Knowing where to buy furniture is half the battle. Since we don’t do it often enough, we don’t know the best stores.
Unfortunately, we can’t just hop online and know that those prices are the best. Online isn’t necessarily the cheapest way to buy furniture. That’s because furniture is bulky. Shipping is expensive. Though having no sales tax (if there’s not a physical location in your state) is a bonus.
Furniture is also personal. This means we usually like to try our furniture out in person. To see if it’s comfortable. To bounce up and down on it. So, that’s another reason we must still consider physical stores. That’s why we’re listing and describing the best places to buy furniture — online and then in-store. Because the battle between buying furniture online vs. offline remains a contentious one.
For this post, we’ll help you know where to buy furniture. We will mention IKEA but only for a moment. Again, my focus is on affordable furniture and then quality and then design. As they say, function before form!
Where to Buy Furniture Online
Note: some of these online retailers also have physical locations. But, locations are few and far between. Online is where they dominate.
According to Internet Retailer Magazine, Cymax is one of the top 200 online retailers. This company is hot right now. It’s only just begun growing rapidly, which is why you may not have heard of it — not because it’s a forgettable store. Cymax offers fast and free shipping on thousands of products and offer daily deals. Definitely check them out.
2. Great Deal Furniture
The Great Deal Furniture motto is ‘Design for All, Luxury for Less.’ Normally they charge for shipping. But, on certain occasions (the day of writing this, actually) shipping is free. They allow customers to rate products and leave reviews. This makes navigating the site easy and informative. It feels a lot like Amazon.
3. Value City Furniture
Value City Furniture has a stellar website, a large selection, and a frequently updated sale page. Definitely check them out if value is what you’re after. The company is much more about offering affordable furniture than staying up with the latest design trends.
4. Best Priced Furniture
Best Priced Furniture offers free shipping on everything, anywhere in the continental United States. The website offers tons of useful filters if you know exactly what you’re looking for. This site is awesome. It’s good for people in a hurry… like me, pretty much all the time.
5. World Market
World Market has the motto, “Unique, Authentic, and Always Affordable.” The site is almost as fun as bouncing on beds. Seriously, the site has lots of unique stuff. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find an ornamental birdcage that was first used by Colonial bird merchants to bring their birds to market. Friends reference, for the win.
If you have been wondering where to buy furniture, you’ve probably checked Amazon. But, maybe not! If you go to the furniture and decor category on Amazon, you’ll have over 9 million furniture choices. Sort by price. I use highest-lowest. And, move down until I get in a low (but not too low) price range. Going from high to low keeps you from getting results for weird things like key rings from the 1990’s with pictures of couches on them. You know what I’m talking about.
The return policy with Amazon is 90 days. Even more importantly, there are 900,000 items you can buy that are eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime.
Tip: Everyone gets a free 30-day trial of Prime. That’s usually enough time to order all of your furniture.
Ah, the underdog to Amazon. But, overstock.com’s furniture store is a very good place to find affordable furniture. There’s free shipping on everything over $50 (continental United States only) and easy returns. You simply must (I sounded like a rich person just then) check Overstock.com when looking for competitively priced furniture deals.
8. Sauder Furniture
Sauder Furniture appreciates the joy of affordable style. The company says it’s a place for customers who, ‘Thrive on thrifting but don’t want to skimp on style.’ Sauder furniture is also sold at Walmart and Wayfair. Proof that price doesn’t always denote quality. Wayfair is a super expensive place to buy furniture — even if it offers free shipping. They gotta pay for all those HGTV ads somehow!
The furniture comes ready to assemble and comes with a five-year limited warranty. It’s like IKEA without as many furniture-inducing headaches. Or the meatballs. But who needs meatballs?
9. Huffman Koos Furniture
Huffman Koos offers ‘Designer Furniture at Discount Prices.’ Out of over 250 reviews on consumeraffairs.com, the company has a four-star rating. That’s pretty good for an industry where it’s hard to please every customer. The company has been around for over 50 years. It does have some physical locations but only in New Jersey, NYC, and one location in North Carolina.
10. Shop for Used Furniture! Try Craigslist & Wallipop
Knowing where to buy furniture may be as simple as knowing about Craigslist! You can save SO MUCH MONEY when shopping for furniture on Craigslist. It takes some shopping savviness but you can get good deals on quality furniture. Some people almost give away furniture rather than deal with a drawn out selling process. Help them while helping yourself.
