When Is the Best Time to Buy Furniture?

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Thinking of sprucing up your pad? Make sure to get the best deals on furniture by shopping at the right time.

Sure, the people in a house are what make it a home, but the items that fill it can tell us a lot about their personalities. If you find yourself looking around your own digs and craving a refresh, perhaps a new piece of furniture is just what you need to spruce things up. But if you’re concerned about your budget or you’re just a smart shopper, it’s essential to know the best time to buy furniture.

Whether you’ve had your eye on a matching living room set or you need a new desk for your home office, knowing the best time to buy anything can make a big difference when it comes to your bank account. And, hey, once you have that new sofa, if you have some cash left over, why not find out the best time to buy a TV too?

If you’re wondering whether Labor Day furniture sales are your last shot at saving on new home accoutrements, check out what shopping experts have to say about when else you can nab a great deal.

When is the best time of year to buy furniture?

The good news is that there’s more than one time of the year that’s considered the best time to buy furniture. As you may have guessed, you’ll find some of the best deals around major holidays and holiday weekends—but only certain ones.

Elena Fraioli, a senior merchant manager with Skimlinks, a popular content monetization platform, suggests looking for furniture deals during what’s known as the Cyber Five, aka the sales you’ll find on the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. “That’s definitely when we see a surge in the home category, specifically sofas,” she says. “January is also a big furniture month, because there’s this theme of ‘New Year, New Me,’ and that bleeds into people refreshing their home as well.” Plus, new furniture styles tend to be released in February, so retailers are looking to clear out their old inventory in January.

Generally speaking, there is no difference when it comes to the best times to buy furniture for your kitchen, dining room, living room or bedroom. These all fall under the category of indoor furniture, and you’ll see sales for them at the same time. Outdoor furniture is a different story, and we’ll get to that in a moment.

Looking for a new mattress? Fraioli points to Presidents Day sales in February for excellent discounts on this investment item. If you’re wondering about the best time to buy sheets to go along with your new mattress and bedroom set, try January’s white sales.

Best times to buy indoor furniture
Late November and January

When is the best time to buy office furniture?

Now that many companies have either gone hybrid or fully remote, you’ll probably want a proper home office, if you don’t already have one. And if you do have one, it might be time to kick it up a notch (and not just because your coworkers are getting a good look at it on Zoom). Getting a good price on office furnishings is similar to looking at the best time to buy other indoor furniture.

With that being said, you should also check out private sales, like Amazon Prime Day and Wayfair’s Way Days. On Way Days, which take place at the end of April, you’ll find discounts up to 80% off. Prime Day, traditionally held in July, offers similar price cuts. You also might be able to find some deals around various holidays, but Labor Day likely won’t be one of them—that goes for all indoor furniture.

“Home-office furniture used to be a subcategory because it wasn’t so important before,” says Ali Martinez, a publisher account manager with Connexity, a marketing and tech company that works with Skimlinks. “I think it’s TBD to see if there’s any seasonality with home-office items.”

When is the best time to buy patio furniture?

The best time to buy patio furniture is actually quite a bit different than the best time to buy indoor furniture. Because patio furniture is a seasonal item for most of the country, it’s generally marked down at the end of the summer. Beginning in August, these outdoor items will start to get discounted, with sales getting steeper as the month goes on. By Labor Day, you should see the lowest prices of the season on outdoor pieces. But be careful: If you wait too long, those pieces might sell out!

Best time to buy patio furniture
August

When is the worst time to buy furniture?

According to Fraioli, while you may see some smaller deals on furniture scattered throughout the year, the Cyber Five is really when the deepest discounts happen. As for the worst time to buy furniture, that’s likely right after those sales end and prices shoot back up to their original list prices. Stores also typically introduce their new indoor-furniture styles in February and August, so prices are likely to be at their highest then.

But if there’s an item you love and it’s full price, don’t feel bad about adding it to your cart right now. With supply-chain issues and long wait times for certain items, buying sooner rather than later may make more sense for you.

Can you negotiate furniture prices?

The short answer: it depends. If the item is a floor sample or an open-box item, the retailer is likely to have a little more flexibility when it comes to negotiation. And, of course, if you’re using a site like Facebook Marketplace, there is often room to negotiate. But if you aren’t dealing with a secondhand retailer or a yard-sale situation, negotiating can be difficult. Additionally, you’ll need to be in person to even broach the subject, which means there’s no way for a back-and-forth exchange with, say, Amazon.

Furniture-buying tips

With the best time to buy furniture fresh in your mind, here’s how to make shopping for these items even easier—on you and your wallet.

Look for thematic bundles

Some retailers focused on the home space are creating bundles that include all the bells and whistles you might want to have with your big furniture purchase. For example, if you’re purchasing office furniture, look for a bundle that includes some of the accessories you might need as well, such as an ergonomic chair, lamp and filing cabinet.

Buy Now, Pay Later can be a helpful payment option

“If you’re hosting a party and realize you need certain pieces of furniture right away, a lot of retailers offer a Buy Now, Pay Later option,” says Lex Bombino, a merchant account manager with Skimlinks. “That way, you can make those purchases, but you don’t have to spend a lot at that very moment and can make incremental payments.” One word of warning: Always read the fine print about interest rates and penalties if you don’t pay by a certain date.

Give direct-to-consumer brands a try

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, like Castlery, don’t have brick-and-mortar stores, and their merchandise isn’t sold on any sites other than their own. This is beneficial because you’re cutting out the middle man (the third-party retailer) and instead dealing with the manufacturer directly, which can help you get a high-quality piece at a great price. Follow DTC brands on social media or sign up for their newsletters to stay up-to-date on their sales and any new markdowns. Martinez says she personally owns a few Castlery items and loves them. She also loves that they will send out free swatches so you can look at and feel the fabric before ordering.

Look for open-box or floor-sample deals

If you’re shopping on a site like Wayfair, sometimes you will see mention of an “open-box price” on a particular item. This typically means that product was returned by a customer so the box was opened (hence, the name), and retailers will subsequently mark down that piece. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with the product; it just wasn’t what the original customer needed. Floor samples, on the other hand, are those pieces of furniture on display in a store or showroom that are rotated out at the end of the season and placed on sale because they, too, are from an open box. They may be slightly more worn, though, since customers may be trying them out. That said, floor samples are another excellent way to get a good price.

Get rid of your current furniture

List old furniture in a Buy Nothing group if you simply want someone to pick it up and take it away. Or you can try Facebook Marketplace or other places to sell your unwanted stuff. You can also donate furniture to organizations like Habitat for Humanity or even recycle it. You may not believe it, but it really is possible to recycle almost anything.

Coordinate the delivery of heavy furniture

When you know you have a heavy piece of furniture about to be delivered, contact the retailer or their delivery service to find out what they will and won’t do. For example, if they won’t carry an item up stairs or bring it inside, you should definitely know this in advance. In that case, you’ll want to call on strong friends, borrow or purchase a dolly, or hire a professional mover to get that piece of furniture into your home.

4 indoor furniture sets to buy today

How else can you save?

At Reader’s Digest, our goal is to help you increase your purchasing power with the knowledge you need to buy quality goods at the best price. Our expert sources help us deliver this information to you, and as a result, now you know the best time to buy furniture, whether you’re looking to spruce up your bedroom or turn your patio into party central.

For more smart-shopping tips, check out our articles on the best time to buy a washer and dryer and other major appliances.

Sources:

  • Elena Fraioli, senior merchant manager with Skimlinks
  • Ali Martinez, publisher account manager with Connexity
  • Lex Bombino, merchant account manager with Skimlinks

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