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Buying Inexpensive Furniture Online?
Old 11-18-2012, 03:49 PM   #1
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Buying Inexpensive Furniture Online?

I am back in the USA for the next 15 months before moving back overseas in March 2014. I have bedroom and dining room furniture in storage but I gave away my living room furniture a couple of years back when I moved out of the country as my living room furniture was kind of getting long in the tooth.

I do NOT want to spend much on furniture that I will use for so short a time. I am hoping to keep the price under $1000. I have been looking on Craigslist but unfortunately after going to see half a dozen sets I have found that people in this area have extremely high opinions of their mostly worn out furniture so have pretty much ruled that out.

I was thinking of ordering a sofa/loveseat or sofa/recliner off of Overstock, or Amazon or another online retailer who does free shipping and no sales tax. I am wondering if anyone has ever done this and had a good or bad experience?

Will there be any good sales for furniture in December?
Any other advice?
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:39 PM   #2
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Last year I got my living room sofa, loveseat, easy chair, and ottoman for under $1000 including tax and delivery. One of our local middle-of-the-line large furniture stores has a section for lower priced furniture, sometimes discontinued styles and such. They had a sale and my living room set was marked at (I think?) maybe around $1500 or so. It happened to be exactly what I was looking for and the easy chair was just right, very comfortable for my particular back. Also it was made in the USA. I noticed that one of the signs said "make an offer" so I did, and they took it.

This is one of the big advantages of a recession. There are bargains to be had.

For upholstered furniture I would suggest buying something you can try out, to make sure it is comfortable for your individual back and body.

I have bought several pieces of un-upholstered furniture from Amazon and have not been disappointed, although the assembly is pretty grueling. Most of that furniture was made in China.
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:42 PM   #3
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I have always had a lot of luck with Craigslist furniture, I'm surprised you've had a tough go of it, although if you don't live in a more urban area there might not be quite the same availability out there. I have never purchased any furniture off Amazon or Overstock, but where I live I pay sales tax off those purchases, so there is really not a whole lot of benefit when there is an Ikea nearby. I've bought some baby furniture there, its not the kind of stuff that seems like it will last a long time, but is inexpensive and would work well in your situation. If you live near one I'd look at that. The only other solution is renting furniture although I have never tried it and have no idea of the economics of it...
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:04 PM   #4
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We have used Kitchen & Dining Furniture | Wayfair - Dining Room Furnishings before. We were very happy and the purchase exceeded our expectations. Our shipment came in a tractor trailer that could just barely get through our gates.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:37 PM   #5
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Try your local Thrift store. Or Salvation Army.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:01 PM   #6
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Sectional Sofas, Couches & Loveseats - Find Your Colors!
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:46 PM   #7
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Make sure you understand how they deliver. Many freight shipments are delivered to the curb, or at best your front porch. Not inside, and probably not up apartment stairs. You might be able to pay extra for this if you need it.

Have the company's number handy when it's delivered. If there's a problem, call them and see if they want to make a price adjustment to address it, or just reject the shipment.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:03 AM   #8
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I am fine with them delivering to the door. I plan on hiring a couple of guys to help if they do and we have a large service elevator that I can use to bring it upstairs.

Wayfair sells on Amazon but for a bit cheaper in lots of instances than directly from them it seems.

My sister got a great Dining room set from CL but I was shocked at the sofa's and their unrealistic prices we have on our local CL. I went to see a few that looked halfway promising from the pictures and they were priced at near retail and the people wouldn't budge on price.

TV's of craigslist are the same. I saw so many people who were asking way more than new prices! They seemed to think that because they paid $500 for a 32" Toshiba 4 years ago that they should be able to get $250 for it now! I want to shake them and tell them that TV prices have dropped, a LOT! I can buy a brand new one for a bit over $200 so I am certainly NOT going to pay $250 for a 4 year old TV!

Salvation Army and Goodwill do not seem to have furniture in our area. I know that I had a bunch of furniture left in one of my Rentals a few years back and couldn't get anyone in charity to take it and while it was not quality stuff it was clean and fairly decent stuff. Put it on freecycle and someone finally came and got some it. The other I had to pay someone to haul off.

Here is a company I found last night, anyone heard of them?

Results for Living Room:Living Room Sets

This was the set I was looking at, anyone know this brand?
Samuel Contemporary Cream Bonded Leather Sofa Living Room Set

I was thinking I could put it on CL when I left and should be able to get $500 for it, maybe more?
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:21 AM   #9
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Have you checked IKEA? Often having a recognized brand helps when it is your time to put it on Craigslist.

In my metro area there are a couple consignment stores and an auction house. You could explore those options.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:31 PM   #10
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Have you checked IKEA? Often having a recognized brand helps when it is your time to put it on Craigslist.
Speaking of which, now is the time to consider how much it is worth to you, to not have to go through that when you leave. You could always rent furniture and the great advantage of that, is that they deliver it and then they pick it up and take it away when you are done with it. No need to sell. I have no idea how much it costs to rent furniture, but renting might be worth a little more money to you.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:48 PM   #11
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Why not rent a furnished apartment?

