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The Basics of Furniture Shopping

The Basics of Furniture Shopping

Buying furniture is as fun as it is taxing. Buying furniture is not the same as, say, buying a television set. The furniture industry is also changing, and after the recession, the biggest industry players have started driving it in a completely new direction. Furniture shopping involves having to deal with the following;

Price Tags

Much like other retailers, furniture stores are famous for putting meaningless signs and price tags on the items they sell. They understand the psychology behind price tags and sales. For any furniture shop, buying something at 50 percent off simply means the prices were high to begin with. Do not be distracted by the discounts. Instead, shop around to find an honest sense of the real price.

Cost vs. Liability

When haggling price, make sure it is inclusive of everything. When buying furniture, one of the more important things to do is think about the delivery. Also, be realistic about the furniture ordered. Make sure it can fit in the front door, and that there is enough room for it to go up the stairs. Some furniture might also require onsite assembly. Be sure to understand who pays for what, including the people that will do the heavy lifting.


There is much more to the delivery than who pays for what. Furniture delivery trucks will not always be on time, and it is difficult to schedule a delivery under such conditions. Expect to lose at least a day of work to have the furniture delivered. To protect oneself, look at the store’s policy for no-shows and delivery issues. Make sure there is the possibility of a 100 percent refund if the store fails to live up to its side of the bargain. In reality, nobody wants to cancel a purchase soon after they make it. However, very few things will have the salesperson having a sense of emergency like the possibility of losing their commission.

Specifics: dining room furniture

Most of the time, furniture shopping is not a blanket exercise. Different things matter when shopping for a kid’s bed than when shopping for a couch. When looking to buy dining chairs and tables, for instance, take into account the following.


Dining tables come in three basic styles;

  • Traditional
  • Modern
  • Country or rustic


Oval shapes are good for small rooms, round tables seat more people but normally require more space. Narrow areas cannot have square tables, or rectangular ones that require a lot of space.


The material that the table is made of is a matter of taste. Wood veneer would cost less than solid wood, for instance, but the choice here is a matter of personal style and not necessarily quality. Other material options include glass tops and other man-made materials.

Seating options

There are two options here, a matched set, or tables and chairs bought separately. One can either have them styled and made together, or can buy a stylish option to complement the table they have already bought.

Other important factors include the room size and the size of the table.


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

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