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Buying Furniture in the US- What to Expect?

Buying Furniture in the US- What to Expect?

Old Aug 18th 2004, 4:58 pm
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Question Buying Furniture in the US- What to Expect?

Neither myself or Mr. NC Penguin have experience of buying furniture in the US so I'd like to know what to expect.

We're going to High Point, NC, this week on a two day furniture buying trip. We need to have the furniture in place by the second week of November, in time for Thanksgiving when we're hosting the Thanksgiving meal for his family.

Do American furniture stores provide a contract that states the delivery time and the process that will kick in if the delivery date is missed?

We plan on visiting two stores and may end up putting down a deposit during the visit. However, I want to make sure my furniture arrives on time.

Any tips about how to ensure furniture is delivered on time and in a good condition?

Also, any brands to avoid?

Thanks,




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Old Aug 18th 2004, 5:02 pm
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Default Re: Buying Furniture in the US- What to Expect?

I can't say I've ever had any problems previously buying furniture. Recently after moving back to the US, we of course needed new furniture. We went to Ikea and bought some really nice stuff and brought it home ourselves. It worked out pretty good and I'm extremely happy with the stuff. I would imagine a pretty good store would be (for example Ethan Allen over here) would be quite good with their delivery schedules.
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Old Aug 18th 2004, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Buying Furniture in the US- What to Expect?

Originally Posted by AmerLisa
I can't say I've ever had any problems previously buying furniture. Recently after moving back to the US, we of course needed new furniture. We went to Ikea and bought some really nice stuff and brought it home ourselves. It worked out pretty good and I'm extremely happy with the stuff. I would imagine a pretty good store would be (for example Ethan Allen over here) would be quite good with their delivery schedules.
I should point out that I'm not buying self assemble furniture. Some pieces may even be made to order. That's the reason for the questions about delivery times.




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Old Aug 18th 2004, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: Buying Furniture in the US- What to Expect?

I have special ordered a lot of furniture recently. Most of the special ordered furniture has a pretty sweeping delivery window of 6 - 8 weeks, and that window is mentioned on the contract, although is not a term of the contract. In other words, there are no specific penalties should it take 9 weeks.

The only company I'd say I had a service issue with was Haynes - or rather, the company they contract for deliveries: damaged furniture on arrival, delivering outside their scheduled delivery time windows, etcetera.

I will also say that buying furniture is like buying a car. Slimey sales people buzzing around continuously...yuck, so don't be afraid of being a tough negotiator.
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Old Aug 18th 2004, 6:20 pm
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Default Re: Buying Furniture in the US- What to Expect?

Don't touch Art Van furniture... not even sure if it is nantion wide group but it is big up here in MI... the furniture looks crap quality... something like DFS back in the UK.

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Old Aug 18th 2004, 6:24 pm
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Default Re: Buying Furniture in the US- What to Expect?

Originally Posted by Ash UK/US
Don't touch Art Van furniture... not even sure if it is nantion wide group but it is big up here in MI... the furniture looks crap quality... something like DFS back in the UK.

Ash
Good old Art Van. The store which has it's biggest ever sale once a week, and makes bloody sure it puts about a million ads on telly to let you know.
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Old Aug 18th 2004, 7:31 pm
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Default Re: Buying Furniture in the US- What to Expect?

Originally Posted by NC Penguin
Neither myself or Mr. NC Penguin have experience of buying furniture in the US so I'd like to know what to expect.

We're going to High Point, NC, this week on a two day furniture buying trip. We need to have the furniture in place by the second week of November, in time for Thanksgiving when we're hosting the Thanksgiving meal for his family.

Do American furniture stores provide a contract that states the delivery time and the process that will kick in if the delivery date is missed?

We plan on visiting two stores and may end up putting down a deposit during the visit. However, I want to make sure my furniture arrives on time.

Any tips about how to ensure furniture is delivered on time and in a good condition?

NC Penguin

We had furniture specially made through Storehouse a number of years ago. There were some problems with the delivery because the company that made the furniture (not Storehouse) was pretty unreliable -- in fact, Storehouse dropped the company after a while and it went out of business soon after that. Sorry I don't have any tips -- we didn't have to have our furniture by a set date, so it wasn't really a problem, just an inconvenience. You might check with the store you're visiting and ask them about the reliability of the company you order the furniture from (if it's different).
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Old Aug 18th 2004, 7:31 pm
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Default Re: Buying Furniture in the US- What to Expect?

Originally Posted by dgsyd1
Good old Art Van. The store which has it's biggest ever sale once a week, and makes bloody sure it puts about a million ads on telly to let you know.
That would be the very same one

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Old Aug 19th 2004, 3:11 am
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Default Re: Buying Furniture in the US- What to Expect?

Originally Posted by NC Penguin
Neither myself or Mr. NC Penguin have experience of buying furniture in the US so I'd like to know what to expect.....
We live a relatively short distance from both High Point and Hickory, and Mrs P and I have been on furniture expeditions many times (we don't always buy).

Tips - shop around, there is lots to choose from, some are over priced, and when it comes to chairs and sofas be sure to try them, wriggle plenty and see if they creak or wobble. Check draws for dovetail joints - the best (strongest) furniture (with draws) usually will have dovetail jointed draws, and it doesn't necessarily mean that they are the most expensive pieces.

