You Are At: AllSands Home > Home > Decorating > Shopping for furniture
Shopping for furniture can be a bit confusing with all the different stores and name brands that are out there. I have shopped in high end furniture stores and low end, including discount places also. The discount places seemed somewhat of a scam, where they had regular furniture at regular pricing, but because it says "Discount" on the front of the store or in the newspaper ad, people, of course, are more attracted to it.

You should shop around to a couple of stores. If you know that you are looking for a living room set, for example, get as much information as you possibly can including model numbers if available. Sometimes different stores have their own model numbers so sometimes this doesn't work. As long as you have a general idea of what it is that you are looking at in all the different stores, you should be all set.

Check for construction. If you are looking at a sofa, for example, lift it up off of the ground and look underneath. Sometimes just the visual that you get makes it obvious which set may be the better of the two or three that you have already looked at. When you are looking at the corners of the piece of furniture, you want to make sure that they are reinforced with blocks on all corners. Also, it is better to get a sofa that is screwed together, and also glued and dowled. Double dowled makes it even stronger. These are terms that you should become aware of so you can make the best buying decision. Also, don't always take the salesperson's word for it. Do not be embarassed to literally pick the sofa up off the ground and tilt it on its side so you can see for yourself how well constructed it really is. You should be able to see some glue if it is glued, and you will see screws if it is screwed, and as far as the doweling goes, most of the time that is obvious also.

Doweling is basically round pegs that go into round holes to reinforce the corners to make them stronger so that your set will last longer and not break down.

Then there is the obvious. If you go into one store and are looking at a sofa that is say $1000.00, and you see the same sofa at another store and the price is $799.00 and that includes the loveseat, a coffee table, two end tables and the lamps, then something is definetely different between the two sets, and it is usually the construction. However, this may be what you are looking for due to a budget, but as the old saying goes, "you get what you pay for". If the living room set is going into an area that isn't used much, and you don't have kids or large animals, then this particular set could be just what you need and keeps the cost down at the same time, but if you are looking for something that is going to be sat on all the time in front of the tv, you have children and maybe a large dog, you should reconsider your decision and take another look at the construction of the set.

If you see something similar that you like in two different stores, again, check out the construction. If the construction of the set appears to be solid on both sets, then it is a matter of preference, and of course, if there is maybe a $100.00 difference between the two, you are going to want to go with the least expensive of the two.

You must be careful and be a wise shopper because every store wants your money. Maybe take a look at consumer reports and see what they have to say about different name brands and stores to buy from before you begin your journey to save you some time. Also, one huge piece of advice is to go to a reputable store that has been around for a while. The only reason I say this is because if you do happen to have problems with your set, you want to have purchased it from a store that you know is going to be in business for more than a couple of months. Most fly by night stores do not offer any kind of warranty and just may be out of business when you are ready to report your problem.

Lastly, the salesperson. You want to get a salesperson who knows what they are talking about when you are shopping around. If the salesperson is too vague and doesn't know much about the product that he or she is selling, you must be educated enough about the piece of furniture that you are in the market for so you can satisfy yourself and answer your own questions as far as construction.

The most important thing is price difference. If there is a $500.00 difference between two similar looking sets, you should assume that the more expensive set with a well known name brand is going to be the better of the two.

Buying furniture is not something you want to do eery year, and it is certainly considered a high ticketed item. Educate yourself, ask friends and neighbors where they bought their furniture and ask them if they have been happy with their purchase. This can save you many unnecesssary trips from store to store. Happy shopping!