Buying new furniture can be an exciting way to personalize and update your home, whether your taste runs towards a sleek, modern look, a funky boho vibe, or anything in between. But furniture can be expensive, so you’ll likely want to shop at the right time to get the best possible deal.
When precisely that is will typically vary based on what you are hunting for. Indoor furniture may be on sale in the winter and summer, but outdoor pieces may be marked down at the end of summer and in the fall.
To help you save a bundle on your new furnishings, no matter what you may be looking for, read on for smart intel and advice.
When Is the Best Time to Buy Furniture?
The best time of year to buy furniture depends on which kind of furniture you’re talking about. Here are some rules of thumb to keep in mind as you redesign your living space.
Like many other manufactured goods, sales on indoor furniture are dependent on the release of new pieces: when a showroom needs to make room for next season’s stock, they put the older stuff on sale. New furniture designs tend to be released in spring and fall, which means the best sales happen at the end of the winter and summer seasons.
So for indoor furnishings like beds and couches, shopping at your local furniture stores in January/February and July/August and paying special attention to any seasonal or holiday sales may offer decent savings on the cost.
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Outdoor furniture, on the other hand, tends to be released in the late winter and spring between February and April. Shoppers might consider the earlier part of that range the best time of year to buy furniture for outdoor spaces in plenty of time for the long, sunny days of summer.
However, furniture shops also generally want to have that stock off their floor by August, which means there are usually some great outdoor furniture sales to shop over the summer and particularly towards early fall.
Having a piece (or three) hand-built to your specifications can bring your interior design dreams to life. However, on-demand, custom-built furniture typically costs more and is less likely to go on sale the way ready-made furniture does.
That said, buying custom furniture can be better for your budget in the long run if it means you won’t be itching to change your furniture again in a couple of years — or if it means your furnishings are of higher quality and, hopefully, a longer life. Plus, buying custom designs from a small business, or even an individual crafter, can feel more rewarding than purchasing something from a big-box store.
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Furniture Shopping on Holiday Weekends
As is true of many major purchases, holiday weekends and annual sales can offer excellent opportunities to buy furniture on the (relatively) cheap. Some holidays that routinely bring furniture sales include:
• Presidents Day
• Memorial Day
• Fourth of July
• Labor Day
• Black Friday and other winter holiday sales events.
Many retailers offer regular sales in addition to these events, so it’s always a good idea to watch for promotions. Signing up for the store’s email newsletter can help keep you apprised of their ongoing sales events, and many dealers also offer clearance stock year-round that could be worth perusing.
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General Furniture-Buying Tips
No matter what time of year you shop for your furnishings, the following tips can help you find a good deal and get the most for the money you do spend.
You can also benefit from them if you’re budgeting to buy a house and putting in offers; you want to get the best possible price if you’ll be filling a home with new furniture.
Furniture — especially furniture you want to keep around for a decade or longer — is a big purchase. It’s worth waiting to find the right piece rather than dropping a bunch of money on one that’s only okay.
If you’re furnishing your new home for the first time and need something fast, consider visiting a local thrift shop or surfing Craigslist. You might be able to find an inexpensive, pre-owned piece that’s only temporary, but still workable — and won’t eat too much into your budget.
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With so many design aesthetics and price points to choose from, furniture shopping is not a time for brand loyalty. You likely shop around for the best deals on groceries or when looking to switch bank accounts, so apply the same principle here. Shopping around at different dealers can help you find the best deal for your needs, but also give you more ideas and inspiration when it comes to creating a cohesive look for your home.
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Consider Shopping Online
Online shopping for furniture can open a whole new world of color and design options. Some discount furniture retailers don’t offer physical storefronts, which can make shopping a little tricky. Choosing certain pieces of furniture, like couches and armchairs, for example, may be easier if you try them before you buy them.
Many online furniture retailers do offer return policies, which can help make your purchase less stressful, knowing that if it doesn’t work out, you’re not stuck with the product. And at online stores that do have brick-and-mortar locations, you could visit in person, try out a certain model, and then order online later, which may give you a better opportunity to compare the pieces you’re considering side-by-side.
Asking About the Warranty
Since furniture does tend to be a major expense, you want to make sure it’s built to last and has some guarantee to go with that. Many furniture sellers do offer warranties (just as some home warranties exist), and the fine print may also specify what the return policy is. In short, it’s worth getting familiar with.
💡 Quick Tip: When you feel the urge to buy something that isn’t in your budget, try the 30-day rule. Make a note of the item in your calendar for 30 days into the future. When the date rolls around, there’s a good chance the “gotta have it” feeling will have subsided.
Shopping for furniture during certain times of the year can help you save money on a potentially expensive project like furnishing your home. When budgeting to buy a house, furnishings are just one of many things to save for, so it’s a goal that might take a backseat to expenses that are essential to homeownership, like the down payment and monthly mortgage, among others.
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