Maybe you’ve been staring at the same microfiber couch and loveseat set since you first moved into your place… fifteen years ago. Perhaps you just flew the coop and are attempting to feather your very first nest. Maybe your entire place screams early 1990’s. Whatever the reason, you’re in the market for some new furniture.
We all know furniture is pretty pricey, and just like electronics, there’s always a newer and “better” version available. Whether it’s a new type of fabric that claims to be more stain-resistant than the last or a piece of wood that has been engineered to be sturdier, the furniture industry is always prepared to offer their customers something new and improved.
If you’ve dialed in on a new furniture budget and know what you’re looking for, you’re ready to start shopping. However, you might be surprised to learn that there are actually best times to begin your furniture shopping. Much like car buying, new pieces hit showroom floors at different times of the year, leaving older pieces to be marked down and sold more quickly.
We at CordaRoy’s know furniture; we’ve been manufacturing it since 1998. We also know a thing or two about furniture market trends and when you should make your purchase. Let’s take a look at what makes furniture so expensive in the first place, when you should plan to shop for the best deals, and whether or not you’ll get a better deal online or in person.
What Makes Furniture So Expensive?
Everyone loves the look and feel of a premium leather sofa, but not everyone loves the price tag that comes along with it. Furniture gets more expensive when the materials it is made with are more expensive. Essentially, a piece of furniture made from fibreboard is going to cost a lot less than a piece made from rosewood. Thankfully, there’s an entire range of materials used in furniture, so every budget can find a piece that fits.
Let’s look, for instance, at why a sofa may cost more than you expect. Sofas, armchairs, and loveseats are all priced based on three elements of construction:
- Covering material
Within these categories, you can really hone in on what you want and decide if that’s a possibility for your budget. If we look at the frame of the sofa, you can opt for the most inexpensive type of material, which is fibreboard, or you can choose from plywood (a type of wood that has been mechanically pressed together to make the pieces) or hardwood. A hardwood piece is going to cost more because the manufacturer has to create the furniture from a solid piece of wood as it is found naturally.
The foam used inside your furniture also determines the price. If you’ve ever purchased a couch or chair that develops a divot where you sit on it, you’ve probably gotten a cheap cushion with foam that doesn’t hold up very well.
The fabric also accounts for a lot of dollars in a piece of furniture’s price tag. From the most basic cotton coverings to leathers, the fabric it takes to cover something like a sofa can cost between $50-$100 a yard. Considering a sofa requires at least 20 yards of fabric, the price adds up very quickly. Thankfully, we’ve got options. In fact, some consumers actually prefer vegan leather to real leather, based on ethics and ease of care.
Ultimately, if you’ve got your heart set on an oak and leather sofa, you know you’re going to pay a little more than something you find at a big box store and assemble on your own. In that case, it’s best to shop during a time of year when you can be assured you’ll get a better deal.
When Is The Best Time To Buy Furniture?
Furniture operates on a bi-yearly schedule. In other words, you’ll find new styles and pieces released in spring and fall. This means that you’ll also find the best deals on furniture in the spring and fall months. It’s important to realize that this schedule means you should start shopping before new items are released. Retailers will need to make space available on their showroom floors for new styles, so they’ll be looking to clear out inventory prior to receiving new items.
The best months to shop for furniture are:
- January and February, prior to the release of new spring items. Presidents’ Day in February is a very popular date for furniture retailers to push out old inventory prior to bringing in new.
- July through September, prior to the release of new fall items. Although Labor Day is a great time to find a deal on furniture, online researchers also cite July as an opportune time to buy new furniture. This is likely because furniture sales trend downward in the summer, reaching the lowest point of their slump towards the end of July and beginning of August. As such, a retailer is more likely to give you a better deal on already discounted pieces
Do I Have To Buy A Set To Get A Good Deal?
You may have entered the store looking for a sofa and left with an entire furniture suite. It can seem like a waste of money and/or resources, but oftentimes it is more cost-effective to buy an entire living room collection than it is to buy it piecemeal.
Some retailers even tailor their entire marketing program around selling you an entire room instead of just one item. When this happens, you’ll usually find that buying an individual piece costs sometimes hundreds more than if you’d purchased it as part of a set.
In other words, an armoire that cost $300 individually may price out as low as $100 if it is purchased as part of a set. Unfortunately, this usually results in the consumer being up-sold on furniture that they don’t need and paying additional money that they didn’t want to spend.
It is possible to buy an individual piece of furniture, but you will likely have more luck doing so at a higher-end retailer and during the months referenced above. Higher-end retailers tend to sell their furniture à la carte as opposed to in a grouping or set. If you shop these establishments during months when they are preparing to clear out inventory, you may be able to get a better deal on the furniture you want.
It’s also important to remember that almost no retailer sells their furniture for the price listed on the attached tag. If you are careful about when and where you shop, it is highly likely that you will be able to purchase the furniture you want for much less than the “sticker price.“ Keep in mind, however, that many furniture retailers have employees that work for commission. That brings us to our next tip:
- When shopping for furniture, plan to make your purchase during the last week of the month. Because many furniture retailers have employees who work for commission and are attempting to hit monthly sales quotas, you will likely get a better deal because they will be more motivated to hit their sales target as the month ends.
If you simply cannot wait to buy a piece of furniture until late winter or late summer, it’s best to do some price comparison shopping. If you walk into a furniture retailer with an offer from another store, you may get a better deal on the same item in order for that store to win your business.
Is It Better To Buy Online Or In-Person?
The decision of whether to buy your furniture in person or order it online is really a matter of what kind of furniture you are buying. If you know the exact item, including the manufacturer, you can always shop for it online and look for a good deal. However, if you are only certain that you want a couch and all other specifications are open to consideration, you will likely find a better deal if you shop in person for the reasons listed above.
There are definitely some times when shopping for furniture online is the better option. For example, if you want a bean bag chair that converts to a full-size bed, you definitely need a CordaRoy’s. Although we have resellers across the US, you may find it more convenient to shop our online store to find the exact chair or couch you want.
Buying a CordaRoy’s is easy and affordable at any time of year. For the rest of your furnishings, shop during late winter and late summer and know what you want and need. Remember, you can always get a great deal with a little extra time and patience.