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Furniture Buying Guide

Before making a furniture purchase, or even starting the furnishing shopping process, the most important question any furniture buyer should ask herself is: “What are my furniture needs?” Specifically, are you looking to buy an heirloom quality home furnishing -- furniture that could be handed down to your grandchildren, or are you looking to furnish a room economically with less expensive, high-quality home furnishings? Answering honestly will ensure a pleasant furniture shopping experience, remove buyer’s remorse, and alleviate many of furniture shopping headaches.

Though it may behoove you to stop in a local high-end furniture showroom, “just to see what they have,” oftentimes you’ll end up falling in love with a piece well outside of the your realistic budget – that’s where the trouble starts. Especially at contemporary furniture or modern furniture showrooms that are typically known for their expensive designer pieces.

To complicate matters, many high-end home furniture retailers offer numerous “flexible” purchasing options for shoppers to entice cash-starved customers to pony-up for high-priced furnishings. Customers are able to finance large purchases with “no interest” payment terms or “lay-away” plans to offset the large cost of the furniture. Be careful. Consumer credit advocates recommend avoiding extenuating contracts for purchasing home furniture, as consumers oftentimes get behind in payments, or grow tired of the furnishings they’ve financed once the items have been paid off. Since styling and furniture trends change often, it’s prudent to buy furniture outright, and pay for in full at the time of purchase.

What’s the moral of the story? Ask yourself honest questions, and more importantly, do some price shopping and research a discount furniture store or two. Find a local furniture outlet, but don’t be afraid to use the Web as tool in your search. There are now many online furniture stores that are trustworthy, and many more that offer better service, quality, and pricing than their local counterparts. If you do find cheap furniture that’s of good quality and within your budget, be sure that the discount furniture store has responsive customer service. Follow these guidelines, and in the end, you’ll end up one happy furniture buyer.

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