Warmer weather means people are spending many more hours outside, enjoying their decks, patios, porches, pools, and lawns. For at least three months of the year, families all across the continental United States are able to spend much of their leisure time outdoors, playing games, grilling out, birding and just plain relaxing.
You can’t move your indoor furniture outside—as comfortable as your reclining rocker may be—so having dedicated outdoor furniture available is a must. If you’re already set up in that department, then go and enjoy what you already have.
For everyone else, finding quality outdoor furniture is as easy as going to your local home store and finding dining sets, garden swings, all weather rug, gazebo, hammock Adirondack chairs and other items. Then again, are you all right with the prices being charged? Furniture can be expensive with even a five-piece Martha Stewart Living firepit set costing you $500 plus tax. Add in everything else you want or upgrade to better furniture and you’ll drop $2000 or more on your order.
You can save money on outdoor furniture if you’re willing to look around and are creative. Let’s take a look at some ways you can save money on your purchases:
Liquidation Stores – Much like cars, kitchen appliances and living room furniture, outdoor furnishings are updated annually. That means leftover furniture styles from the previous summer, while still good, are liquidated and sold by stores specializing in these time of remainder goods. You’ve seen their ads: 50 percent off or more off of never used furniture. As long as you’re satisfied with what you’re getting, does last year’s furniture set styles bother you?
Estate Sales – Garage, Yard and Tag sales often yield deals but estate sales may give you more bang for the buck especially if everything is being sold including outdoor furniture. Professionals who hold these sales will often jack up prices, sometimes unreasonably, but if you have cash on hand and are willing to take entire sets of furniture and then some, your negotiation room has suddenly improved. And, yes, negotiating is the operative word—name a price you think is fair and stick with it.
Buy Direct – Any purchase you do through a store reflects the retailer’s mark up. But some manufacturers sell directly to customers at factory showrooms or outlets. Pull up the list of stores at your nearest outlet mall and find out which stores sell furniture. Contact them by phone to see if outdoor furniture is something they stock.
Online Retailers – Overstock.com is just that: they carry remaindered goods, selling same online. Some stores sell new goods online and will ship same to the store nearest your home (think WalMart), with no charge shipping. Freight shipping costs in all other circumstances can be prohibitive and returning damaged or unwanted furniture can be difficult to do. Still, you may be able to save a significant amount of money.
Beyond these ideas, a visit to your local consignment shop could turn up some pleasant surprises. Some shops mark their goods at yard sale prices while others have no clue how to move inventory quickly. Its all hit or miss when looking for furniture bargains; if you can wait until the end of season, expect to enjoy significant savings through your local home store.
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