Buying furniture is typically one of the most expensive purchases you will make. According to the market research firm Pulse, the average household spends 8.8% of their total annual income on furnishing their home.
Purchasing new furniture doesn’t need to be this expensive. There are ways that you can reduce your costs without sacrificing on quality. By following the tips below you will discover how to purchase great furniture without having to spend a fortune.
Tip #1: Buy at the right time of the year
Most companies introduce their new product offerings in February and August. This means that stores need to make room in January and July for the new lines. Buy in these months to pick up some great bargains.
Tip #2: Compare prices online
In the past finding the best price might have involved driving all over town.
Not only does this waste a huge amount of time, the fuel costs can eliminate any potential savings. These days the internet has massively simplified the process of comparing prices.
One good place to start is “Google Product Search” which quickly provides price comparisons for furniture across different retailers.
Another good option is Price Grabber which includes reviews, coupons and weekly specials. E-Commerce Amazon also has a great range and allows you to quickly look through many different retailers products. Finally Overstock.com offers some excellent bargains on overstocked furniture items.
Tip #3 Consider classifieds
Sites such as Gumtree, OLX and JunkMail classifieds often contain good quality furniture either for a low price or sometimes even for free. People who use classified sites are often moving and just want to get rid of furniture as quickly as possible. This also means that they may be willing to negotiate on price just to have the item out of their home.
These sites are particularly good for wooden items such as shelves, desks and drawers. Look for furniture that is made from solid wood and avoid particle board items. Upholstered furniture and mattress’s can be problematic and so are best avoided.
Tip #4: Haggle on the price
Furniture has a high mark-up and so retailers are almost always willing to negotiate on price. Before you begin haggling do your research. When looking online print out the price and description for the item that you are interested in buying. Ask the retailer if they can do better than the price that you have found.
Tip #5: Try garage sales
Garages or yard sales can produce some real bargains. Finding good furniture at a garage sale is a little like a hunting for treasure and requires a fair amount of patience. Try to find multiple garage sales in a single area to cut down on travel time.
Tip #6 Second hand and factory stores
Factory stores in South Africa sometimes have very good quality furniture. As do Second hand shops.
Some experts believe that the period between 1910 and1940 was the best for manufactured furniture. Many of these items have fallen out of the owner’s possession as they have either passed away or moved into retirement homes. If you prefer a modern look to your furniture then the style may not be to your taste but in terms of quality it is difficult to beat.
Tip #7: Think about where you spend the most time
If you have a limited budget you want to make sure that you spend the most money on the furniture you will use the most. If you spend your time at home studying or working at your desk then this is going to be a priority. If you prefer to relax in front of the television then the sofa and entertainment centre will be your priority.
The other area where you should be willing to spend more money is the bed. You use 8 – 7 hours a day and so it’s important that it is comfortable and supportive. Allocate a little more money for the bed even it means sacrificing on some other items.
The key to buying good items at an affordable price is researching carefully and taking your time. A quality piece will last years or even decades so you should try to not rush your purchasing decision. Finally be sure that you actually need to purchase new furniture before buying. Re-upholstering a sofa or varnishing an old set of shelves is usually less expensive than purchasing a new item.