I bought furniture online from Amazon and Wayfair and had good experience with both. But in all cases, the furniture required assembly and the boxes were small enough to be shipped to my front door via UPS/Fedex. Once you start ordering large pieces of furniture online though, shipping gets trickier and more expensive. Freight companies usually deliver to the curb or you have to pay extra for "white-glove delivery".
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:32 PM   #12
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There's a lot of second hand/antique stores selling furniture around here.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:32 PM   #13
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Renting furniture or renting a furnished apartment would cost me more than $1000 I have budgeted for furniture over a 15 month lease. I think if I sell the set at the end it will be better to go that way.

Checked out several sources and to rent a living room set would cost about $90-120 a month.

I did consider furnished units until I pricing them. The building I am renting in has a couple furnished units but I would end up spending $8000+ extra doing that.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:32 PM   #14
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I long time ago I figured out that everything is a round trip. Once you are in, you are on the hook for getting out. Think of that RT cost, in $$ and in effort. It may even be better to live in Executive Suites or something like that.

Or, you may not need much furniture at all. An exercycle makes a good perch for watching sports on TV, and you lose weight. Easy enough to get ride of on Craigs or Freecyclke, and the re is always the handy dnady dumster. If it came knocked down,m it can go into a dumpster the same way.A couch is a necessity, as is a bed. Beyond that, tastes differ. A wood couch in the Euro design with removable cushions is easy to sell, or ditch. As bed bugs work there way into the collective consciousness, upohlstered stuff can be a hard sell. Who would buy a used mattress? If you are buying a new one, no problem, and I suppose you could ask what a mattress seller would ask to just haul it away. Also, if you live anywhere near a marginal neighborhood, there will be trucks parked around with "Hauling" painted on the side. Of course, you had better be ready to go before they enter your house.

Storables makes nice bookshelves and desks and other furniture that collapse for storage or moving day. It is bamboo and fairly attractive. It is all I will consider now. Easy to sell on Craig's because they can be hauled in any car. And if you can't sell them, they can be easily stuffed into a dumpster. Particle board furniture is hideous, but all you need to dismantle it and put it in a dumpster is a screwdriver, a 4# hammer, and a small firewood saw. Last time I moved it cost me ~$400, and very little effort. (I hired the movers but a son and I packed.) I had a few Ikea bookshelves that a buddy and I had harvested off the street and carried the 6 blocks or so to my apartment. One had partially collapsed, and the other I knew I didn't want. I took the saw and hammer to them, until I realized that I could do a much neater and quieter job with some hex wrenches, but brute force is always a standby method.

I made an error and kept a very nice glass topped Media Center that I did not plan to use, but had become obsolete when people went to wall hanging TVs. Got no bites on Craigs at prices that made me willing to welcome some potential axe murderer into my home. Luckily a guy who does our landscaping liked it and I gave it to him.

Ha
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:27 PM   #15
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Not just for furniture or house furnishing, but a somewhat less known source for goods of all kinds. And one that is the AllTime price king.

Spend a minute or two to see if it's available in your neighborhood.

The Freecycle Network

Start at the top of the page, in the link to "browse groups".
If nothing in your own town, try a nearby town. Millions of members.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:30 PM   #16
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Ikea is a good option and often easily resellable.


There are also a bunch of inexpensive furniture catalog companies that have online catalogs that you can browse but then order through their local retailers. Find the item number or ID you like and google it for finding companies that can order it for you and hopefully include delivery and setup. Also it will give you an idea of the price, most are negotiable through your local retailer.Coaster Furniture and Ashley Furniture are 2 such ones. Google their catalog.
Google Norcal furniture to get an idea of catalog item prices (local to Bay Area) and assume 15-30% discount.
There are several other ones I can try to recall later if you are interested.


You can also use Yelp to find local furniture retailers and their reviews.


Hope that helps.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:40 PM   #17
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Coaster furniture seems to have a lot of pieces I like. So, I can find a piece online that I like, go to a local retailer that carries Coaster and get 15-30% percent off from the price I am seeing online... Am I reading that correct?
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:19 PM   #18
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You can always ask. The mark-up on furniture is significant. Make sure that they know you will walk if they don't meet your terms.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:07 AM   #19
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Coaster furniture seems to have a lot of pieces I like. So, I can find a piece online that I like, go to a local retailer that carries Coaster and get 15-30% percent off from the price I am seeing online... Am I reading that correct?
The local places, at least in the Bay Area, typically include free delivery and setup, so you save on shipping charges and your own time to assemble. Keep in mind it might take 1-4 weeks for your furniture to arrive. Negotiation and competitor price match is common. % off is something you will have to decide based on the variability of online prices you see and your negotiating skills.
Don't expect the furniture to be very very long lasting (2-5 years life before cushions sink in, etc), but it looks decent.
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