Looking for new or second hand furniture bargains?
Read these tips before you head on out.........
With over 300 stores in around 40 countries, there has to be an Ikea store somewhere near you! Ikea has gone from Sweden to the rest of the world in style. Priding themselves on their original concept of "providing a wide range of functional and well designed home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible are able to afford them" they have certainly achieved that. With a turnover in excess of 26 billion euros in 2011 (Ikea.com), they are clearly doing something right.
With a big, glossy catalogue and affordable prices, millions of customers world wide love Ikea. Everything from kitchen beaters to blanket boxes, comfy arms chairs to coat hangers can be found at Ikea. The design of their stores is such that they are close to identical and one could be anywhere in the world when in lost the depths of an Ikea store.
Whether you are shopping on a budget or just like minimalist designs, a trip to an Ikea store will see your house or apartment decked out nicely.
For purchasing on line it's hard to go past Amazon for many things these days. From the obvious - books, Amazon nows sells almost anything you'd care to imagine. That includes Cheap Furniture.
Page after page of stylish furniture for every room in your house and in a wide range of designs will be found here at Amazon. Get yourself an account there and begin browsing. It won't be long before you're placing a bid!
If you're not adverse to second hand furniture then amazing furniture bargains can be found at flea markets with a little bit of effort. Some say get there early so as not to miss a bargain but they can also be had closer to closing time when the vendors really don't want to pack it all up and take it home again. This is the time to swoop and talk them into a cheap furniture deal for you.
The old saying that one person's trash is another person's treasure could not be more true. Not only will you find antiques and retro designs, you may also come across a valuable gem that the vendor is completely unaware of - just wants to be rid of.
Be prepared to traipse around, compare and barter hard. Some flea market vendors are regular hard nosed veterans who can spot a weak haggler a mile off. It helps to wave cold hard cash under their noses as s they are a legitimate business (rather than someone trying to earn some under the table cash) they will almost certainly not accept your credit card or a cheque.
Almost every city or large town has second hand markets of some description. Check out your local directory for details.
The musty smell of these places is off putting to some. If you can get past that, you may find just what you've been searching for - that green velvet Biedermeier chair from 1820 Vienna! It's likely that someone's grandmother has just passed away and that's why it's in the thrift store in the first place so you'd have to overlook that fact too!
What goes around comes around. It's difficult to hang on to every piece of furniture you ever buy, weathering the changes in mode and design but what was once fashionable usually does come full circle in a few years and once again becomes stylish. Everything from portrait art to cup cake stands goes in and out of furniture fashion so just because everyone else is updating doesn't mean you have to too. In a few years, they'll want what you've always had.
Auctions can throw up such interesting cheap furniture items. A tip here is to visit the auction house a few days prior to the auction and take notes. You may find you're interested in a number of items that are all due to be called early. If they're spaced out over a few hours, you may find yourself there for the duration so as not to miss out. It's always hard to judge the degree of interest in any particular item so one can never really know how long it will take for the auctioneer to bring down his gavel.
A second tip is to know your financial limits. It's very easy to get carried away in the heat of bidding and exceed your maximum limit. Take along a friend who will be capable of trying your hands together so as not to allow a further bid if you've reached your limit.
There are many recycling networks for second hand furniture and other goods around now, both on and off line. The Reuse It Network or Freecycle Network in your nearest city should yield some interesting cheap furniture items. With some sites, you will have to sign up and become a member in order to advertise or buy. These networks survive on the fact that decent people advertise their cheap furniture for sale or free pick up. You, as a decent member of the buying public turn up and buy or don't buy. Everyone is civil and respectful.
Garage sales are usually advertised in local newspapers or on line. It's a good idea to note what they're selling and be able to 'do the rounds'. Get yourself a map of the town and organise your list of garage sales in order of opening times, then go to it!
As with flea markets, sometimes the early bird catches the worm, or in this case, the cheap furniture bargains. There are people who do the home garage sales with religious-like frequency. These are sometimes the same people who expect you to knock three dollars off your five dollar authentic Pierre Cardin coat! If you're willing to be reasonable about the vendor's prices, you will get yourself a bargain and everyone's happy.