Can You Haggle At Furniture Stores?

What is haggling?

Credit: Dennis Jarvis - Flickr

Credit: Dennis Jarvis – Flickr

Put simply, haggling is the process of convincing someone who is selling something to sell it to you for less. You may know it as ‘bartering’ or even ‘negotiating’, but it’s basically all the same thing.

Haggling can save you a fortune, and the first step is to get over the misconception that it’s impolite or cheeky.

While some people might suggest it’s a little embarrassing to barter down the price of a flatscreen TV, the law says that until money has changed hands in a shop, no contract on a price has been agreed.

This means that regardless of what’s on the price tag, there’s no fixed and final price until cash has been exchanged between seller and customer – you can choose to offer a different value than what’s on the price tag, and the seller can choose whether or not to accept it.

Remember that there’s nothing stingy about it either, just ask! It’s nothing personal – it’s business. The worst that can happen is they’ll say “Sorry, that’s the best price I can do” and you get the item for the original price anyway.

As far as students are concerned, there’s even more reason to try and bargain with sellers as they know you have little disposable income. Even if pulling the ‘poor student’ card doesn’t work, there’s no harm in asking.

Remember that you can often cut the price without haggling by using your student discount.

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Can you negotiate at Furniture Row

Answered By: Jason Barnes Date: created: Jan 04 2022

Always Negotiate Prices at the Furniture Store. The next time you need to shop for furniture, don’t be afraid to haggle down the price. But don’t expect a salesperson to agree to a lower price right away – the biggest discounts can take hours to negotiate.

Asked By: Bernard Morgan Date: created: Nov 19 2020

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2. Check Multiple Stores

Photo: Mikael Vaisanen / The Image Bank / Getty Im
Photo: Mikael Vaisanen / The Image Bank / Getty Images

Once you know what you want, it’s time to start hunting it down. Furniture prices can vary greatly from one store to the next, even for the same item. Perusing your options carefully is the secret to getting the best deal overall. 

When you make a find in a furniture store, take note of the model number, fabric grade or number (for upholstered or leather pieces), and the manufacturer. Then, go straight to the manufacturer’s website before making any purchases. Use the noted information to determine which furniture stores in your area are selling that specific product. Some manufacturers feature store finders on their websites, but you’ll need to pick up the phone for the ones that don’t. 

From there, call each retailer on your list and ask for a price quote. Compare and contrast each bid to make the best choice. You’ll have the most success with this trick at independent furniture stores rather than chains like IKEA, where the price is usually set in stone. But it’s a good idea to check in case your product is discounted because of a return or default (more on that in a bit).

4 5. Sam’s Club and Costco

Wherever you do your bulk buying, there are some strategies you can employ that can help you get better prices. Remember, just because you’re already getting a discount, it doesn’t mean the prices cannot go lower. Your membership fees and the bulk buying formula are the reason the prices are low. The stores are getting this stuff cheap, they make great profits, and you can negotiate.

  • Know the store layouts. Clark Howard, a consumer expert, says that the best deals in both of these stores are on aisles five, six, and seven. Knowing this in advance, you can head over to these areas and talk to the manager about buying a lot of these goods for a discount.  
  • Look for items going off that day. Whether it’s fruit, meat, bread, cakes, or vegetables, the manager will be very pliable towards the end of the day. They’d rather get a sale from you than throw it all in the dumpster.  
  • Tires should never be bought at sticker price. The warehouse stores rely on you thinking that they will have the cheapest prices around. This is a complete fallacy. With your smartphone at hand, bring up the prices of the same tires at places like Discount Tire or Tire Rack.

