I shop for a living. I am continually looking for the best solutions to create highly organized, beautiful and extremely functional homes for our busy, professional clients. Often I am searching for retail solutions for our Designer For A Day services too. So I thought I would pass on the Top 5 things you should never do when shopping for your own furniture:
- Do not buy from a retailer that offers 0% down and / or 0% financing. This may be tempting for you because you want everything and you want it now. However, they do this because they are building in the cost of financing into their furniture pricing up front. They are selling you items at a huge markup and are taking advantage of your lack of patience in the hopes that you don’t recognize the terrible deal you’re getting. This is not free money!
- Do not buy everything brand new. Make your choices carefully. If you have to buy some things at places like Target or Ikea, then do so, and make your choices carefully. If you can purchase gently worn wooden (not veneer) pieces and have them refinished, you may have these pieces for a lifetime. Do not rush. Do not buy “garbage” if you can avoid it (at least for your large purchases).
- Do not wait for a sale. Why? Because sales are just a false vehicle to drive traffic. These are prevalent during holidays and some stores advertise they are closing – again and again – just to promote the sale. If you have a good salesperson and a willingness to negotiate, you can get these prices almost any day. The exception is the floor model. This is where you can get a smoking hot deal. Start at 50% off of the regular price and be happy with 30% – 40% off. This price is not much more than they originally paid for it!
- Do not leave home (or hit “BUY” online) without a list of measurements! If you purchase a sofa that cannot fit in your front door, you are responsible for the purchase AND the delivery cost.
- Do not believe that the free “design consultant” the retailer offers is not getting commission on every.single.thing he or she sells you. You may simply be looking for a single piece of furniture and find yourself with what looks like a showroom for that store.
One final piece of advice is to consider buying really bad or really good furniture. I call the bad selections “disposable” furniture because you know you really want it only a year or two so it does not need to have a high level of quality. However, if you buy real wood furniture and upholstered items that have solid framing, you can repair, refinish and / or reupholster for years to come.
If all of this overwhelms you, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We have resources to provide you with furniture purchase – and services that can advise you on furniture purchases. You’re not alone in this process!