When you need to replace an old couch or dining room table, you have many options. Many people, however, do not like the idea of used furniture. For them, used furniture means dirty and damaged furniture that must be cleaned and repaired. Furniture from a thrift store or garage sale means furniture that always smells like someone else’s house and maybe, just maybe, has bedbugs. But what if the retail prices for new furniture put it out of reach? Here are five suggestions for finding and paying for new furniture:
Special Promotional Sales
Furniture sales happen several times per year, usually timed to holidays. President’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Christmas, and “year end” sales are annual events at many retail furniture stores. Furniture stores occasionally need to reduce inventory to make room for newer styles. Comparison shopping and tracking the prices of furniture that appeals to you may pay off when it finally goes on sale.
By some measures, the retail markup on furniture is about 80%. This means that an $800 couch may have only cost the retailer $445 at wholesale. This also means that even when furniture goes on sale for 25% off, the retailer is still making a healthy profit. While it is not customary, retail furniture stores do have room to negotiate over the price of furniture and it never hurts to ask.
Going Out of Business Sales
Retailers go out of business with unfortunate regularity. In the first half of 2019, almost 7,000 retail stores went out of business. But their loss can be your gain. Stores liquidate their inventory before closing the doors because it is often cheaper to make deep discounts on remaining inventory than to pack it up and ship it to a liquidator. Keep your eyes open for local store closings and you may be able to find furniture at a healthy discount.
Wholesalers, Discounters, Outlets, and Liquidators
Wholesalers also need to reduce inventory occasionally and open their doors to the public. You may find older styles at wholesalers, but the furniture is new and much cheaper than retail prices. Discounters rely heavily on factory seconds (goods that were rejected as defective) and can sell furniture that has only minor defects, some of which may not even be visible, at discounted prices. Discounters also sell overstocked furniture or furniture on the down swing of a demand cycle, such as summer furniture in the fall, at a discount compared to the retail price.
Factory outlets are stores typically operated by the manufacturer. By cutting out the retailer, factory outlets are able to offer the same furniture at lower prices than retail stores. Liquidators buy inventory from retailers that have gone out of business and resell it. Because liquidators buy goods for pennies on the dollar, they can resell them at deep discounts.
Even when you find furniture you like at a discount, you may not be able to afford even the discounted price. For example, 40% off an $800 couch still means paying $500 or more after sales taxes are added and most people do not have $500 saved for a large purchase like furniture. Options available for financing for furniture include store credit, credit cards, and lease-purchase programs.
Store credit often requires credit approval, whereas financing for furniture using lease-purchase programs does not require credit approval since lease-purchase programs are a form of no credit needed financing. Likewise, although credit cards are popular, credit cards may not be among the possible finance options when the buyer has bad credit. For these reasons, financing for furniture through lease-purchase programs may be the only possible option for bad credit financing.
In lease-purchase programs, the lessor purchases the furniture from the retailer and leases the furniture to you. You then pay the lessor to keep and use the furniture. At the end of the lease, you will own the furniture. By using a lease-purchase program for financing for furniture, you immediately get exactly the furniture you want while only paying a lease amount for a period of time rather than the full amount up front.