Pure happiness. I'm currently snuggled into the corner of my brand spankin' new sectional. Feelings of accomplishment and excitement overwhelm me. This was my first time purchasing a sofa, or any furniture for that matter..... and, no, the disposable plastic junk from Target doesn't count. I put a lot of time and thought into this purchase, and I am super pleased. I also learned a few lessons along the way that I would like to pass along. Here are 10 tips to help YOU save money and avoid regret as you hunt for a new sofa.
1. Look up every furniture store in the vicinity, map them all out on google maps, and aim to visit each one. That way you'll never worry about what else might have been out there. It's like dating, right? Jk. Include consignment stores, furniture rental places, department stores, and wholesalers. A lot of these places have brand new pieces to sell or great deals on slightly used pieces.
2. If the salesman says, "The gates of heaven opened when I saw your beautiful eyes," then make it clear right away that you will NOT be needing his help. Otherwise prepare yourself for a tour of the furniture store filled with slimy compliments and sexual innuendos.
3. If a salesperson won't leave you alone, they're probably just trying to get the commission off of your sale. Solution? Ask for their name or card. That way they'll feel more secure about getting credit for your potential purchase.
4. Shop prepared. Bring a tape measurer AND a map of your space with measurements, windows, doors, and cable outlets noted. Carry around a tape measurer like you're Carter Oosterhouse (see left) and you might appear more informed..... even if you're a 22 year old girl wearing a sundress who whips it out of their Coach purse.
5. You should never have to pay for delivery. If the salesperson wants your money, they can get you free delivery. It's almost always a concession that managers allow their salespeople to make. Most of the time they throw this offer in as a last attempt to close the sale.
6. Take pictures while you're shopping. Take 1 photo of the storefront, take 1 photo of the furniture itself, and then 1 close up of the tag that displays the fabric and price.
7. When they ask you how much you're willing to spend say, "For everything, taxes and shipping included, I would like to spend ____." Otherwise they will jack up the price with last minute service/delivery charges.
8. Try to forecast what you would buy 5 years from now. Can you see this piece of furniture fitting into your life long-term? I almost bought a pimp-sleigh type of giant circular chaise lounge, but then I realized how impractical this would be.
9. Think about who will use this sofa. If a sofa has pillows as the back it might look more plush in the store, but when you have guests over they will undoubtedly feel awkward trying to make themselves comfortable. Imagine that you're entertaining a boss or your future in-laws and they are struggling to plop their rear on a pile of pillows. And if you ask me, too many pillows = total cuddle killer.
10. Before you buy, search the product number online for a better price from the wholesaler. Thanks to my friend, Matt, I was able to get the same sectional and ottoman online while saving $183! Not bad.
Happy shopping! Pictures of my new place to come soon!