Another reason is that when you shop in person at a store, you have the ability to negotiate on the price and get the best deal you can – something which is usually not possible in an online purchase. This factor is even more present when you have a salesman helping you that works on commission. There are several ways and places to get new and used furniture at clearance prices in your local area, as discussed below.
Just like clothes, the furniture industry has seasonal patterns, where new items and lines come out at scheduled times during the year. Furniture retailers start selling next season’s new furniture styles in February and August, thus you’ll find the best deals before then. This biannual cycle means you have two guaranteed times to buy at lower prices – during January and July, when items being cleared out at up to 60% off regular price. Also, extra high discounts are offered on clearance items during President’s Day and Labor Day weekends.
Even when it’s not during the regular clearance times as discussed above, most furniture stores will sell certain items at a large discount. These items include floor models, returned items and imperfect pieces. Another is an incomplete set, such as a dining room set with only three chairs instead of four. Always ask about these when shopping at a furniture store.
Larger furniture companies and department stores usually have furniture warehouses in areas where they have retail locations. These warehouse periodically will have public sales to clear out overstock, lightly damaged items, returned items and so forth. If you find your area has such warehouses, inquire about any upcoming public sale.
While unfortunately many advertised ‘going out of business’ sales are not legitimate and just hype – there are stores that are really going out of business and sell off their remaining merchandise. This also applies to furniture stores. Most cities and county governments require a permit to advertise and hold a legitimate going out of business sale. Such permit holders and the details regarding them are public record, so check with your local government.
If you don’t mind buying used furniture, then you can get very good deals by shopping at local thrift stores. Organizations such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, local religious and civic organizations and others run such thrift shops. Some of them have a very large selection of furniture items in good to excellent condition at very reasonable prices. Plus your purchase money will go to help a good cause.
If you look at your local major newspaper, you often can find announcements about public auctions. These announcement notices will usually tell you what kind of things are being auctioned off. Very often furniture is included in these items. This is particularly true for moving company warehouses and public storage room auctions, where contents being stored are being auctioned off due to unpaid storage fees. You can also ask local storage places directly about upcoming auctions. This is probably the cheapest way to buy furniture, but requires “hunting” and patience.
Real estate development operations often have furnished models. Usually the furniture is of high quality and almost in like new condition. When the development is all but sold out, they start shutting down their sales office and the models, and will sell off the furniture in the models at very good prices. Look for ads in the real estate section of local media saying that they have only a few homes left to sell.
Sometimes when people move, they will sell off their furniture rather than move it to their new location. Often this furniture is in very good to excellent condition and many of these sellers will sell for cheap, so it’s a good way to get an excellent bargain. Look for “moving sales” rather than “yard sales” – because yard sale items are usually not in such good condition.