There are several obvious places where to hunt for the best bargains in furniture. Still, some of the insights mentioned here may help you find the furniture deal you are truly looking for.
There are several obvious places where to hunt for the best bargains in furniture. Still, some of the insights mentioned here may help you find what you are truly looking for.
Double Purpose Furniture
Beat a space squeeze, and purchase two pieces of furniture for the price of one with multifunction furniture. Find tables that change from low (at the sofa) to high (for dining) by just nipping the base, or a hutch or china closet having a fold-out dining surface. Trunks or cedar chests could function as tables, with enough room inside to store linens, games, crafts projects, and so on. Futon furniture folds to act as a chair or sofa, or unfolds to a bed. These pieces are particularly handy if you move frequently since they adapt to many spaces.
Bidding for a Bargain
Regrettably, it's rare that you will find a "steal" at a country or estate auction. Antique furniture dealers spot the best things, too, and occasionally they bid high having a particular collector in mind. All the same, you can save about half of what a store will charge on practical, everyday furniture—perhaps a piece that requires refinishing or slip-covering. But be cautious. Never bid on a piece you have not checked first during the preview (typically held just before the auction). Evaluate its prize (including repairs or reupholstering) and decide how much you'll pay. An honest auctioneer sells damaged goods "as is" or points out their flaws.
Also be mindful of bidding fever. When the dealers have left for the day, impatient buyers will try to make up for lost time by getting something they don't truly want or by paying more than it's worth. Never act emotionally. And don't seem too eager about something you're desperate to have. When bidding gets close to your preset limit, act as if you've lost interest to discourage competing bidders. Next, as others drop out, and when it's still inside your limit, make your final offer.
Don't be too proud not to visit Salvation Army, Goodwill, or charity-run thrift shops. Sometimes you will be able to find used furniture here in good repair for just a fraction of its original cost, and yon can feel good knowing your money will go to a good cause.
Country barns bursting with secondhand stuff, even furniture, are often cold and dirty, but they are filled with a bit of everything. Shopping here is much like a treasure hunt; the proprietor might not know what he has. Even when he does, feel free to haggle. And be prepared to pay in cash. Most owners of secondhand shops will not deal with the hassles of credit cards and are suspicious of checks. You can get a better furniture bargain if you pay in cash.
Garage sales persist to be America's favored way to recycle. The furniture you find here must be priced one-third to one-half of the retail price or even lower, based on wear and tear. Again, these are cash-only deals—and be ready to haggle. Tip: If the garage sale is set up each weekend, you're dealing with pros—they're in business, they're not just cleaning house—so don't expect to find real deals.
Getting Paid for Your Old Furniture
Consignment stores profit from both buyer and seller, and you could be both. These locally managed outlets get furniture on consignment, turning part of the selling price over to the previous owner, and keeping the rest as commission. When an item is slow to sell, a lot of consignment shops mark the price down automatically—20 percent off after the first month, for example, so you might find some real bargains here
Why Not Try a Kit?
Kit furniture is a Shaker concept that supplied quality furnishings to isolated settlers. Today, kit furniture brings that same quality to our homes. A lot of the kits available are reproductions or versions of museum pieces, or pieces in traditional styles. When you purchase kit furniture, you get the gratification of playing a role in the craftsmanship, yon pick out the wood's color and finish, and you pay a lot less than you would for like pieces in furniture stores.