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5 Ways to Shop for Furniture That Will Save You Money

Let's be honest; furniture is expensive and renovating anything always costs more than they said it would. If we had a dollar every time we heard I want the look of this room, but want to save money doing just that, we would be bazillionaires!
10/09/2014 06:37pm ET | Updated December 9, 2014
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Let's be honest; furniture is expensive and renovating anything always costs more than they said it would. If we had a dollar every time we heard I want the look of this room, but want to save money doing just that, we would be bazillionaires! Here are our top five tips:

1. Shop Online. What most people don't understand is that retail stores have overhead (namely rent and staff) that they have to factor into their prices. Everyone who sells product pays some sort of shipping fees, but by shopping online you generally run into one of two scenarios; a company either has a warehouse (and renting/owning warehouses costs way less than having stores in good locations) or they ship direct from the factory. Either way there are cost savings to be had, and they don't need to inflate retail prices as much as stores do. Of course this will vary from site to site, but online is always less costly than in a store. The more you buy, the more you will save.

2. Warehouse Sales. Buy on sale obviously saves money but that's not the concept here. There are daily deal sites that clear out a lot of excess inventory out of a manufacturers warehouse and claim huge savings (which isn't always the case; they just inflate their prices to look like you save more.) Many don't have the patience to shop this way however so here's a great tip about furniture sales. New product is generally debuted twice a year in April and October so 2-3 months prior companies are trying to make room for the new items. The only way you can find out exactly when is to start asking around, but know these companies are a creature of habit and hit repeat year after year. If you were to, for example, find out bedding was on sale in August, you're going to want to take note of that and look for bedding late July next year!

3. Don't Get Caught up in Brand Names. Odds are you don't know furniture brands as well as you know fashion ones but we will confirm there are only so many furniture companies in the world, and they all knock off each other's ideas to some extent. Gone are the days of the totally new invention! With 400+ lines, we constantly see look-a-like products from one brand to the next. I'll use a fashion analogy to hit it home but if I was in the market for a green sweater, I'd find different styles and different price points but at the end of the day they are all green sweaters. I narrow the options by price, by fit and by quality/feel. The same process applies to buying furniture; lesser known names do not mean lesser quality.

4. Stick to Neutral Colors for Large Pieces. You might love orange, but fewer people in the world like orange than white, black, grey, brown etc. This by no means implies you shouldn't incorporate those colors but understand that the minute you get into larger items and bolder color palettes, the price goes up. Manufacturers sell more neutrals so can produce them at a lower cost. If you want a red, gray and white room, and want to save money doing it, your plan of attack should be to look for sofa's and chairs that are grey or white, and use red as the accent color on items like throw pillows, lamps, decor, even a rug.

5. Free or Low Cost Shipping. It amazes us how many people forget about the cost of getting items home. Sure you can walk out of a store with a table lamp or a pillow, but the majority of furnishings require delivery of some sort and that costs money. The going rate in any city now seems to be minimum $150 for the truck, driver and gas and increases rapidly from there. It's important to compare ALL-IN prices. The lower your delivery costs, the more you'll save.

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