not big enough. It is hard to judge when you’re looking at a picture or seeing it in a showroom. Also measure to make sure that your new piece matches the scale of the furniture you already own.
3. Ignoring the color
A color that doesn’t look very attractive in the showroom could feel the same way in your home. You should also bring home a color sample or a pillow to see how it would look in your own home. Also, when buying on the internet, be aware that sometimes the color on the computer looks totally different with the real one. Request a fabric and color swatch as many companies will provide one if possible.
4. Paying too much attention on temporal trend
The best piece of furniture to buy is the one that you will feel comfortable with it for years. That means for color, as well as style. Trends can come and go very quickly, so look beyond a few months of joy. Instead, consider to purchase furniture that truly appeals you and will look good (or better, think of one of those classical couches!) even years later.
5. Ignoring who will really using the furniture
Before you get some furniture, make sure you know how it will be used, and who will be using it. If you forget to “small” factor of children, pets, and snacks while watching TV, you could be heading for wasting-money-for-expensive-stuff-disaster again. Your beautiful scarlet colored new sofa will be no match for dirty hands, soiled feet or muddy paws. A gorgeous-glass coffee table with a delicate finish will not last too long when you have people putting heavy things on top of it.
6. Not testing the furniture before buying
When buying a bed, sofa or chair, you should always test it and judge for their quality. There is always a chance that very good looking sofa may turns out to be so uncomfortable that you never want to sit on it again. Your furniture should make your life more comfortable and easier, not worse. Try your sofa in the store before you decide to use it at home (that means lying down on it too). If you are buying furniture on the Internet, go to the actual store and try it out first. Don’t forget to open and close drawers and doors on cupboards to see if they work properly.
7. Buying furniture on hasty
Hasty buying is one of the biggest mistakes people make when shopping for furniture. Sometimes the price seems irresistible, other times the piece looks just too good to pass up, or you might be in a hurry to make your place look good in time for the impending arrival of guests. Resist the impulse to avoid reckless decisions.
8. Asking too many opinions
When you consult too many people, you will find it harder to narrow down your choices. Never take along an entourage when shopping for furniture. It drives the salespeople crazy and you won’t get any benefit from five different people offering wildly divergent views. If you don’t want to go alone, go with the person whose judgment you trust and less likely to argue with your choice.
9. Not asking for help at all
Contrary with the previous mistake, this time you do it all by yourself. I mean all. Notice that the salespeople are there to help you and they might be able to offer advice and suggestions which can help you to make a better purchasing. While the final decision will be yours, when you are not consulting them, you might not even get a good idea of all the options that you have. Incidentally, it is a better idea to go shopping on weekdays so that you can get a salesperson’s full attention. Weekends tend to be busy and distracting when you need a salesperson’s full attention.
10. Paying too much for your furniture
When purchasing furniture, there are plenty ways to cut off expenses. For example, you always have the choice of waiting for special sales. You can ask whether the store offers any special discounts, especially if you are purchasing several pieces of furniture altogether. Avoid “Buy now, pay later” offers, as you can end up paying very high interest rates if you can’t pay it all later on.