Money

4 Ways to Save Big While Furniture Shopping

Jonesing for a new loveseat, coffee table, or bedroom set? Now’s the time to get it! Home goods stores slash their prices ahead of spring to make room for all the new inventory that’s about to arrive. Read on for our top furniture shopping secrets to scoring the pieces of your dreams — for less!

1. Compare Store Prices for Up to Half Off

Fell in love with a pricey sofa? Another store could be selling it for less! The proof: When secret shoppers from Consumers’ Checkbook. compared furniture prices at different retailers, they found that prices varied by as much as 50 percent for the exact same pieces!

Search the item’s name at Price Grabber or upload a photo of it to Google Images. You’ll get a list of showrooms that offer the same or similar item along with its price. If you show the manager the lower price you found, many retailers, such as Ashley Home Store, will price-match.

2. Look Online to Score a Deal

Before you head off to a specific furniture store, visit a coupon site, like RetailMeNot, and do a search for the retailer’s name. Some national chains, as well as some local independently owned shops, also offer coupons on their own sites, whether it be a percentage off of one item or off your entire purchase.

Another smart way to save? Sign up to receive newsletters from your favorite furniture stores — many will offer a discount in exchange for your address. For example, you’ll get 15 percent off at Pottery Barn and West Elm.

3. Ask to See the ‘As Is’ Selectio

Once you arrive at the showroom, ask a salesperson to point you toward the “as is” department. Most furniture stores have one (usually way in the back), filled with worn floor models, returns that have been slightly damaged, and new pieces that were scuffed during shipping. These tables, couches, and chairs are still perfectly functional — but cost 10 to 25 percent less than the original price to make up for the dings. Many times, these blemishes aren’t obvious or can be easily covered up, but inspect furniture carefully since “as is” items typically can’t be returned or exchanged.

4. Save $300 Just by Asking

Think the price tag on furniture is the price you have to pay? Maybe not! One study found that 89 percent of shoppers who asked for a discount on furniture got one, saving an average of $300! That’s because store owners would rather sell an item to make room for new stock than have it take up valuable floor space — and the markup on furniture allows them wiggle room to negotiate. For the biggest price reduction, keep in mind that stores are more likely to slash the price of discontinued styles, colors, or fabrics.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine.

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