Tuesday, March 9, 2010
You'll be amazed what finds you make when you shop for budget decor items. A small budget doesn't mean you can't find some wonderful pieces of furniture and decorative pieces. There are plenty of sources for decorative bargains and it can be lots of fun to search for, and find, the items that will make your house a home.
Garage Sales and Tag Sales
There are bargains galore at garage sales. If you don’t know how to shop them, just ask around and you’re sure to find a friend or relative who would be happy to show you the ropes. Cash will get you the best bargains as will showing up early or just before closing time.
Not for the faint of heart, these are often mega events with booths for refreshments as well as furnishings. Expect to bargain with vendors for the best prices. Take a buddy and wear walking shoes since you’ll spend the day on your feet. More must-haves: water, sunscreen, a tape measure, plastic bags, lots of cash, and a rolling cart.
So many people are shopping for bargains these days that About.com has its own site for flea markets. Check it out!
You can look for bargains day or night on Internet sites, with eBay as the granddaddy of them all. Do a bit of price research before you bid, searching for similar products and noting the bids as well as the asking prices. Pay attention to condition of products as well, and ask questions before you buy. After is too late.
Local Consignment Stores and Junk Stores
These retail outlets offer furnishings and décor items that are shopworn or used. Items maybe in excellent condition or they may be damaged or heavily worn. Look often at these types of sources, since inventory can change dramatically from week to week.
Nothing will stretch your budget farther than accumulating items that cost nothing. Whether you trade with friends, find items left by the curb, or ask for donations from family and friends, this can be a great way to get started in a first home or trade out items you no longer love.
Damaged Furnishings and One-of-a-Kind Sales
Retail stores have a back room filled with furnishings that have been damaged, returned, or are last season’s merchandise. Items are sometimes marked down on a regular basis, by week or by month. Call your favorite furniture stores to find out how they sell these less-than-perfect items.
Rental Furniture Outlets
Rental companies in your area may have a warehouse of furnishings that are no longer rentable. Look for used furniture in the phone book or call these businesses to inquire how they dispose of used furnishings.
Though you may not find furniture in a salvage yard, you will surely find an ever-changing assortment of windows, hardware, moldings, and parts to create your own unique furnishings. Take a look. You may just find an interesting piece or two to use as wall art or as parts for a shelf, table, or bookcase.
Warehouse Outlet Sales
Large retailers may have an annual warehouse sale of furniture and appliances in your area. Watch the newspaper for these events or ask a salesperson how to find out about these sales.
Local Estate Sales and Auctions
Look for these in local newspaper classified sections. Attend the “Preview Day” whenever possible, to check if you are interested in any of the items. It will also be your chance to examine the items close up and ask any questions about them. You may also have time to research prices and determine how much you are willing to pay.