A good rule of thumb when buying furniture off Craigslist is to only buy things with hard surfaces. These can easily be cleaned. These are things like tables, desks, lamps, end tables, shelves, cupboards, dressers, bed frames, stools, bookcases, hutches, chests, umbrella stands, filing cabinets, safes, wine racks, wardrobes, patio sets, etc. Quite a selection. But, for soft surfaces like cloth couches, cloth chairs, mattresses, etc. — buy new.
Be sure to always do the deals in a public place. Unless the seller is offering free delivery. But, check out the person and item in person first if that’s the case. If the person seems a bit off, forget about it. Another leather sofa will get posted soon.
Wallipop is pretty much what Craigslist would be if Craigslist had kept with the times. Wallipop is an app that lets sellers simply shoot a pic, post it, chat with buyers, and then get paid. It’s much faster than using Craigslist. Craigslist or Wallipop are both great places to find furniture.
Where to Buy Furniture Offline
If you want to know where to buy furniture that you can try out beforehand, the following will help. These stores have websites but offline is where they dominate. First, browse their selections online. Then you can go in-person to try everything out. Make sure to see if the item is listed for a lower price either on the website or in the store. Ask and you should be able to get whichever price is lower.
And when in-store, don’t take your pants off and crawl under the sheets. Boom. Two Friends references in one post.
11. Ashley Furniture
I believe in honesty and not sugar coating anything. With that said, Ashley Furniture has horrible reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com. Out of 524 ratings, Ashley Furniture has an average rating of one star. But fear not. Target, Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club, and most large retailers have one-star ratings on that site.
There are deals to be had.
With all of these peeved customers, that means things are getting returned to the store. Buying returned items can save you TONS of money. So, as long as you’re a savvy shopper, you can still find quality items and enjoy the experience. Because really, if you know what you’re looking at and it’s at a great price, you’ll do alright. Ashley Furniture started in Wisconsin and is now the largest United States home furnishings maker and retailer. Shop online or I’m sure there’s a location near you. Just be smart about what you buy.
HomeGoods has nearly 500 locations. HomeGoods focuses on stocking top brands from around the world. They claim they do it for 20 to 60% less than the average department or specialty store. They actually do seem to put a ton of work into finding products at low prices so they can pass on the savings. The store has a very upstart feel (in the best possible way) even though it’s well established. Check them out for sure. The same company owns T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, Winners, T.K.Maxx, A.J.Wright, and HomeSense — which some furniture deals can be had within those stores as well.
La-Z-Boy is known for comfortable recliners. Turns out they sell more than just that (although a boring looking recliner is their best seller). They offer chairs, ottomans, tables, and more. The styles and products are limited. But the products are quality pieces at Middle America prices. Affordable furniture and a name brand don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
14. West Elm
Westelm.com offers Pinterest-worthy furniture. The furniture feels very… Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper on HGTV.
They offer a free design service and a blog, which is neat.
It’s not the lowest cost furniture store. But, it focuses on clean design and the company uses a social and an environmentally conscious business model. You feel good supporting this store. Focus on value, not the lowest price possible.
15. Sears (Or Better yet – Sears Outlet)
On your quest for discovering where to buy furniture, you may not have thought of Sears. Sears is old. If you haven’t heard of them, you must live under a rock. And, if that’s the case, why are you buying furniture?
Sears isn’t doing so hot financially but maybe that’s because their prices are so low. It’s a top place to buy low-priced furniture.
Even better than Sears, here’s a secret. Go to Searsoutlet.com. The stuff is the same quality but SUPER cheap. I won’t explain any further. Just click the link. Do it. This is perhaps my favorite way you can find affordable furniture.
16. Big Lots
Big Lots has over 1,400 stores in the lower 48 states. They also offer a good website. Now, shopping at a store like Big Lots takes a certain eye. You have to choose the good looking, quality products. Not everything sold in a massive store like this is the same in terms of style and value. Go bounce on some beds. And, if you don’t have an eye for design or value, bring a friend to help you sort the beauties from the beasts. See other stores very similar to Big Lots and read about the Big Lots coupon policy.
This is a great place for anyone wondering where to buy furniture. What doesn’t Costco do, right? Costco offers every type of furniture under the sun. And, if you decide you don’t like something — that’s when the lifetime return policy comes in handy. Notice that warehouse items must be returned within 90 days. You do need a membership to buy furniture in-store. But, online, you can buy without one, although you get hit with a 5% surcharge. If you don’t have one, a Costco membership pays for itself very quickly.
18. American Signature Furniture
American Signature Furniture has a fair amount of physical store locations. I prefer their online option. It offers what they call knockouts. These are quality items that are currently priced really low. Although the selection is just okay, the knockouts make this a furniture company worthy of our list.
