This weekend was a busy one. My wife and I are looking at new bedroom furniture so I spent a lot of time at furniture stores. Visiting several different stores only served to reinforce what most people already know – furniture stores make buying furniture confusing for the customer!
Save Money When Furniture Shopping
Some tricks I’ve noticed stores use:
- Complete Furniture Sets (A): A complete furniture set is not the same from store to store! Some stores advertise a complete bedroom set for $1000. The store next door advertises a similar set for $1200. But Store A’s ‘complete set’ has a headboard and footboard for the bed, and a dresser w/ mirror. Store B has the headboard and footboard, dresser w/ mirror, and a bedside table. If you want the bedside table at Store A, it will cost you $200 or more.
- Complete Furniture Sets (B): Complete furniture sets can be broken up. Some people don’t want the bedside table or a mirror for the dresser. The salesperson will tell you everything must be included in the purchase to get the best price, but when you look at the cost breakdown, each individual item is listed. Furniture stores don’t like selling partial sets because that leaves them with the individual pieces. But if it comes to a customer walking out the door, they will go for the sale 99% of the time.
- Leader advertising: Stores like to advertise a nice looking furniture set at a great price, but they only carry one or two items in stock. They will be more than happy to show you more expensive pieces of furniture, or backorder the item if you are willing to wait a couple months. Stores managers know most people aren’t willing to wait a few months and will be more likely to purchase something else to satisfy their present needs.
- Financing: There is always a financing deal that is “same as cash for 10 years, but this offer is only good through Saturday!” And it starts again on Sunday… Furniture stores are notorious for offering long term financing with 0% interest. Most of the time they are hoping you miss a payment and then get stuck with a retroactive 28% interest rate. My theory is this – if the store will sell you something for $1000 at 4 years 0% interest, why wouldn’t they be willing to sell it to you for less if you pay on the spot? Negotiate to pay less to pay on the spot, and use your rewards credit or debit card to get cash back.
My wife and I haven’t bought anything yet, but I know that when we do, we will do our best to negotiate a good price in addition to delivery and set up. I’ll write more about the negotiation process when we actually make our purchases.