8 Ways to Avoid Going Into Debt When Buying New Furniture

After you've moved to a new apartment or house, you may need to buy new furniture to furnish your new place and make it a home. In 2013, retail furniture and mattress sales rose 1 percent to reach $94.9 billion, Furniture Today reported. Often, consumers may be tempted to sign up for new credit cards in order to fund their purchases. However, this could land them in debt and owe creditors a ton of money in interest.

While brand new furniture can cost thousands of dollars, consumers could slash the price by following money-saving strategies. Spending less money on furniture could reduce your chance of accumulating debt while still giving you plenty of opportunities to beautify your home. 

Here are ways to buy furniture without going into debt:

Seek Out Used Furniture
Although you may want new furniture for your home, buying used pieces can allow you to save on furnishings and spend more on other projects for your home. Look for pre-owned furniture at garage sales, estate sales, consignment shops, flea markets or even sites like Craigslist. You could save hundreds or even thousands on perfectly good furniture that will fit your decorating scheme or other pieces in your house.

Whether you are looking at furniture in-person or on the Internet, make sure to ask the previous owner about any damage. Read any online listings for furniture carefully and also question the measurements for these items in case they don't fit in your new apartment or house. 

Negotiate the Price Down
While furniture retailers may have a huge sale in-stores, that shouldn't stop you from trying to drive the price even lower. Consider negotiating the price down by questioning the salesperson on whether it is the best price for the couch or dresser you want, Real Simple recommended. This haggling technique could work at both small or larger chain stores. In addition to lowering the price of furniture, you could also negotiate other associated fees like delivery or shipment costs. 

Comparison Shop In-Stores and Online
While a survey found 8 of 10 consumers said they have purchased home furnishings through an online site, there are many who said they would never buy furniture online, according to Furniture Today. Although consumers said they would prefer to buy furniture at brick-and-mortar stores, there are certain advantages to buying online. With the ability to comparison shop, it's no wonder many consumers would prefer to shop online.

Save Using Price Matching
In looking at several places for your furniture, you could also determine whether stores offer price matching. Some retailers will provide the same price for furniture seen at other stores. When you see a cheaper price elsewhere bring in the advertisement or online listing and be prepared to show it to a salesperson to get the best price between the two shops. 

Buy Furniture with Cheaper Materials
Homeowners often have to juggle multiple expenses on a budget. They have to think about what they have to sacrifice to make their budget work while still getting what they want. This is true for furniture. You should consider whether you'll purchase more expensive furniture that could last for decades or buy cheaper pieces that will do for the time being before you can make the upgrade.

To save money, you could select furniture produced with cheaper substances, substituting leather for man-made materials or a more common wood rather than cherry. You could buy an armchair fitted with cushions that are made with a spring-and-polyfoam core rather than ones filled completely with down material, Real Simple suggested.

Fix Up Furniture
Even if you buy pieces of furniture with inexpensive materials or from second-hand stores, you could fix them up to make them look more pricer than they actually are. You could change up the color or material, paint or stain wood, or reupholster or refinish the furniture to have them appearing better than new. Before taking on any renovation projects for furniture, ensure you already have the tools for the job or else you might have to spend hundreds on equipment. 

Scan for Holiday Sales
When furniture retailers need to make room for the upcoming season, they often advertise holiday sales. Companies know that consumers are more likely to spend money during a vacation so sales likely appear during Labor Day or other holiday periods. As sales are going on, compare any special deals with other stores to make sure you are getting the best value for your money.

Take Advantage of Going Out of Business Sales
Although it might be uncommon, some furniture retailers hold going out of business sales. During this event, stores could cut prices at the fraction of the cost to get rid of inventory before they close up shop. This could be a great opportunity to snatch up furniture for less than the full-price.