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Places to find Inexpensive Stylish Furniture
Anyone who has moved into a new apartment or home can empathize with the cost of furnishing it inexpensively. Even a few new, stylish pieces can cost the newly moved thousands of dollars - never welcome after the high costs of moving in the first place! What's worse is that many inexpensive options can be underwhelming in terms of giving your new place flare and style.
To help address this issue, here are a few tips as to places you can look to furnish your apartment for less.
If you want the originality of an expensive piece of furniture without the cost, buying furniture secondhand may be a good way to go.
Sites such as Craig's List can be surprising, offering incredibly inexpensive (or even free) furniture if you look carefully. In places that are transient (such as many large cities), sellers are often moving and are looking for a way to quickly unload their belongings while making some green on the side. Look toward the ends of the month as well as the first few days of the month (key moving dates) to get the largest selection of products. Don't be afraid to negotiate - due to the time pressure that most of these sellers feel, speed is more important than price.
Thrift shops may also offer some one-of-a-kind gems. Stores such as The Cure Thrift Shop in New York pride themselves on a great selection, and will actually turn down items that they don't feel will do well in store! Google search a few stores in your area to see what pops up.
If you live in or near a large apartment building, community bulletin boards or apartment websites may be a great way to get your hands on something at a great price. Renters in the same building often have apartments with similar layouts, so fellow tenants may have furniture that will fit perfectly into your place. Moving larger pieces of furniture often only requires a quick trip up the stairs or down the elevator shaft, making delivery a non-issue. Like Criag's List, the beginnings and ends of the month tend to turn up the best finds.
Dig into online discount sites
If you're looking for a piece of furniture or decoration where the look is more important than the feel, buying inexpensive pieces online might be the way to go. Though it may get a bad rep because it's advertised so frequently, Overstock.com offers a wide variety of pieces with quite a bit of originality. I just bought a dark red bench from Overstock for $200 (I saw comparable pieces for $800 or more) and I absolutely love it. The site frequently has coupons available which can help bring the cost of furniture down even more, and shipping (which can be $75-$100 or more at furniture stores) is often available for $2.95 or less. This can significantly bring down the "hidden" costs of purchasing new furniture.
Online sites are also a great way to no-name brands for lower prices. A friend of mine recently told me she went to a major furniture chain to find a piece of furniture (and to try it out), researched the product online, and was able to buy it from the original manufacturer for significantly less.
The bottom line
When it comes to furnishing your home, there are tons of ways to look like you've spent a lot more than you really have. Happy hunting!