9. Pawn Stores

You’ve seen Rick on Pawn Stars, so you know the score here. This is one of the few kinds of stores that actively encourages haggling, due to the nature of their "buy low and sell high" model. They want to engage you in negotiations, but this of course works both ways. You can get a deal, if you know how to approach them:

  • Learn the pawn store discount codes, such as the codes from Pawn America. Once you know the secret, you are instantly given a way to know how much the item can be discounted. Other pawn stores may have similar codes, so do your homework.  
  • If you’re selling, make sure you know as much as you can about your item. And then, make sure you make the first offer, knowing that it will be countered by a much lower offer. One of the first rules of negotiation is that the person who sets the price controls the bidding.  
  • Don’t over-negotiate. The pawn store owner is running a business, and has to make a profit from the items he or she buys. Yes, they are ready to haggle, but if you offer them half of what the item is worth, they’ll laugh you out of the store. When they say "final offer," they mean it.

4. Inspect Every Corner of the Store

Photo: Hispanolistic / E+ / Getty Images
Photo: Hispanolistic / E+ / Getty Images

Avid furniture shoppers know you have to search every nook and cranny to find the best savings. The crème de la crème don’t even bother with the front display (unless it’s to buy the floor model furniture), often making a beeline directly to the back instead. After all, it’s there that most retailers hide the deeply discounted furniture they don’t want you to see right away.

How To Negotiate On Furniture Price

Now that we’ve talked about the factors that affect your leverage when negotiating for furniture, we’ll discuss some negotiation tips to implement at the furniture store. 

Do Your Research

When it comes to negotiating for anything, knowled

When it comes to negotiating for anything, knowledge is power. The more you know about the product you’re looking to buy, the more leverage you have when it comes to talking down the price.

Study up on the type of piece you’re looking to buy to get a better idea of what it’s actually worth. 

Identify Drawbacks And Defects

If you’ve identified a specific piece that you’re interested in, learn the ins and outs of the piece’s specifications. If you can identify a feature or specification that is essentially a drawback, you can use this to your advantage when it comes time to talk price.

For example, if shopping for an office desk, you might discover and point out that the drawer size or chair opening is smaller than that of desks of similar size. While this might not be that big of a deal at the end of the day, it will nonetheless aid in your ability to haggle. 

Likewise, if the item you’re interested in has any defects such as scratches, dings, or other cosmetic imperfections, bring this up when negotiating. 

Shop Around

Knowing what similar pieces are listed for at othe

Knowing what similar pieces are listed for at other stores can help you get a better deal. If a furniture store down the road has a more competitive price, mention that, and the store you’re shopping with will be pressured to give you a better deal to get your business. In other words, challenge the store to beat competitors’ prices.

Pay In Cash (Pay Up Front)

This method is highly effective when it comes to buying a new car, and the same is true for furniture. When you pay in cash (I.e. pay the total up front rather than finance the furniture), the store doesn’t have to wait months or years to finally receive the full amount. 

What Is The Usual Markup On Furniture?

Depending on the store, furniture is typically marked up by at least 80%, and it’s not uncommon for it to be marked up by as much as 400%. In other words, furniture is one of the most marked-up items on the market. 

When is the best time to haggle?

Credit: ITV Studios

Credit: ITV Studios

Knowing how to haggle is one thing – knowing when to haggle is another matter altogether.

The basic rule is that you should haggle on items whenever the demand for them is falling and sellers just want to get rid of the stock.

Always wait until the store is quiet – no one is going to waste time bartering with you if there are loads of other customers who are willing to pay full price hanging around.

The end of the day is always the best time to haggle, particularly at markets as they’re keen to shift any stock they have left before packing up. This could, of course, mean you miss out on items sold earlier in the day, but your chances of getting a great price at a market increase massively if you show up right at the end of the day.

Haggling at the end of a company’s financial month or year should be your secret weapon. The end of the day on a Saturday (specifically the last Saturday of each month) is when the people in charge will be trying to meet financial targets so are likely to lower prices in order to make a sale.

It’s also worth thinking seasonally with your haggling – summer hats and beachwear can be haggled on in winter, and Christmas goods will go for pennies in March, so think ahead (or behind, whichever you prefer) to save money on Christmas.

December is also the perfect time to start haggling for non-Christmassy things like buying a car or paying for phone insurance. The festive period is a quiet time for insurers as people are spending their cash elsewhere, but as they still have targets to meet, they’re way more likely to let you haggle prices down.

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