Shopping for furniture is something you cannot avoid, even though avoidance is something you’d much rather do. Off the top of our heads, we can think of at least three reasons why you might not want to ever have to go furniture shopping; pushy sales people, high prices and a selection that’s so big you become overwhelmed and unable to make a decision as to what you actually want. It happens to the best of us, don’t worry. Shopping for furniture is a hassle, and waiting for delivery is even worse.
The good news is that while you can’t change everything, you can change the prices you pay when you go shopping for furniture. We can’t get you free furniture, but we can teach you how to track down great furniture discounts, sales and pieces that are priced much lower than their counterparts. We’re just really good like that. Before you go furniture shopping, take a few notes. Or just print out this article and keep it in your pocket for reference. And repeat after us: I will not pay full price for my new furniture.
Shop on Holiday Weekends
Furniture is grossly overpriced in most stores (mattresses more so than anything else) so we suggest that you make your purchase on a holiday weekend so that you can get a price that’s marginally closer to the actual cost of the furniture. Most furniture stores want their shoppers in the store on these weekends so that they can sell their items by offering discounts. It’s a great time to shop, and it’s even possible that you can get an additional discount while you’re in there on a holiday weekend. Why? Well, we will tell you how to do that later, but salespeople rely on these sales and these weekends to help increase their commission, so it’s a good idea for you to head in there and work with what you have. They want to make a sale, a less expensive sale is better than no sale.
Don’t be Afraid to Negotiate
The most important thing to remember when furniture shopping and looking for a discount is that you’re not going to get it if you don’t ask. For some reason, people are terrified to ask sales people for discounts or negotiate the price of furniture because they don’t want them to think they’re annoying or cheap. Hear me out; this is the person that’s following you around the store annoying you to no end. You’ll never see them again; so what do you care if they find you irritating or cheap for asking for a discount? You don’t; so let’s get started.
Find what you want and check out the price. Check out the package price and the individual price of each piece in the package. Consider what’s being asked and what you think that each piece is worth. Now talk to your sales associate. Ask your associate if they’d be willing to offer a discount. Say, 10% off the total price of the entire package. They might initially say no, so ask if you can speak to a manager. This might help by either getting you a manager who can make decisions such as these, or by getting your sales associate to take you seriously.
You can ask for anything you want in terms of a discount, but be prepared to negotiate. You might want to start with a bigger discount for two reasons. One, how awesome if they give you that big discount from the start, and two; it gives you more space to negotiate the price when they come back with a different offer.
Ask for Freebies
If a furniture store won’t give you a discount, then ask for some free stuff. Sometimes this can add up to a lot more than your average discount on furniture. For example, if you’re buying an entire bedroom set for the master bedroom, ask the salesperson to toss in a mattress pad and those great lamps from the display so that you can have them free of charge. You might be surprised just how often this is effective, and you might be surprised to find out it’s nothing for the sales person to offer you these items, which can sometimes cost in the hundreds of dollars range.
The simple solution for most discount furniture denials is simply to leave. Walk right out of the store and head home so that you can get the discount you want, or at least walk away knowing you tried. The second you try to walk out of the store, you’re going to realize that you have the upper hand. The sales associate is going to see the commission he or she makes off you walking out the door and will suddenly seem a bit more inclined to help you receive the discount you want. You might even find that your sales associate calls you later based on the personal information with which you provided him or her and offers you a discount after you’ve left the store.
It’s sometimes true that the power in shopping lies in your patience. If you’re patient enough to wait a few days, you might find that your ability to walk out of a store is going to be your best asset.
It’s important that you keep in mind that you may not get the discount you want when shopping for furniture, but it’s not that difficult to get a discount in general. Walk into a store with an open mind, perhaps even bring some paperwork from other furniture stores that will allow you to show them that other stores have a lower price (Maybe this store price matches) on the same item to see if they’ll offer you a discount. Consider that an offer of free shipping or even a free coffee table is a nice discount. It might not come in the form of a dollar amount, but that doesn’t mean it won’t come in the form of something else.
Photo by Daniel Lynch/British Heart Fondation via Getty Images