Try Roses in High point - their showroom is HUGE, and some of the furniture is either absurdly large, or absurdly expensive, or both! .... But they do have plenty of good quality stuff. The staff there are very helpful and will help you get a good deal. We bought a bookcase from Roses recently - we saw it in a floor-clearance sale, but it had been sold already (but not tagged as SOLD ) - the sales lady went away and checked for manufacturer deals and we got a brand new bookcase for just $20 more than the price on the ex-showroom piece.

Then when you've got depressed about the prices at Roses, leave there, turn left and drive down the hill a few yards, turn right and follow the signs to Roses clearance centre (Roses showroom staff will give you directions) - it's a huge old warehouse with furniture ready to take away. There are some incredible bargains to be had there, and some tacky crap, and some damaged stuff too - but you'll have to make a down payment, then rent a truck and come back next weekend to collect you purchases.

The other places I remember visiting include the Stickley showroom - which has some nice furniture, good quality, solidly made, but it is pricey.

Otherwise drive around and try different places, and don't be shy about marching through at a quick clip - you have a lot of ground to cover in two days and you can't be wasting time looking for that perfect piece when a quick scan might tell you that you are wasting your time.

If you can come to terms with buying a clearance piece and hauling it yourself you should be on the lookout for smaller showrooms around the High Point area - they often sell loads of cheap crap but we've tried some of them and among the tatty junk we've found absolute bargains in, what look like from the outside, most unpromising stores.

One such place that has a huge, and very crowded showroom, is "Transit Damaged Frieght". Don't be put off by the name, they do sell some heavily damaged pieces, but also have a wide variety of other clearance pieces - some of which are close to perfect. They will also order things for you if you need say, dining chairs to match a dining table. And I can't recommend them too highly for dining tables - they have a couple of dozen in stock (I was there last weekend) that range from 8ft out to about 20ft (extended with extra leaves), with a variety of polished finished (satin through to mirror-finish), some detailed and elegant all the way through more casual styles to heavy gothic tables. The price on these tables? ..... No more than $400! ... yes that's right, $400 tops, and most are less!!!! Transit Damaged Frieght is in Lexington at 1604 South Main Street, which is Route 29, on the righthand side as you head south out of town - the buildings are low and long, and don't look much from outside, and are opposite "Fosters Tyres".

You are visiting High Point at just about the right time if you are planning to have upholstery made to order - it takes two to three months, whereas wooden furniture can usually be delivered in just a few weeks. BTW Roses deliver free to addresses in NC - BUT, they will tell YOU the day that they are delivering in your area, and aren't likely to be too specific about the delivery time.

PM me if you would like more advice or have specific questions about High Point.

Last edited by Pulaski; Aug 19th 2004 at 3:18 am.
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Old Aug 19th 2004, 3:41 am
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Default Re: Buying Furniture in the US- What to Expect?

I haven't got any local experience for you but I have been really impressed here in MA.

We got a new bed from a store called Jordans. It was delivered the next day. After a week in it we decided it was way too soft and it was killing my already bad back. They changed it with no questions asked and we upgraded to the awesome Tempurpedic. Again that was delivered the next day.

Our new sofa had to be made to order and even that only took about 10 days. The sales people can be dead pushy but I give them one of my withering glares and that normally sends them running in the opposite direction.

There's so much choice and a wide variety to fit varying budgets that you'll be spoilt for choice.
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Old Aug 19th 2004, 4:26 am
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Default Re: Buying Furniture in the US- What to Expect?

Originally Posted by NC Penguin
I should point out that I'm not buying self assemble furniture. Some pieces may even be made to order. That's the reason for the questions about delivery times.




NC Penguin
Good for you, that's why I mentioned Ethan Allan, definitely more upscale than Ikea, but perhaps they don't have that store in North Carolina.
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Old Aug 19th 2004, 4:49 am
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Default Re: Buying Furniture in the US- What to Expect?

If a piece of furniture cannot be got in High Point, it cannot be got anywhere.
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Old Aug 21st 2004, 1:53 am
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Default Re: Buying Furniture in the US- What to Expect?

I'm in High Point at the moment.

Visited two stores today and have decided upon bedroom furniture but I'm still undecided on the dining room furniture.

I visited both Furnitureland South and Rose Furniture today. For those who haven't heard of or visited FLS, it's an enormous store with a million sq. feet of showroom space with furniture displays. Virtually all the furniture and items in displays are for sale.

Rose Furniture is a lot smaller than FLS though I expect still much larger than your local furniture store. The problem at Rose's is that the tags don't tell you the name of the collection the pieces belong to so I've had to look in the printed catalog to know what I'm searching for.

Service I've received so far is fine though the salespeople at each store have quite a different approach to customers. The lady at FLS was much more talkative and provided many more suggestions about additional brands and styles to consider. On the other hand, the man at Rose's was much more laid back and let us do the talking. He admitted to not being a "hard sell" kind of salesperson.

I would mention that I had prior communications with each of the salespeople before I ever met them and both were personal recommendations from sources.

I might add that there's furniture at FLS that suits every budget. We saw an armoire whose list price was just short of $30,000! However the FLS price is probably between 40-50% off that (thank goodness)!









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