How to Save Money on Furniture

by David Ning · 6 comments

Sooner or later, even if you start out with hand me downs from your family, you are going to want to buy some of your own furniture.

The first thing you must do when saving money on furniture is to determine what you actually need. There is no need to buy a sofa if a love seat will do, and frankly, most people never use a coffee table, so don’t get one if you have no use for it. Also, remember that there is no rule stating that you have to purchase matching pieces; eclectic is in.

Next, make sure you have accurate measurements. If you have something delivered and it doesn’t fit, you will end up paying to have it returned plus re-stocking fees. It’s also worth noting that big doesn’t always mean better. If your rooms aren’t huge, buying smaller furniture will look nicer and save you a few bucks too.

Also, evaluate your doorways. You may have room for a sectional sofa with nine pieces, but it won’t be quite as satisfying in your garage when you can’t get it through your doors.

New or Used?

Purchasing used furniture can save you a great deal of money. Your best options are to search online sites like Craigslist where people post things they wish to sell. You can narrow your search down by location, eliminating the need to travel far to pickup the piece you wish to purchase.

When dealing with furniture you see online or a thrift shops, find something in good condition that doesn’t smell of smoke or animals. Remember, that smell will fill your home once you bring the piece inside, so it’s better to be safe than sorry later.

Don’t settle for a visual inspection of the top of the item. Turn over sofas, chairs or tables and look at them from underneath. You can see if repairs have been made or breaks have occurred better from the bottom because no one really cares if the glue line is showing there.

On tables, give the legs a little tug, nothing rough, but just enough to see if the legs are stable. Check sofas and chairs to see if the fabric underneath has been moved and re-stapled. If the item passes the “smell” test, and appears to be in good condition, see if you can negotiate a better price.

New furniture offers fewer negotiation options. Your best bet is to find what you like and wait for a sale. As the year ends, many stores are tying to get back into the black so you will start to see great deals. 0% financing over a period of time is a great solution if you can’t afford to pay for an item outright. The savings on financing can really add up if you purchase more than one item at a time. Since penalties for late payment are usually fairly stiff, be sure not to overextend yourself.

Another way to save money is to borrow your friend’s truck and labor. Stores charge for delivery, and if you can manage it yourself, you can save the fees. For a pizza and a couple of beers, you may be able to move in all your new furniture.

Finally, regarding new furniture, quality pays; cheaply made furniture won’t last and isn’t worth investing in.

Online Sources

If you really like a particular brand, check the Internet before you buy it at a store. Outlets and factories may sell the item for less, or offer free shipping. You can also spend some time online comparison-shopping without even stepping out your door, that way you know what to expect when you arrive at the stores.

Furniture is a big investment. Purchase classic designs, shop around and take your time. In the end, you will find something that fits your budget and your style.

Another week, another post from the How to Save Money on Everything ebook. Get your free copy today by subscribing to the free newsletter.

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  • Slackerjo says:

    I think the biggest mistake is buying an entire suite of furniture, ie, the living room suite, the bedroom suite. Usually the cost of an entire suite is high, the quality low, and financing may be required. I find it better to buy pieces here and there. My dresser (garbage find) does not match my bed (IKEA) but the two compliment each other.

  • George says:

    I’ve actually found incredibly nice furniture for FREE on Craigslist.org. Also, I ask around about furniture to my family. Usually an aunt or grandmother has a piece of furniture sitting around that I can grab for free.

  • Evan says:

    The one thing that I learned when furniture shopping (new) – EVERYTHING IS NEGOTIABLE.

    I was shocked to find out that a little negotiating saved me 10%.

  • Cd Phi says:

    I think used furniture is a great idea. It also adds a bit of vintage to it as well…I always check out Craigslist and local ads for great deals on furniture because not only is it local but it’s also a good, affordable deal.

  • Craig says:

    Being younger I want to have nice furniture but its not a big deal for me. Getting some stuff on craigslist has been much cheaper and pretty decent stuff as well. I also took some extra furniture a friend has that they weren’t going to use. Save money anyways you can.

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