When funds are tight, furniture shopping can feel overwhelming no matter what your budget, it is even more so. You fear making mistakes and having to live with those mistakes for years to come. Resist the lure of cheap, particle board pieces from the discount catalog pages. They will never look like the photos, and they will warp within six months. Learn to recognize quality construction and hunt down the best places to buy furniture on a budget in your city.
You will find furniture in many different styles, but you might not find exacty what you want on the first at consignment stores. Ask how the sales work, and do not be afraid to make an offer. You might get an extra discount if a piece has been there for a while. Consignment stores vary, but you will usually find fine furniture for far les than the cost of new, and remember that new furniture is used as soon as you get it home anyway.
Shopping for furniture at antique malls might be right for you if you enjoy an electric and collected look, you will not find matching suites of furniture. Expect to find everything from valuable antiques to vuntage fixer-uppers. Antique malls tend to use the word “antique” loosely.
Flea markets, yard sales, estate sales, and thrift stores are amazing resources for budget furnishings if you can make fast decisions. You might have to attend for a few weeks to find exactly what you want, but you will pay nearly nothing once you find it. If you learn to haqqle you will pay even less. Look for quality construction but do not be afraid of furniture that needs simple repairs, a coat of paint, new hardware, or some refinishing. Those are easy.
If you are looking for a few specific pieces because you can browse the listings in online classifieds without driving all over town, they are perfect. You are buying from local sellers and you do not have to worry about shipping costs. The good stuff goes fast, so check the listing several times each day for the best selections, and makes sure you contact the seller as soon as you see something you like.
You may enjoy furniture shopping at auctions if you enjoy a fast pace. Get there early enough to inspect the goods before the auction starts if you go in person. Read the product description, shipping costs, and pour over the photos before making a bid for online auction sites like e Bay. In both cases, set your limit before bidding. It is easy to get caught up in the competition and blow your budget.
Furniture stores sometimes the best option and they are usually the first stop for most shoppers. Even die-hard vintage shoppers need new pieces in some cases, like a mattress or a reading chair that supports the back. Watch for no-tax sales and discontinued items. Ask if the store has a scratch and dent area. Many furniture stores offer free interior design service to buying customers, including house calls, floor plans and room presentations.
Furnishing a home gets pricey whether you live in a tiny studio apartment or on a sprawling estate. That does not mean you have to live with empty rooms or ghastly family discards until you have a bigger budget. Instead, buy inexpensive furniture that suits your space and style without looking cheap.
Decide on your furniture priorities before you set foot in a store. Determine your priorities. You can not afford second thoughts with a small budget. Is having a home full of matching, trendy furniture a must? If it means you can get better quality at a lower price, are you fine with used furniture? Do you enjoy antique and vintage furniture styles? Are you willing to make cosmetic changes, such as painting, refinishing, and reupholstering?
Visit manufactures’ outlets for catalog, chain and department stores pieces at reduced prices if you are shopping for new and newish furniture in styles ranging from classic to trendy. Browse their online equivalents as well, as well as sites that sell discontinued and overstock furniture from a variety of manufacturers and shop the right sourses.
If your local furniture stores have scratch and dent sections where they offer old floor samples and slighty damaged pieces at reduced prices, find out. You may also find furniture bargains by shopping online auctions, as long as the shipping price does not drive the final price up too high.
Maximize your efforts by targeting neighborhoods most likely to have the types of furniture you are seeking if you opt for yard sale shopping. Shop apartment heavy areas filled with young professionals or college students if you are looking for trendy catalog pieces. With the latter, the end of the spring semester is the best time to shop.
It is easy to walk into a new furniture gallery and buy everything you need in one trip when you have all the money in the world. It does not work that way when you are furniture shopping on a tight budget. Pay regular visits to manufactures’ outlets, local scratch and dent rooms, thrift stores, antique malls and consignment stores to watch for new arrival.
Treat the wait time as a chance to develop a personal style and discover what you really like. Resist the urge to buy a bunch of things you do not like just to fill the empty spaces. Instead, buy the right pieces as you find them. You will have to sacrifce quality to get it cheap if you rush out to buy trendy new furniture. You may have to settle for laminate instead of wood, and the furniture that will not last forever.
Make sure scratches and dings are shallow enough to fill before refinishing, and avoid pieces with missing or chipped veneer. Make sure doors and drawers open smoothly, and look for dove-tailed drawers. Look for solid backs on chests, bookcases, and armoires instead of chipboard. Opt for sturdy pieces that do not wobble or shake, and make sure furniture legs are not split.
Keep an eye out for pieces you can convert to other uses as you shop. You can turn a cluster of old shutters into a room divider if you add hinges. An antique carved mantel could make a great headboard if you do not have a fireplace. A short bedroom chest might make a fabulous addition to your entry hall if you paint.
Most sources are open to a bit of negotiation and you will not have much luck haggling on price at catalog and department stores. Haggling is standard at flea markets, antique malls and garage sales. At local furniture stores, thrift shops, outlet stores and consignment stores, discounts typically depend on how long thay have had the pieces in question. If they have not had many responses, classified sellers may lower the price.
Ask the sales office when they will remove the furnishings if you see a model you like. Ask where they sell their pieces. You might even be able to buy a roomful of furniture, coordinated by a designer. And you will get the pieces well below market price. Beware of fading, spots, or wear and tear.
Do not expect to find exactly what you want or need. You might have to be creative and adpt what you can find to what you need. Do not buy a piece if you will need to do much work on it. Think about your skills and the time you have and the space you have to work in. Learn to see pieces for the details and lines they have, not just for what you can put in them.
It is not just first time homeowners who have to find budget furniture. In fact almost everyone, at one time to another, had to furnish a home or aprtment on a budget. You have to find ways to stretch your mini budget without sacrificing your taste for nice things. You are surprised to find out how many places there are to find bergains.
If you see a beautiful teak table instead of the mahogany desk you need, thing about refinishing it and adding filing drawers. A period side table can be painted and moved into the bedroom. See if your neighborhhod has some of these sourses for budget furniture.
You might be able to walk next door and find just the piece you need. What your neighbor is getting rid of may be just the piece you need. Always bring cash, look for defects, and be ready to negotiate on the price when shopping at a garage sale. It is usually expected and you can often get a great bargain.
Also consider to find the sales that are often advertised in local newspapers if you are going to find the design center showroom samples. Most large cities have design centers and merchandise marts that have “sample sales” monthly or quarterly where discontinued furnishing that have been used as showroom samples are sold.