Friday, February 27, 2009

What to look for

The truth is that manufacturing a good is only a very small portion of what the product is sold for. In business they call it unit cost. It is this variable that companies are always trying to reduce by putting labor overseas, mechanizing their factories thus eliminating workers, or cheapening up on the product quality to cut costs. We know that markup is a big factor in the final price of a product because of all we hear about buying factory direct. If you cut out the middle man in the supply chain, you cut out the middle man’s share of the profit. In many cases, we’re being taken for a ride on the price but we pay it anyway because its what we want and the alternative of searching around for a better deal isn’t appealing. But what happens when you do keep your ear to the ground and you do find some great cheap home furniture used? Do the proceeds go directly to a big corporation? Are they taxed heavily by the government? No, you put the proceeds in the hands of your fellow citizen and shake his hand. Then he helps you carry the slightly used and highly valuable find to your car or truck. Ok, this last part may not happen but sometimes the idealist in me comes out.
The important thing to remember here is that we could all do better in many ways, specifically in what we are willing to pay for cheap home furniture. Not everything you will see available in want ads or second hand furniture sites like craigslist will be worth your time. In fact, if you have a solid home and wish to keep your furniture for the next twenty years then maybe a more hefty investment is in order if you think it to be necessary. If you have an apartment, move around a lot, or just don’t have the money to spend thousands on financing and overpriced furniture then this strategy is for you. I spent months looking for a desk for my bedroom when I was using a bulky old Dell desktop. I had just destroyed two rather expensive pressboard computer desks when trying to move. Essentially, they exploded back into the sawdust they were created with. Never buy furniture made out of this material if you intend on moving around with it. It is very unforgiving during moving or with moisture or spilled drinks. Eventually I found the perfect solution, a used desk for 20 bucks from craigslist. It’s constructed with solid wood, fairly new, and had been inherited from a mother that passed away. The couple would have thrown it out as it was taking up too much space but couldn’t bring themselves to do it. If I told you I paid 200 or 300 dollars for this piece of furniture you’d probably believe me as this is what it probably cost. Again I ask, why buy new? I moved this desk without any problems from my last place and it still looks wonderful.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Fixing up your place

Can you tell the difference between a coffee table that cost seven hundred dollars from a trendy store in downtown New York and one bought for far less? Many times this is possible but if you’ve got the right sense of style then it isn’t always the case. I’ve met plenty of people with a great eye for value. One fellow I know refurbishes trendy furniture from the sixties that would cost thousands if bought new. He furnished his entire home with it and you’d never know that he paid next to nothing for it. Many pieces of furniture that you see second hand were very expensive when new. People get sick of things, move away and find them too cumbersome to transport. If those people have a lot of money, they may buy the newest and most expensive replacements for their old dresser, bedframe, or dining room table. This my friends is where you come in. It is one of the greatest secrets to finding top quality cheap home furniture. That is of course to keep an eye out for used merchandise of extrodinary value that nobody wants anymore. Admitedly, there will be plenty of things that you find that will not be worth a second look, others will be a tough descision, but some will be such a great deal that they won’t require a second thought.

When I bought my second couch, I had been looking for quite a while. I was on craigslist every day searching and could find nothing to my liking. Then I found it. I’m sitting on it right now in fact and its perfect. Although a very expensive piece of furniture, it cost me only 150 dollars and was only a few months old when I got my hands on it. The guy that sold it to me was getting rid of it merely because he didn’t like the way it clashed with the look he was going for in his apartment. He wanted to dump it quick because he was sick of looking at it. I’ve bought many things in my quest for cheap home furniture of exceptional value and I loving finding the perfect piece second hand. Nobody knows what I paid unless I tell them and I take the rest of the money and put it to more worthwhile things.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

cheap home furniture

When does a new apartment or condo become a home? It happens after you have brought the pieces together in a symphony of parts to create style that is entirely yours. There are plenty of ways that we can express ourselves as individuals and decorating a home is no exception. I know what your thinking. How am I going to pay for all this great stuff I want to put in my new place? The secret is to shop around, make compromises and choose carefully. Big furniture stores want you to believe that furniture costs as much as they are selling it for. The truth is that they can sell it for the big prices because we pay them! Finding cheap home furniture isn’t easy but it can be done. My first trip for furnishing my place was $666.00 and to my surprise it took care of the essentials. There are plenty of ways to buy top quality stuff at low cost and that’s what this blog is all about.
I’ve moved around a bit and everyplace I’ve lived before my condo has been a tiny studio. None of them were nice really and I never had a ton of room. When I first moved in here I had almost nothing to fill it with. It’s a two bed, two bath, with a very large living/dining room, eat in kitchen, and a balcony that runs the whole length. Needless to say that after I got the place I didn’t have a ton of money left. I decided I’d rather die than spend $2,000 on a sectional sofa from a big store. So I shopped around and found a very nice couch on sale for $400 bucks at a smaller store. I figured that I’d get another smaller sofa at a later time if I could find one that was the right price and I did!! It is true that you can get deals if you buy both pieces at the same place. However, shopping around will make all the difference in the world and I didn’t want to order a living room set. I spaced out the payments a bit more. This was my first new sofa and it was great until my girlfriends pet ferret decided he wanted to chew the buttons. Little jerk almost went off the balcony!!!