Before you buy fine furniture, take the time to do some research.
Consider the space that you have available in the rooms you are furnishing. Have a tape measure handy and a list of the measurements that you want for each piece of furniture while you’re shopping. In addition, think about doorways, stairwells, the availability of elevators and balconies for moving furniture into your home. An oversized mattress box spring might need to be “split,” or cut in half, by the store. An oversized couch may not be an option unless you have an oversized door!
If you’re buying for a home office, look for fine furniture that’s well-built, ergonomically designed and suited to your work needs. If you’re buying furniture for your home, look for comfort, durability and solid construction. Make sure to ask about available days and times for delivery before you make your purchase; you might get your furniture delivered more quickly you include it in the deal. And, find out how long it will take to complete customized design or alterations. Many companies, like www.FirstatHome.com will customize orders from swatches or even photographs. We’ve used Danny Madrid at FirstatHome who is exceptionally friendly on the phone, works with you through multiple design iterations if need be and ensures that you’re satisfied.
Doug Melvin of Boise, Idaho talks about price shopping and getting the best deals on fine furniture and Robert Beeler of Davenport, Iowa tells Stuff about Furniture about financing options and researching companies and store policies before you buy.
Before You Buy Fine Furniture: Comparing Furniture Prices and Alternatives, by Doug Melvin of Boise, Idaho
Before you buy fine furniture, there are a few things that you should consider. Keep in mind that furniture financing options may make a difference in how much you spend. You may have a year or more to pay off a large piece of real wood furniture or a furniture set. But stick to your furniture budget regardless of available financing options. It’s all too easy to fall in love when you’re buying fine furniture and very easy to fall for “no payments for 5 years” rhetoric; in the end, you always pay, either through higher prices or higher interest rates. Set your emotions aside and don’t overextend yourself. Even if you’ve found the “perfect” furniture set, comparing prices at other stores or websites may yield a better deal or at least grant you leverage in negotiations.
Compare Furniture Prices Before You Buy
Compare prices for furniture online and in stores before you buy. And, ask friends, family members and business colleagues for their recommendations about where to buy furniture. Questions to ask might include: Do you feel like you got the best deal when you bought your real wood furniture? Where the retailers service-minded or did they forget about you after you wrote the check? Did you compare prices for similar pieces of furniture with other retailers? You might unearth some issues that you hadn’t contemplated that will help you make a more informed furniture purchase.
More Ways to Get the Best Prices on Furniture
June and July are traditionally the months when indoor furniture goes on sale. Conversely, compare prices for patio furniture in the summer and winter and you’ll quickly find that costs are cut in the winter months. You can avoid middlemen when you buy furniture directly from a manufacturer, such as www.firstathome.com. You’ll get the benefit of the manufacturer’s low overhead costs and the highest quality furniture at rock bottom prices. Buying unfinished wood furniture is also another alternative to saving money for a quality piece. You’ll have to seal, stain or paint the wood yourself but sweat equity costs nothing.
Alternatives to Consider When Comparing Furniture Prices
Consider the pros and cons of buying used furniture made of real wood. You may get a better deal by buying used furniture as long as you can live without a warranty. Outlet malls sometimes have great deals on real wood furniture, especially in January and July. Be aware that the furniture for sale in an outlet mall may have been returned, so carefully check it over for any defects and ask the salespeople if they know the history of the piece.
Financing Furniture Options: Getting the Best Deal by Robert Beeler of Davenport, Iowa
Get the best financing deals with some tried and true furniture buying tips. To save money, look for sales and “same as cash” financing options for larger pieces of fine furniture before you buy. In this case, you’ll have months- or years- to pay off your purchase before finance charges begin to accrue. It also might be worthwhile to get a store credit card before you buy furniture. You can use the credit card to get free financing and to take advantage of extra cardholder discounts.
Wheeling and Dealing Your Way to Better Prices on Real Wood Furniture
Don’t be afraid to ask for a better price when you’re thinking about spending a lot of money on real wood furniture in one store. Furniture stores often offer on-the-spot discounts, especially at the end of the month when they need to make their sales quotas. Make sure to clarify that you still want to finance the furniture for same as cash or zero percent financing regardless of the deal.
If you buy furniture online, ask about financing options before you make your purchase. Make sure that you understand and agree with all shipping and handling costs, including costs to return the furniture if necessary.
When You’re Ready to Buy Fine Furniture: Finding the Right Retailer
Make sure you find a reputable furniture retailer when you’re ready to buy. Find a furniture company that produces each piece of real wood furniture in their own factory warehouse. They’re very knowledgeable about the furniture they create, they use superior craftsmanship in their designs and they can offer great deals by selling directly to you.
You should only work with furniture companies that provide top-notch customer service. You’ll get a feel for this quickly when you call to compare prices on furniture. Look for furniture retailers who employ helpful, friendly, informed salespeople and customer service representatives.
Research Your Furniture Retailer to Find Out More
Research a furniture retailer’s reputation before you buy. Check the Better Business Bureau to see if any reports have been filed against the company. Online message boards, customer testimonials and recommendations from friends and family can also tell you a lot about a company’s reputation. And if you’re buying real wood furniture online, look for indications that the website is secure. This should be clearly indicated on the furniture company’s website.
Furniture Return Policies, Warranties and Guarantees
Find out what sort of warranties and guarantee a furniture company offers before you buy. Make sure the furniture warranty and the guarantee suit your specific needs and address your unique concerns. You should be able to return furniture or get a replacement if it arrives with any sort of defect. Look for lenient return policies that allow you to return the furniture if it wasn’t what you wanted. Note that custom made pieces and sale items may not be returnable. Finally, keep all of your receipts from your furniture purchase; you may need them in the event of a return or for the warranty.
We thank our contributors:
Doug Melvin of Boise, Idaho
Robert Beeler of Davenport, Iowa