19. Sam’s Club
Where there is no Costco, there is a Sam’s Club. I love their website + the 90-day return policy. Besides Costco, that’s the best return policy you’ll find.
You don’t need a membership to shop online, but you may pay more for certain items (10% service fee). I also love how the site functions like Amazon. You can easily sort by price and product rating. A Sam’s Club membership pays for itself quickly as well. Costco and Sam’s are very similar.
20. IKEA Can Be Okay
IKEA can actually be okay. It depends on your furniture goals. If you’re on a budget and like to be trendy, consider this furniture. Because by the time it crumbles, it will likely be out of style anyway. If you’re looking for long-term value, avoid IKEA. You probably already know this.
Bonus: The Warren Buffett discount.
If you buy a share of Berkshire Hathaway stock (even a B-share that trades at about $200), you get four passes to the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting. It’s held in May in Omaha, Nebraska every year. With your pass, you also get employee pricing at Nebraska Furniture Mart during that weekend. Many people shop for furniture over the weekend and have it shipped home. It’s a fun event, regardless. It’s often referred to as the ‘Woodstock of Capitalism.’ If you like shopping and personal finance, it’s a can’t-miss event. I try to go every year.
Tips for Getting Your Money’s Worth
Finding the best place to buy furniture is worthless if you don’t make good choices while you’re there. Here’s how to make sure you’re an informed shopper:
Determine Your Needs
What’s your lifestyle? Do you have kids? Pets? Filthy roommates? Will you be moving soon? Is this your forever home? Find furniture that matches your lifestyle. Knowing where to find affordable furniture is worthless information if the furniture you choose doesn’t fit your lifestyle.
If you have kids, you’ll probably want a spill-resistant surface such as real or faux leather (sometimes known as ‘pleather’). It makes that bottle of Juicy Juice much easier to clean up. If your roommates are slobs, you may again want something that’s easy to clean as well. If you have pets, you may want to match the color of your furniture to the color of their hair. A white cat and a white couch go well together, for instance.
If you’ll be moving soon, consider buying cheaper furniture. Then you can throw it on Craigslist when you move rather than packing it. If this is your forever home — go crazy with finding what you want. Just make sure you’re buying the item because it makes sense.
Consider Your Entire Space
Well designed rooms have themes. What’s yours? If you like Mission furniture, go Mission with everything. If you like a contemporary feel, buy contemporary furniture. This makes sense but some people forget to think long-term. The most costly mistake when buying furniture is to keep having to buy new furniture when you realize your furniture isn’t matching and that irritates you. Think big picture. It’s like when remodeling: It’s best to save up and do a room at once instead of tiny fixes here and there that result in redoing the work you did previously. Like painting the window trim one month and putting in new windows the next.
Shop at the Right Time
Sales!!! You hear about furniture sales all the time. A few times per year, I see mattresses in the median of the interstate. That usually means there’s some sort of furniture sale going on. The guy probably wanted to keep his man-card by bringing the furniture home on his own.
Knowing when to buy furniture is nearly as important as knowing where to buy furniture. Take advantage of the many sales throughout the year. The biggest days for furniture sales are Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Holiday Sales, and End of Year sales. This is nice since they are pretty evenly spread throughout the year. You don’t have to wait for Black Friday. Also, remember where to buy furniture that won’t be a mad house during the holidays.
Ask About Damaged/Floor Models
Damaged models are ones that have dings and/or scratches. Or, they may have just been opened and returned. Usually the damage is minimal, there are rarely any problems. I had a friend who got a couch for a big discount just because it was damaged. Apparently. It looked new to me. I think there was a scratch on a leg.
Floor models are the ones we all try out. We try them out, we see what they’re like. Brick and mortar furniture stores offer big discounts on floor models. That’s because they’re sold with some use and usually without the pretty packaging. But, this is the most economical way to buy furniture. It’s kind of like buying a car that’s been test driven and not one that’s fresh off the assembly line. The difference is negligible.
Ask and you shall receive. Try asking for a discount. As Consumer Reports outlines, 89% of people who haggle report receiving discounts. Yet Americans don’t like to haggle. Just try it if you’re doing this in-store. If doing this online, you can still try. Call customer service and see what they can do. It’s surprising how open businesses are to negotiating. Thinking back, I’ve been 100% successful the handful of times I’ve tried. I got a discount at Kohl’s once, just for shyly asking. It took two seconds. I’m not saying it’ll work every time but more often than you may think.
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