It must be said that when looking for a bargain, looking at furniture factory shop outlets and warehouses becomes a viable alternative.
All the talk about us being out of the recession aside, I want to make my money stretch further. It makes perfect sense: Less “middle-men” to deal with, leads to lower prices on the same product that is marked up by 200% in a super convenience store. But is it as easy as walking into a warehouse or supplier, choosing what I want, and that’s the end of that?
The other day, I browsed through many “super-convenience” stores. The proximity to my house has meant that I can make the most of my weekend after yet another gruelling 5 days at work. Browse after browse, I was struck by the need to buy but I found it too difficult to part with my hard-earned cash – primarily because I could not afford any of the items I would like to adorn my apartment with. This got me thinking, “surely I can find the same quality for a lesser price?” While I am aware that this means a bit of a travel, would it not be worth it?
But laziness gets the better of most of us, so I turned to websites, believe it or not, to see if there was any stock available through Facebook, Gumtree or other listing sites. The problem here – you have no choice over what is available. You may want a 3 seater, ox-blood leather couch, or an 8-seater, yellow-wood dining room table, but you are not guaranteed these items by any means. In fact, you have more chance with “Billy’s” clearance and other junk because he is emigrating.
I came across some helpful tips via http://5starfurniture.co.za which gave me 3 good pieces of advice:
- Ask friends and family for advice and for good experiences they have had
- Look at buying more than one product at a time, to save on delivery costs
- Look at buying from somewhere close-by, also to reduce delivery costs
I used part one of this advice, but I was looking at saving money. Having had enough of the web listings, it was back to the furniture factory shop outlets and warehouses for me. It would appear that I would have to make the journey to the suppliers in order to secure what I wanted.
Depending on what you are looking for will determine the distance you have to travel. Are you prepared to travel? I was for now, and travel I did. Not so much as schlep out to some godforsaken place, but rather to multiple godforsaken places, before I found items that would interest me. Yes it was cheaper, tick; Yes it was what I was looking for, tick; Yes there were guarantees, tick; The delivery charge was heavy, hmmm, but I expected this. No there were none available for several months because there was no stock. But I was told where I could get one just like this. And would you believe it… at a super store 5 minutes from my house, at twice the price.
I headed back to this store, to gaze lovingly at what I really wanted. And then I saw a sign that said something like “Want it now? Why not get it on credit?” Hmmm I thought. I called it a day as I wanted to research more, and I’m glad I did.
I came across an article by Dina Seeger about the pitfalls of credit. In short, the benefit of having the item you want now, does not help you in your financial long-term plan, as you will be paying more for it over a 3 or 6 month period.
So what did I decide?
I still don’t have my item because I am waiting for its availability at a furniture factory outlet and warehouse. I don’t want to pay an obscene amount at a super store 5 minutes away from me. I certainly don’t want it on credit. So I’ll wait.