So you've moved in to your new pad, but looking around, everything seems a little bare. You'd head to your nearest furniture shop, but, given that you've just gone through an expensive, fee-filled move, you're understandably a little low on cash.
How can you get hold of the home furnishings you need? There's no need to despair – here are some great tips to help you outfit your home with the wardrobes, tables, sofas, and chairs you need.
Get furniture for free
Shoppers wanting to slash their furniture outgoings completely should head to websites such as Freecyle, Gumtree, and Snaffleup. These websites let users offer and obtain goods for free, and as such, visitors can snap up a house-worth of furnishings for literally nothing!
Users should be aware that the overwhelming majority of goods offered on the site are second hand or older, although this is a point that's hard to argue against when the non-existent price is considered. If there's nothing on the sites that are to your liking, keep checking –excellent new deals are usually posted by the hour.
Buy it second hand
Via online marketplaces such as Gumtree, eBay, Wayfair, and Preloved, as well as high-street charity retailers like the British Heart Foundation and other, local, stores, those needing some décor can quickly and easily get the furnishings they need. Prices are incredibly low at these sites and retailers, although you may have to pay a small delivery fee – a small price to pay for an excellent deal.
Second-hand buyers should be aware though: although most furnishings are cleaned thoroughly for nasties such as bed bugs, it pays to have a good look at the product before you buy it, and ask the store or seller for a guarantee that will allow you to take back the item in the event issues arise.
Furniture shop sales are a good place to find delightful first-hand deals, letting bargain-hunters get the hottest new styles and models for a fraction of the original price. The best times to go sale shopping are in January during the post-Christmas sales; during spring, when sales in general are far higher than usual; and in July, when stores release their newest lines.
July comes out on top though – if you lack a means of transportation, carrying back boxes is an easier task in the middle of summer.
It's a tried-and-tested tip, but through using low-cost furniture retailers such as IKEA, customers can deck out their homes in new styles quickly, easily, and above all, cheaply. You might have to do some of the assembly yourself, but if you've got a Saturday afternoon to spare and have an eye for following instructions, this isn't an issue.
Retailers are far more open to haggling with big ticket items than with lower-priced purchases - especially if you head to independent shops. As such, if you've seen an incredible fixture or furnishing that would look amazing in your home, don't be afraid to politely haggle with the salesperson – stores will regularly mark their prices upwards by up to 80%, giving consumers a lot of leeway to drag the cost downwards.
Start with a lower price than you'd feasibly pay, quote prices from the store's competitors, and mention the pitfalls of the product that might impact on the potential of it being sold. Overly-firm cushions, small imperfections – anything that you could use as an excuse to get a deal.
Ask for a floor model
If you don't mind having a nearly-second-hand sofa that's been sat on for a few months, you can potentially get floor model furnishings for reduced prices. This tip depends very much on the store, item, and time of year – you're more likely to succeed if you ask near towards the end of the product line's lifetime – but it's worth persevering, given the possible savings you could enjoy.