Furniture is a huge investment, and picking up good pieces can easily run you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
In truth, there are many ways to get high-quality, long-lasting furniture for much, much less money than you might imagine.
All you have to do is look around a bit, and think before you whip out the wallet and spend away.
Why blow your entire life’s savings on one couch when you can…
Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk isn’t just for diapers and soda anymore.
As you know, many grocery items are available at places like Costco or Sam’s Club in giant bulk packages for far less than they would be if you bought the items one at a time.
This practice applies to furniture shopping as well. While you COULD buy a sofa, a loveseat, a couple chairs, and a coffee table separately, you’re going to pay full price for everything if you do.
That is, if you don’t go broke halfway through.
Instead, get all of those items at once, as part of a pre-set package.
You’re likely to spend hundreds of dollars less this way, and you’re also guaranteed that everything will match.
Unlike what some people think, Craigslist isn’t filled with nothing but horrible products and scam artists.
Sure, there’s a lot of that stuff, but there are also some legitimately good items up for sale there, including furniture.
People are moving, or they recently refurnished their house, and they need to get rid of their old stuff fast. That’s where you, and your moving truck, come in.
The trick here is to not fall for the scams.
Ask real questions, and if the answers you get are vague or fishy-sounding in any way, don’t pursue further.
Ask to see the furniture before you buy, so you can inspect to ensure they’re in good shape and that they’re what was advertised.
Then, once you’re satisfied that everything is on the up-and-up, pay the seller and enjoy your awesome new furniture.
Just because a store sells furniture, doesn’t mean that they have to sell expensive furniture.
There are plenty of discount furniture warehouses out there that specialize in selling other companies’ inventory for prices far lower than you’d get first-hand.
Maybe too many pieces were made. Maybe a few of them have ever-so-slight imperfections that would keep them off the showroom floor.
Either way, finding these warehouses can mean quality furniture, not to mention big savings, for you.
If you don’t want to deal with Craigslist or other online outlets, you can always try flea markets.
Contrary to the stereotype of flea markets being filled with nothing but junk, there’s plenty of good stuff available to those who really look around.
Much like with dealing with Craigslist, as long as you ask the right questions and inspect your potential purchase thoroughly, you’ll come away with great furniture at a tiny fraction of the original cost.
Build Your Own
Of course, if you’re really handy-dandy with tools and your bare hands, you can always make your own furniture.
Supplies are always going to be cheaper than finished products (after all, you’re paying for the convenience of somebody else making furniture for you,) and you can make your homemade furniture as plain and or as exquisite as you like.
And then, if you’re ever ready or willing to sell it off, you can do so at a ginormous profit.
After all, if you bought $50 in supplies to build a TV stand, and then sold it for $100 later on, that’s 100% of your money back, plus a 100% profit. No way can anybody say no to that.
How about you, Mint community? What are some of your favorite tips for wallet-friendly furniture shopping?
Mary Hiers is a personal finance writer who helps people earn more and spend less.