The best time to buy new furniture depends on what you plan to buy and whether you care more about having a wide selection or about getting the very best deal. In general, look for furniture sales around 3-day weekends, in January and early February, and in July.
We will look at the furniture sales annual cycle, from the times of year when new models come out to the best times to find a bargain. You’ll learn how to shop at the right times to get the experience you want. We’ll also look at some techniques for getting the best price on any purchase.
Table of Contents:
A. Types of Sales
Furniture sales tend to come in two varieties, each catering to a particular kind of buyer.
The first type of sale emphasizes items that are in demand right now. These sales tend to be broad, including lots of new merchandise and plenty of variety. Items tend to be in stock or easily ordered.
These sales occur when new merchandise is coming in for the upcoming season. For example, patio furniture sales happen just as the weather starts to turn warmer, which is usually mid-March to mid-April.
The other type of sale occurs under the opposite conditions—when the season for a particular kind of purchase is ending, or when new inventory is about to come in and retailers want to make space for the new.
Selection can be spotty during clearance sales, but discounts can be deep. If you don’t care about having the most cutting-edge, trendy designs, and if you’re willing to look a little harder, these sales can be the best time to save big.
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B. When to Find Sales
The furniture industry operates on an annual cycle; new inventory becomes available and stores get restocked in two major waves that take place around February and August.
If you’re bargain hunting, hit the stores when retailers are clearing out to make room for the new stock. Because furniture takes up a lot of space, stores are willing to let merchandise go for less in order to make room in their storerooms and warehouses. You may find discounts of as much as 50% off the original price—or even more, if you’re really lucky.
If you want a good price, but you don’t want to dig through picked-over clearance sections, look for sales when the new goods arrive. These sales will emphasize items that are most in-demand at the time and come in part from the competition among stores. Think discounts in the range of 10-20% off.
Besides the furniture industry calendar, the furniture sale landscape for the year is also determined by holidays—and especially holidays with three-day weekends. Furniture can be a major purchase, and shoppers often make more than one trip before committing. Three-day-weekend sales give shoppers enough time to come in, look around, and sleep on a decision before they come back to make a purchase.
If you just missed a weekend sale, don’t give up! Stores routinely extend their sales and you can often find the same price for a few days after the advertised sale ends.
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C. 12 Best Times for Furniture Shopping Month by Month
January can be a great month to shop for furniture. You may find post-Christmas or New Year’s sales offered in hopes of drawing in buyers while many have time off work.
It’s a good month not only for furniture, but also for linens, sheets, carpeting, and flooring.
Because new styles tend to be released in February for both indoor home furniture and office furniture, look for clearance discounts on in-stock items. You might even get a great deal on floor models.
You may think Valentine’s Day when you think of February, but when furniture shopping, the holiday to remember is President’s Day. That’s when furniture stores have some of their biggest sales of the year.
New styles and inventory become available as winter ends, so you will find a wide variety among which to choose. At the same time, clearance items can be at their lowest prices.
February is a good time to shop for upholstered furniture in particular, including sofas, as well as other living room furniture, bedroom furniture, and mattresses.
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March can bring early-season sales on outdoor furniture, as new models tend to come in as spring arrives. Look for attention-getting sales to get customers thinking spring.
Outdoor furniture is the star in April as new furniture arrives in stores. It can also be a good month for office furniture.
The big holiday in May for retailers is Memorial Day. This three-day weekend for many consumers means stores lure them in with great deals on furniture. Mattresses in particular can be handsomely discounted in May.
Office furniture tends to be on sale after tax season, too.
The arrival of summer means furniture stores compete with all manner of outdoor and summer activities for consumers’ money and time. As a result, you may find good discounts when you venture into the stores.
You’ll easily find a sale around the Fourth of July, and outdoor furniture may have midseason discounts as fewer shoppers are looking for it. Furniture sales are down in the summer overall, so retailers will drop prices. As a result, July is a good month to shop for indoor furniture and office furniture.
In August, shoppers and stores are in back-to-school mode. It’s the end of summer, so it’s a great time to find deep clearance discounts on outdoor furniture.
Brand-new merchandise hits stores in August, too, so there are likely to be great deals on remaining clearance items early in the month.
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In September, you can get the best prices of the year on clearance outdoor furniture, if you can still find something you like in the store.
You can also expect big sales over Labor Day weekend, traditionally a big retail holiday.
If you’re looking beyond furniture for your home, this is also a good time to buy large appliances.
New office furniture comes out in October, so if you’re looking for new styles and more selection, check for attention-getting sales.
October is also one of the last months before winter hits, so if you’re less likely to be out and about in the cold, you might want to shop now.
Mattresses may be on sale in October.
The end of November kicks off the holiday season for many, starting with Thanksgiving. Furniture shoppers may be on the lookout for dining tables and sofas large enough to hold friends and family. Retailers, anticipating this need, may have such items on sale.
Black Friday falls at the end of November, and furniture stores get in on the sales just like every other store. Check catalogs for “door busters” and other deeply discounted featured items.
December is a busy month for many people, with holidays and family gatherings. Furniture stores may anticipate consumers’ need for new furniture for entertaining, as well as the general increased shopping traffic during the month, with sales and discounts.
The last week of the year can be a good time to spot a bargain.
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D. General Furniture Buying Tips
By now you should be seeing a pattern: furniture sales can happen any time of year. In fact, if the item you want is not on sale, there’s a good chance it will be within a month. Ask your salesperson for upcoming events, although they may play up uncertainty in hopes of getting you to commit now.
If you want the most selection and the newest styles, shop when new inventory is filling the stores, whether for the upcoming season (outdoor furniture in early spring) or for the annual cycle (in February and August).
If you want the best possible prices, choose times when the stores are almost desperate to make room for new items, or at the tail end of the season for outdoor items.
Keep in mind that when there’s a holiday, there’s probably a sale.
You probably know that it’s best to see furniture in person before you commit; many buyers have been disappointed by a sofa that looks perfect online but feels like a rock when it arrives.
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That said, it’s always a good idea to compare prices in the store and online, especially once you’ve tried out the item in person. Often the sticker price will be lower online, but watch out for the handling and delivery costs, which may end up costing more than when you buy in-store.
Another benefit of buying in-store is that you can negotiate. As with car dealerships, furniture salespeople are generally able to adjust pricing to a certain extent, and you may be able to get a better price if they think you’re on the fence or if they’re looking to make their quotas. It can’t hurt to ask.
Price can be a big factor in furniture purchases, but it shouldn’t be the only factor. Many furniture store ads will feature outstanding prices on a couple of items. A new sofa for $299 sounds great, but once you arrive at the store, you’re likely to find that the item is of low quality.
You’ll also find that the salespeople are more than happy to point you to higher-quality, more expensive items.
So in the end, what is the best time to buy furniture? It’s when you need a new item, but still have time to shop around and find a good deal. If it’s not on sale now, it will be soon.
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